August 09 2017

7 Healthy Coffee Ideas for Every Primal Taste

By Mark Sisson
59 Comments

Primal AviaryNormally, I’m deep in the thick of nutritional research or other heady topics midweek. Today, not so much. I have coffee on the brain after trying a few new concoctions recently. As I’ve noted in the past, coffee is a welcome part of the Primal Blueprint. Unlike traditional paleo, there’s no conflict here. While living healthily and sleeping well mean I don’t depend on coffee for energy, I consider it a positive staple in my diet, not to mention a pleasant ritual in my day.

I’ve gone into extensive detail about the copious benefits—to overall health, to disease prevention, to cognitive function, even to fitness performance—in the past. Today, I’m all about the actual intake. There’s plenty to the why, but this post covers several Primal ways to enjoy it right now. Let’s dig in….

Mocha

Cacao nibs are loaded with polyphenols, and a great source of saturated and monounsaturated fat. Add coconut milk (or whole cream), plus a drizzle of coconut oil to smooth out the chocolate emulsion, and this dark chocolate mocha is brimming with healthy fats.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1 cup coconut milk or whole cream
  • 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil

Primal aviary

Instructions

Bring coconut milk or whole cream to a simmer in a small pot. Turn off heat and add cacao nibs. Let steep 5 minutes.

Blend the cacao mixture and coconut oil in a blender on high speed until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing down on the solids to release the liquid. Add a sweetener if desired. Pour the cacao milk into hot coffee, or chill it before adding to iced coffee. The cacao milk will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

Macadamia Cream

Macadamia nuts are sweet and buttery fat bombs. Blend ‘em up into smooth cream for a rich and fatty cup of coffee that also has delicious macadamia flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons macadamia butter*
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

Primal Aviary

Instructions

Whisk together macadamia butter and hot water until smooth. Pour into a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Press down with a spoon to release the smooth and creamy liquid into the bowl and separate it from any grainy solids. Whisk the macadamia cream from the bowl into your hot coffee.

*To make macadamia butter, simply blend raw or toasted unsalted macadamia nuts in a food processor until very smooth

Tahini Coffee

The high-fat sesame paste called tahini turns into a surprisingly delicious keto-friendly dessert cream when whisked with molasses and whole cream. Eat it alone, or stir the cream into your coffee.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons whole cream

tahini

Instructions

Whisk together tahini, molasses and cream until completely smooth. Whisk the tahini cream into your hot coffee (or, just eat it for dessert with a spoon).

Chai Golden Milk Coffee

This spiced coffee is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich. Chai Golden Milk (named after the Indian tea and the addition of turmeric) is delicious in hot or cold coffee. It’s also delicious without coffee when you want an uplifting caffeine-free beverage.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk or whole cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

chai golden milk

Instructions

Whisk milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and coconut oil in a small saucepan or pot and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let steep 5 minutes. Strain though a fine mesh strainer to remove the grit. Add a sweetener if desired. Pour as much as you like into your hot coffee, or chill the spiced milk for iced coffee.

Egg Frappe

A frothy, iced coffee drink with a boost from whole eggs and antioxidant- rich spices.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces coffee, double strength* (use twice the amount of ground coffee you would normally use for 5 oz water) (150 ml)
  • 3 pastured eggs, whole
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (1.25 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (1.25 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (1.25 ml)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom (a pinch)
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (a pinch)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar** (a pinch)
  • 2 ounces coconut milk (60 ml)
  • 1 1/2 cups ice (a large handful)

*The coffee is brewed at double strength so the flavor isn’t diluted when blended with ice.

**Cream of tartar is optional. It helps stabilize the egg whites and make the drink frothier.

Instructions

Let the coffee cool slightly, then whisk in the eggs. Cool in freezer for 10 minutes.

While the coffee is chilling, combine honey, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cream of tartar, coconut milk and ice in the blender.
Blend briefly, so the ice cubes are broken into small pieces.

Pour the chilled Primal egg coffee into the blender. Blend again for 30 seconds or so, until the ice is slushy and the top is frothy.

