vegan better than bulletproof coffee // via thefirstmess.compin it!via @thefirstmesspin it!vegan better than bulletproof coffee // via thefirstmess.compin it!
If there was a Reluctant Caffeine Lovers Club, I would probably be the president. I love going through the ingrained steps and easy movements of coffee first thing. The smell, the little drip-drap sounds, the feeling of the warm ceramic mug in my hands, snuggling with my dog on the couch with it in hand while I watch the news. The steps and enjoyment are slow and comforting, but the jolting-to-awake effect of that steamy cup is pretty immediate in my case. I can’t do more than one cup, no matter how badly I want to (which is almost always). Sometimes even one cup is pushing it.

With the time change and the cooler weather in general, I’m having an easier time getting up super early. Something about the house/neighbourhood being quiet that correlates with my personal productivity rate. Becoming a bonafide early morning person was one of my life-post-restaurant goals, but the transition wasn’t as simple as set alarm + go. Also, I tried one of those sleep tracker apps and when my nightly graph/report was starting to get consistently wonky from waking up all night (and consuming caffeine too late in the day oooops), I started getting performance anxiety in relation to the app, and pretty much had to delete it after a week. Then I tried valerian tea and that was just a touch too trippy for me.

Aaaaanyway, in my pal Adrianna‘s new book The Year of Cozy, she talks about forming an early morning routine around some kind of consumption that you love. She mentions getting excited about your first coffee/breakfast when you’re getting snuggled into bed the night before. I relate to this SO. MUCH. And it really does help get your priorities straight for settling down in the evening hour. I don’t ever want to arrive at that point where one absolutely needs coffee to be somewhat human first thing. Getting enough rest with a consistent nightly routine in place and the right mindset is crucial.

The early morning ritual formation is one of so many excellent cozying strategies in the book. Some of them come by way of recipes for things like vegetable cassoulet, cinnamon rolls, a bloody mary bar, and fancy-ass PB + J’s. Other ways of cozy-making take the form of easy (but cool) DIY’s and little life-y tips/ideas like: going on an adventure with your dog, starting a collection of some kind, trying your hand at foraging, and (my fave) doing nothing in a way that’s mindful and productive. The book is all laid out by month with seasonal consideration too. I could honestly see myself gifting this to a lot of people in the upcoming holiday season. A celebration of homemade life! How could anyone not love that?

This better than bulletproof coffee is what I came up with when I decided that A) I needed a special early morning beverage that was good enough to form a habit around and B) that I needed to start having some fat with my coffee if I wanted to avoid feeling panicky and weird. Something about the extra calories seems to slow the absorption right down, which is perfect for me. I use a fun mix of coconut oil, plant milk, and raw cashew butter. Then I throw in some raw cacao, cinnamon, and mesquite powder, which might be a new ingredient for some. I get mine from Prana and use it for a few things: coffee drinks, blended into other hot drinks (tea! hot chocolate!), smoothies that veer towards chocolate/nutty, ice cream base, and even a few tablespoons in pancakes. It’s quite rich in fiber so helps with that fullness/slower absorption thing as well. It has a cocoa/caramel/maple-y flavour to me. I can’t get enough of it and as far as super/”functional” foods go, it’s fairly reasonable price-wise.

"The Year of Cozy"pin it!"The Year of Cozy"pin it!vegan better than bulletproof coffee // via thefirstmess.compin it!vegan better than bulletproof coffee // via thefirstmess.compin it!
Better Than Bulletproof Coffee (Vegan)

Serves: 1
Notes: I use the cashew butter here because I’m obsessed with the creamy, dairy-like richness it brings to the table. I imagine this would be good with any raw nut/seed butter you like though. Like maybe tahini?! Or hazelnut butter… Lots of possibilities.

1 cup/8 oz unsweetened plant milk (I’ve been into the So Delicious unsweetened vanilla coconut milk lately)
1 teaspoon raw cashew butter (see headnote)
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (or use stevia to taste)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon mesquite powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder (or extract!)
1 cup/8 oz hot coffee

Heat the plant milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a gentle light boil.

While the milk is heating, start adding everything else to your blender pitcher: the cashew butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, cacao powder, mesquite, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour the hot coffee into the blender as well. Then, when the milk is adequately heated, add that to the blender too.

Place the blender pitcher on the blender base with the lid firmly in place. Slowly blend all of the ingredients, gradually raising the speed of the blender until you get to high. Let it go for about 30 seconds. Stop the motor and let the coffee settle for a couple seconds. You’ll see a frothy layer separate.

Pour the better than bulletproof coffee into a mug that you like and lightly dust the top with cinnamon if you like. Enjoy immediately.

  • Tori03/11/2015 - 7:24 am

    I have just recently become a huge coffee drinker and this recipe sounds so incredible! I love your addition of the cashew butter in it. This is definitely something I need to try!ReplyCancel

  • marsha gibbons03/11/2015 - 7:32 am

    I can’t wait to try this concoction!! It sounds delicious and soothing. Tell me about mesquite powder. I see it on Amazon. How does it taste, why is it included and do you use it elsewhere?

  • Sabrina03/11/2015 - 7:56 am

    Hmm… never thought of adding cashew butter to my coffee – even though I totally love it! I think that will be the first thing I’ll make tomorrow morning as I’m trying to get ready for a 7 am lecture – even though I have to skip the mesquite powder for now.. And I love those copper pots on the wooden shelves! Wish my pantry would look like that..ReplyCancel

  • I love all these cozy Autumn and puppy pictures! I really love having a morning ritual to start the day in a self-love, nourishing for the body/soul kind of way. I’ve tried bulletproof coffee with ghee and nobody in my house was a fan. Your version sounds so much more our style! Looking forward to giving it a try xReplyCancel

  • Edlyn03/11/2015 - 10:28 am

    Cleo!! You’re so cute when you read books with your little puppy paws! :)
    You’re so right about forming a morning ritual to help ease into the day. Unfortunately mine still has to be rushed to make a 6.30am bus. And though I love waking up early, it just hangs in the back of my mind that I HAVE to do it. Maybe when I’m rich or give it all up one day….
    This coffee looks scrumptious! Can’t wait to try it myself soon.ReplyCancel

  • danielle is rooting the sun03/11/2015 - 10:30 am

    laura, beautiful sentiments albeit your coffee reality. my sensitivity to caffeine is slightly unbelievable at times (although i am persistently romanticized by the morning ritual) – and to this i, too, retain the morning mediation, but with alternative fuel. great recipe here – vanilla coconut milk is often at the top of my cravings – and to combine with cashew butter? excitement is piqued. happy week to youReplyCancel

  • Jennifer03/11/2015 - 10:31 am

    LOVE that cup! Your photos are wonderful! Cute Kitty, too! Lovely Fall post! I hopped over from a friend’s site – glad I did – you have a great place, here!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High03/11/2015 - 11:42 am

    hey! have we talked about how jealous i am of your copper pot collection? wait, scratch that — how jealous I am of your kitchen as a WHOLE?

    ps – this coffee looks great, you’re really killing it with the pretty pictures


  • Peanut butter princess03/11/2015 - 11:44 am

    That coffee sounds amazing! And looks amazing too – beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • Zoe03/11/2015 - 12:03 pm

    I’ve been making my own bulletproof ish coffee every morning recently as well. Something about the temperature finally cooling down makes the mornings so much more peaceful.
    Bonus has been adding in a dollop of pumpkin puree leftover from muffins :) I also just throw everything in a mason jar and shake, forces a little workout and starts the day off with one less dirty dish.ReplyCancel

  • Ingrid - Let's talk evergreen03/11/2015 - 12:07 pm

    Yes to all of this dear Laura! I love the fact your dog is featured in this post too btw. I have a hard time getting up early when I have a day off. It’s not that I sleep in until very late, but standing next to my bed before 8 is a problem. This might help, I will certainly try! <3ReplyCancel

  • Allyson03/11/2015 - 12:20 pm

    I drink coffee, not tea, because coffee leaves me jittery and stomach-achy, and I totally relate to building a morning ritual around your caffeine consumption. I love the kettle going off, the steeping time, the slow sipping. If I drank coffee I would certainly try this out- cashew butter! brilliant!- and as it is, I’m seriously curious about A Year of Cozy.ReplyCancel

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats03/11/2015 - 1:24 pm

    Love this I can so relate to getting panicky and weird with coffee. Also when that happens it immediately makes me drowsy after the weirdness subsides.

    I do mine with almond milk, grass fed butter, coconut milk, cinnamon and maca and it’s so much more effective and not weird that way. The cashew butter sounds like it would be SO good too :)ReplyCancel

  • Keara McGraw03/11/2015 - 2:53 pm

    I so identify with all of this!! While my tastebuds wish I could handle more than one cup of coffee, I truly cannot. As in, eyes darting around my favorite coffee shop/heart rate racing/trying to avoid a panic attack cannot. Every once in a while I do indulge (/mentally prepare myself) and should give a little extra fat in my drink a try! The recipe sounds so, so wonderful. Cleo is such a beautiful breakfast buddy, too! <3ReplyCancel

  • Tara03/11/2015 - 3:39 pm

    My husband was on a total Bulletproof coffee kick about a year ago, and I could never get on board. I’m loving the idea of this — sounds absolutely delicious and far more up my alley. Happy November to you.ReplyCancel

  • Dana03/11/2015 - 3:49 pm

    YES TO THIS MORNING ROUTINE! Love your review of Adrianna’s book. I have it on my wish list! It looks like perfection. And this drink NEEDS to happen for me. Bravo lady!!ReplyCancel

  • Katie03/11/2015 - 4:08 pm

    Wow your Blog is a true inspiration. I love everything about it. Your pictures have such a high quality and the recipes are great! Thank you!
    Love Katie

  • Sarah | Well and Full03/11/2015 - 7:42 pm

    I LOVE that idea – getting excited about your morning eats/drinks as you go to bed. It really gives you something to wake up for!! In my pre-vegan days breakfast was my favorite meal, and I’ve become really lax in finding vegan yummies (it doesn’t help that I don’t really like sweets/oatmeal). But I’m feeling super motivated after seeing this recipe!! :D :DReplyCancel

  • thefolia04/11/2015 - 1:53 am

    The best part of waking up…happy sipping.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah | The Swirling Spoon04/11/2015 - 3:49 am

    Your bronze pots are beautiful!!! And this delicious subversion of a bulletproof coffee… O_O
    Random, but I just listened to your podcast/interview with Jessica Murnane. It was a pleasure! Wishing you the best with your cookbook creating!!ReplyCancel

  • TUULIA04/11/2015 - 4:56 am

    I love, love this. Waking up early and having that extra time is so great, I hope to do it more often in the future. Just gotta make a habit of it! Have a lovely autumn Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well04/11/2015 - 10:46 am

    Ah I loved this. I get excited every night for my early morning rituals, also loving waking up super early (while its still dark) and the rest of the world is sleeping and still. Its my favorite time of the day. I’ve been looking for ways to offset my coffee consumption (or just make it a bit healthier) and between your superfood lattes post from last year + this one, I’m feeling super inspired to turn my cozy drink nob up a notch ;). Happy fall Laura! Hope you’re having the swellest time <3ReplyCancel

  • Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen04/11/2015 - 1:00 pm

    I loved this post. Thanks for sharing, friend. I love listening to other people’s morning routines; it’s always interesting to see what goes into the beginning of their days. And Cleo! Haha. She’s feeling them doughnuts! xoReplyCancel

  • jaime / the briny04/11/2015 - 5:37 pm

    i totally experienced the same thing when i tried out a sleep app. i kept waking up and wondering if i should or shouldn’t move.(?) haha!

    i got a much-needed new blender today and celebrated with this coffee. it’s delicious! i used homemade sunflower milk, which probably doesn’t contribute such lovely flavors as coconut or almond milk might, but the tahini creamed it right up. rich and delicious. the mesquite in there is hella grand — i never would have thought to put it in coffee!

    i think your cookbook posts are my favorite. reading how you invest your energies and attention into delving into someone’s cookbook is just wonderful. thanks as always for sharing what you do, laura. xoReplyCancel

  • Rachael04/11/2015 - 6:14 pm

    I can’t handle coffee, either, even though I love it so. It makes me jittery and kicks my digestive system into overdrive–not fun! I will have to give this recipe a try for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica DeMarra04/11/2015 - 11:37 pm

    The best!! I just happened to have these ingredients in my pantry on the morning you posted this and I am hooked. Creamy and satisfying without the inevitable crash from caffeine. I would say I like the “mouth-feel” of this drink except I hate that word. How am I going to have coffee any other way?ReplyCancel

  • Katie05/11/2015 - 7:04 am

    I absolutely adore your Blog what great recipes and pictures! Very inspirational!!
    Love Katie

  • Heidi Kokborg05/11/2015 - 7:39 am

    The coffee sounds absolutely amazing!ReplyCancel

  • renee (will frolic for food)05/11/2015 - 6:34 pm

    oh i feel you on the caffeine sensitivity thing! my brother drinks espresso at 5pm and sleeps like a baby and i’m like WHAT DEVIL MAGIC IS THAT. i can’t drink caffeine after 12pm or my sleep patterns are a wreck. i can’t wait to make myself a big ol mug of this wonder coffee, tho! i’m all about those morning rituals now. i’ve been steadily working my way into become a morning person too. and it was painful at first. but now i’m way into it. i like the sparkly mindful quiet in the AM too.ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food05/11/2015 - 8:43 pm

    I have yet to try bulletproof coffee of any variety, so this vegan one might have to be my first! A few ingredients I’ll need to procure, but I’m game!ReplyCancel

  • Jill @ Sew French07/11/2015 - 12:58 pm

    Love reading your blog! I cook a lot of vegan recipes.
    I’m going to try this with my favorite French press brewed coffee. My aunt gave me a sleek ESPRO for Christmas. Coffee nirvana! But, I get the jitters too. Thanks for sharing! ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Rachel@TheCastejons09/11/2015 - 4:48 pm

    I need to run out and get that book asap! And then read it while drinking that super comforting cup of coffee. Thanks for the great recipe :)

  • sara forte10/11/2015 - 12:12 am

    I have been ok not owning a blender until this recipe. I mean I have a little magic bullet for smoothies and dressings and I’m hoping I can pull this off. My pregnant self hasn’t been in the kitchen much lately and I am extremely envious of your posts and instagrams as of late with all your book business going on. Oh how I’d love to be your roommate right about now. