I’ve been buttering up Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee for awhile now.  Drinking it in the morning is hands down the most exciting part about going to bed these days, which means this coffee really is all that, or my life is really sad.  Probably a little of both but I’m a half glass full (of butter) kinda guy.  So what’s the problem?

Well, besides my issue with the utter lack of protein in Dave’s version (which I tried to rectify), the price of Dave’s Upgraded (i.e. minimal-toxin) Coffee gives me the gag reflex.  Keep in mind that one area I won’t cut corners on is good health, but $25 per lb of coffee when I’ve been buying organic, fair-trade coffee for $11 per lb?  You can’t blame Dave though, not when alternatives are so difficult to find.  (Try googling “mycotoxin-free coffee brands” and I’ll race you to see who finds the most useless info.)

“Ma it’s 2012!  If it’s not on the first page of google it doesn’t exist!”

But wait, being an internet-spelunker is one of my hobbies (euphemism for OCD), so of course I had to go on a scavenger hunt.  Here’s to the beauty of the free market and informed Bulletproof Coffee lovers:

Fermentation: The Scapegoat?

If you’re gonna go all the way with Dave’s philosophy, you would look first for* mechanical process (forced demicuilage) with no fermentation.  The problem is that a few reputable sources don’t agree with this.
Ex: I was really impressed with stumptowncoffee.com (Dave likes them too) for their strict quality control standards and direct trade partnerships with several estates that use forced demucilage: *Ethiopia Duromina, Costa Rica Marvin Robles, Costa Rica Montes de Oro, Panama Duncan Estate, Honduras Finca El Puente
.  They told me that the mycotoxin issue has more to do with the quality control of the water tanks and water sources than the methodology.  Sweetmarias.com, a leading source on green coffee beans and roasting also agreed and had this to say:

“(Mechanical process) is more about water efficiency. It’s more expensive because of the equipment, but it’s actually a lot more cost effective and can improve sorting and water efficiency.  (Dave Asprey’s) claim about the molds and bacteria is ludicrous though. That altitude on the farm isn’t really the greatest Guatemala has to offer either. These are some interesting claims. I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about mold or bacteria wise (with wet process).” – http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=3578&start=0

So where does that leave us?  Well how about I give you both options and you pick?  Here are the criteria that I looked for:

  1. Mechanical Process or Wet Process
    1. High elevation
    2. Single origin (single estate is best)
    3. Available for purchase as of today (no point if you can’t buy it right?)

Disclaimer: I have no financial affiliation with or interest in any of the following companies.

Top Picks for Mechanical Process

Ethiopia Kaffa – Michiti Coop
Elevation: 6,200 – 6,900 ft
Roast: Unroasted green beans
Price: $7.30 per lb
Purchase: http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.africa.ethiopia.php#3345

Panama Carmen Estate
Elevation: 6,200 ft
Roast: Medium-Bold
Price: $12.75 per lb
Purchase: http://www.absolutecoffeecompany.com/apps/webstore/products/show/2822224

Guatemala Huehuetenango – Financa La Providencia Dos
Elevation: 4,265 – 4,765 ft
Roast: Medium to Medium-Dark
Price: $24.00 per lb
Purchase:  http://rosettacoffeeco.com/store/products/guatemala-heuhuetenango-finca-la/

Manzano Blend El Salvador
Elevation: 4,265 – 5,000 ft
Roast: Medium-Light
Price: $14.67 per lb
Purchase: http://store.yahoo.com/yhst-88038631192826/m12.html

Top Picks for Wet Process

*Panama Kotowa Duncan 2012 Microlot
Elevation: 5,500-5,600 feet
Roast: Medium-Light
Price: $14.95 per lb
Purchase: http://www.klatchroasting.com/KotowaDuncanOrganicMicroLotp/pankotdunorg_ml.htm

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
*Elevation: 4,400 – 5200 feet
Roast: Medium-Light
Price: $14.00 per lb
Purchase: http://www.martinezfinecoffees.com/ethiopia-yirgacheffe-fair-trade-organic-coffee.html

Ethiopia Sidamo
Elevation: 5,000-6,000 feet
Roast: Medium
Price: $14.08 per lb
Purchase: http://www.theroasterie.com/coffee/origin/ethiopia/ethiopian-sidamo

Pitalito Estate of Columbia (Huila Region)
Elevation: 5,500 – 6,000 ft
Roast: Medium
Price: $15.49 per lb
Purchase: http://www.theroasterie.com/pitalito-estate-of-colombia

Mexico Chiapas “Altura”
Elevation: 4,000 – 6,000 feet
Roast: Medium
Price: $16.00 per lb
Purchase: https://caffeibis.com/index.php?page=shop.productdetails&flypage=flypage.tpl&categoryid=10&productid=8&vmcchk=1&option=comvirtuemart&Itemid=40

If any of you have tried Dave’s coffee and end up trying any of these or other alternatives, I’d love to hear how they compare!

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