Egg Coffee

A delicious alternative to Bulletproof coffee, this smooth and creamy coffee drink is brimming with micronutrients.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) coffee
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

Beating the eggs together, whole, as if you were making scrambled eggs (or blend them). For a 1-cup dose of coffee, use two whole eggs. Once the eggs are beaten or blended, slowly drizzle in the coffee. You don’t want to cook the eggs. You want them to stay creamy. If you’re concerned about the avidin in the raw white, dump the coffee in to ensure maximal heat exposure. Otherwise, just drizzle.

A higher egg:coffee ratio (using a large shot of espresso, for example) for a stronger coffee flavor works well, too.

Add a little sweetener plus some salt to make the coffee taste like a liquified custard.

Vanilla Collagen Fuel Coffee

The sweet vanilla flavor and healing collagen found in Primal Kitchen® Collagen Fuel are a superior alternative to sugary, flavored coffee drinks.

Ingredients

  • 5-8 ounces of brewed coffee
  • 1 scoop of Vanilla Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel

Instructions

Fill your mug about 1/4 the way with brewed coffee. Mix one scoop of Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel well enough to make a paste. (I use Vanilla, but Chocolate would work well for a mocha flavor if you prefer.) Then fill the remainder of your mug with coffee. Stir well, and enjoy!

How to Make Cold Brew

Cold brew is all the rage and for good reason; it’s less acidic and has a bolder flavor than iced coffee, which can taste watered down or bitter. As opposed to iced coffee, which is brewed hot then chilled, cold brew is brewed in cold water. Buying cold brew from a coffee shop can be spendy. Luckily, it’s easy to make at home. Here’s how to make cold brew:

A ratio of 1 cup whole coffee beans to 4 1/2 cups water will give you a strong brew.

Don’t grind the beans too finely or they’ll cloud up the coffee. A coarse grind is better for cold brew.

Put the coarsely ground coffee beans in a glass pitcher, tall container, or coffee press. If using a pitcher or container, you’ll need cheesecloth to strain the grounds later.

Slowly pour in the 4 ½ cups cold water, gently stirring as you pour to moisten all the coffee grounds.

Lightly cover the container, or put the lid on the French press (don’t press it down). Let stand in the refrigerator 12 hours.

If using cheesecloth, line a fine mesh sieve with the cheesecloth and set the sieve over a large pitcher or deep container. Pour the coffee into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and give the water a few minutes to filter through the grounds.

If using a French press, simply press down the plunger and push the grounds to the bottom.

Once the grounds are separated from the coffee, your cold brew is done!

Cold brew keeps well for a week or more in the refrigerator.

Tip: Don’t want to dilute your cold brew at all? Make coffee ice cubes to float in your cup of cold brew.

That’s all for me, folks. I’ll wager many of you have your own creations to share. Offer your ideas and any questions on the board, and take care.

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59 thoughts on “7 Healthy Coffee Ideas for Every Primal Taste”

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  1. Greetings from Ethiopia, the home of coffee! People here are very proud of their native beans, and rightly so. I’ve already been trying out tahini coffee (sesame seeds grow here, too) and also can recommend a sprig of fresh thyme leaves popped into a small cup of very strong brew. What’s especially lovely – and primal – about drinking coffee in Ethiopia is it’s an inherently social phenomena. No walking around with your take-out cup here! Coffee is to be enjoyed with friends, away from your desk or housework. There’s an entire coffee ceremony devoted to grinding, roasting, and brewing 3 separate rounds of coffee. The ceremony is used to show respect, to solve problems, and to resolve interpersonal conflicts (you must come to an agreed compromise before you finish the 3rd cup).

    1. Joanna,

      Thanks for sharing. I’m a big fan of Ethiopian coffee. For a while, we had a local shop owned my an Ethiopian woman, who imported it, roasted it herself, and made it in traditional, European, and American styles. Loved it.

      I’d LOVE to know more about that ceremony.

    2. Home of coffee and all humanity. Coincidence? I think not.

      1. “Home of coffee and all humanity”: Kenya has equal if not greater claim to that title (and to having long distance runners of equal pedigree). But props to Ethiopia for being awesome in many, many other ways. Bob Marley would be insulted to read my comment. Its a beautiful country of a great people and unmatched heritage and history, and its coffee is almost as good as ours.

  2. What i do is 2 shots of espresso using my home machine. I put in 2 heaping scoops of Dandy Blend (dandelion root) and a scoop of Laird Superfood Turmeric Creamer. Then I add in steamed coconut milk. After creating my own recipe I can’t stand going to a commercial coffee place anymore. Insert (SB) name here…

  3. My goto cup of late has been Kimera brewed in an Aeropress, Laird Superfood unsweetened, cinnamon, a tablespoon of MCT and a tsp of Foursigmatic 10 Mushroom blend .

    1. Would you recommend the Laird Superfood? What benefits do you feel it has? Am thinking about ordering some.

  4. Thanks for the perfect read over my morning bulletproof! My breakfast each day is a mug of organic, freshly ground dark roast blended with a tablespoon of coconut oil, a tablespoon of ghee, and a heaping scoop of collagen. But now you have me considering fancier options…

  5. Lots of great ideas here for people who aren’t yet ‘ready’ or just don’t like black coffee. I like it black, but also love it with cream.

    We have a local joint (Philz Coffee) that does black with a sprig of mint. You’d be surprised how much that mint changes things!

    Now I’m off to try the macadamia cream in my coffee!

      1. Yes I also put mint, chocolate mint, probably 3-4 leaves in my hot brewed coffee. Also in my hot brew with the Kerry gold butter 1 Tbsp and 1 tablespoon Asprey’s distilled coconut oil Brain Octane..wholly c-8 ..blended 20 seconds…every morning. These are some great change ups though.

  6. Cold brew is great. I’ve been using it for years. It’s time to try that chai stuff with it!

  7. One of my favorite meal replacements consists of left over morning coffee chilled on the refrigerator with a two heaping tbs of chia seeds. When fully chilled and the seeds are hydrated, blend the concoction with collagen powder and primal fuel and ice. The chia seeds add bulk and fiber missing from most shakes. The seeds hydrate with coffee theoretically suggesting a slow release caffeine delivery system.

  8. I’m loving all these coffee recipes, Mark! I especially can’t wait to try the Mocha…yum!

    I don’t have Macadamia butter for the Macadamia cream right now although this sounds amazing. Thinking about trying it with coconut butter though. Curious if anyone has tried coffee with coconut butter. I use coconut oil in mine daily.

    1. To me coconut butter is a “no-brainer” with coffee. Much better tasting and presumably more nutritious than coconut oil. I also add ghee and a tiny amount of stevia to make my perfect cup.

      1. Great, I’ll have to start adding my coconut butter…can’t believe I haven’t thought of this before! I add stevia and grassfed buttter too, but will have to check out the ghee.

        Thanks for tips! I get so much value from reading your site.

  9. I drink egg coffee almost every morning. Just eggs and coffee, sometimes a bit of heavy cream. I work in a lab, so use a lidded, sealed travel mug for my coffee. I put the eggs and about a quarter cup of coffee, put on the lid, and shake vigorously. It mixes better than using a whisk. Then fill with coffee and gently swirl to mix.

    Another of my favorite mixes is 1 cup coffee, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, one teaspoon of good cocoa powder, and one teaspoon of honey if I feel like it. I usually mix the cocoa into the cream, then pour in the coffee and mix. If you are not opposed to alcohol, a touch of cognac makes this really special.

  10. Great ideas. I’ll have to try the tahini coffee using my sprouted Ethiopian tahini.

    My favorite coffee includes double espresso, 2 tbs great lakes collagen, 2 tbs coconut cream (22% fat), 2 tbs coconut oil (or 1 tbs plus 1 tbs MCT), 1 tsp ghee, a healthy dose of cinnamon and turmeric, a pinch of grounded cardamon and a pinch of Chile pepper and freshly grounded black pepper. This comes really handy, when I have a long day ahead of me, or before traveling, as I don’t know what will be available for me to eat when I reach my destination.

    1. Very interested in this part:
      “and a pinch of Chile pepper and freshly grounded black pepper.”
      Will try adding to my simple brew of coffee, ghee, coconut oil and a little molasses
      Amazing what you get reading the comments 🙂

      1. Forgot to add a couple of spoonfuls of beef gelatin to my mix

      2. I learned a lot as well. I hope you like it. As you might have guessed, the black pepper is necessary to activate the curcumin. That’s why all curcumin supplements include it. Tip: dissolve the gelatin in a little coffee or hot water, before adding the rest of the ingredients.

  11. My current favourite is what I call a “Cococino”. It’s delicious and a great way to get a decent serving of fat.

    330ml of freshly brewed Coffee
    2 Tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil
    2 Tablespoons Organic Coconut Milk

    Combine coconut oil and milk in a pan and heat on a hob until bubbling. Add milk/oil to a blender, along with the coffee and blend on high until frothy. Drink and enjoy.

  12. Ummm… drinking oil doesn’t sound like something Grok would do. … not if his goal was weightloss.

    1. I don’t like coffee but love my Ovvio herbal teas. During winter here in Australia I’m drinking mostly choc/mint tea which has cocoa powder, vanilla powder and mint leaves and also dandelion coffee which also has chicory. They taste more satisfying in winter. I fill two Swell bottles and travel with them all day as they keep the teas hot for hours. Especially nice to take to golf.

    2. Our traditional people here in Kenya routinely melt fat and drink it, sometimes mixed with blood from the cow.

      Grok would indeed drink fat. Maybe not North American Grok, but certainly his East African cousin.

      1. I can vouch for the North American Grok:
        He would drink fat !

  13. I’ve switched to brewed cocoa beans. The brand carried by my local grocery is called Crio Bru. According to the internet, brewed cocoa has less caffeine than decaffeinated coffee.

  14. So many great ideas here! I love the Collagen Fuel in my coffee…actually just published a post on that a few days ago. Sooo easy! And totally into mixing up my coffee depending on my mood. Many days it’s unsalted grassfed butter and MCT oil, and whatever else I feel like throwing in…cinnamon and turmeric are nice. For the past week I’ve been using raw cacao butter which is awesome. Coffee has to be really hot, and you definitely need a blender. And if I’m not using the collagen fuel I blend in some collagen peptides. The fat and protein keeps me going for hours, and really helps balance the effect of the caffeine.

    1. Hi I read scrolled through your blog when I clicked your name and I saw the Collagen Peptide travel packets you were promoting. What liquid do you mix them in? Can you taste anything weird? Thanks for your info. Laura 🙂

  15. Coffee! Love it! So many GREAT ideas to try. So here’s the thing… I’ve been drinking my morning coffee (s) with butter, coconut oil (sometimes MCT instead) and a pinch of stevia for many moons. Interestingly, my cholesterol and LDL numbers have gone through the roof (no flags at all in my “pre-bulletproof coffee habit” blood-work). Also discovered through DNAFit testing that I may have a sensitivity to saturated fat. What?? Really?
    Darn! So I’m tinkering with my saturated fat intake and retesting in a few months to see what happens. In the meantime, I came up with a new lower saturated fat recipe coffee that I really like. I call it “Chocolate Coffeecado”. :-))

    Blend in a high-speed blender: hot coffee, 1/4 avocado, 1 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/8 pink salt and stevia to taste. It’s a little like a hot smoothie which may not be for everyone but I really like it! And it staves off hunger for many hours. We shall see how it affects the blood work. 😉

  16. I love coffee, and tea, but really love coffee. Some interesting ideas here. Not sure I’d use the tahini cream in coffee, but I’d like to try it regardless. Thanks for some fun ideas. I can never understand why people drink soda and juice when we have so many interesting choices in coffees, teas and tisanes. Grown up drinks that taste great and are good for you.

  17. You know what I love in my coffee? Collagen Fuel (Chocolate Coconut, specifically).

    Alas, I can’t get another order of it, and nobody seems to know when it may be back. I’ve ordered an alternative for now, and might just switch permanently if there are going to be production issues…

    First the forum died, and now you can’t keep products in stock. Mark, I expect better out of you, pal.

  18. i really dont think you can beat an espresso made with a proper pump machine. La Pavoni etc

  19. Some excellent ideas in this article and who doesn’t love coffee?
    I am going to try the the tahini coffee first from this list!
    I like to blend coconut butter into my morning coffee or cream.

  20. I just tried the egg coffee recipe, and it’s great, but here is just one thing to consider regarding the drizzling. If you merely beat the eggs as if you were making scrambled eggs, just beware that they will be difficult to drizzle. The egg whites, being gelatinous in consistency, tend to “slop” into the coffee, for lack of a better term. This makes it difficult to drizzle slowly enough to produce the desired result, and I noticed there were tiny scrambled eggs in mine, even though I was also stirring the coffee as I was drizzling. I tried to pour very slowly and deliberately, but the whites made that difficult, and I didn’t end up with what I would describe as a liquid custard consistency. I imagine blending the eggs would allow for easier drizzling.

    I ended up pouring the coffee egg mixture into the blender halfway through the process and drizzled the rest of the egg while blending. This made the consistency better, but it got very foamy (so much so that I needed a bigger mug), and it also cooled the drink. Thirty seconds in the microwave was all I needed, but I wonder if heating it more is counterproductive to using raw eggs in the first place.

    All in all, it’s a great recipe. I can’t wait to try the others, especially the macadamia cream one!

      1. I tried blending the eggs this morning, and it worked much better!

  21. Gotta whisk those eggs in anytime I add the oil so it emulsifies and prevents the greasy layer on top.

  22. Oh My Gosh! I am drinking the tahini/ molasses cream coffee… sooooo delicious !!!!! Can’t wait to try the rest of them!

  23. Mark, I have just learned that I have a sensitivity to coconut and almonds! How’s that for having a bad day:-) Would macadamia oil work as a good substitute in these coffees?

  24. Hi, I was just wondering about the fat percentage of the coconutmilk. Ours has 17,5 % and drinking it undiluted makes me feel nauseous. Which brand can you recommend and if one uses a can, do you mix the cream and watery part together? I am in Germany by the way and love your blog. I have found though that I can only drink one coffee a day and no alcohol anymore. Since I am doing that I do not have any hot flushes anymore (my age 55 and menopausal).

  25. Egg and coffee on first sight sound really disgusting but in Vietnam this is their specialty. I was delighted with the tastes and creams of this egg coffee.

  26. I’ve been making cold brew in a primula pitcher, then carbonating it in a soda stream. It’s exactly what you’d expect, but it’s nice! Don’t let it go more than three burps, or you’ll get coffee everywhere.

  27. You once posted a column on egg coffee when bullet proof coffee was first appearing on the scene. I love homemade egg nog and decided to make coffee egg nog. In a large coffee mug, I crack a pasture-raised egg, add some Ceylon cinnamon, fresh ground nutmeg, and a packet of stevia. Sometimes I’ll splurge and use molasses instead of stevia. Then I add a splash of pasture-raised cream or half n half. I whip it all up with the whisk attachment to my emulsion “stick” blender. After it is whipped and frothy, but while still whisking, I add the coffee. When it is about to overflow, I remove the whisk and top off with the coffee. I used to add a spoon of coconut oil, but my LDLs went up. Later I read that there are actually good and bad LDLs, and coconut oil usually leads to the former. But I haven’t resumed. I let it sit for a minute. The coffee is hot, but the mix may not be hot enough to pasteurize the egg. But it doesn’t hurt to expose it to the heat for a bit. If I was really worried, I would microwave it back up to temperature.

  28. Will any of these coffee recipes qualify for NOT breaking a fast?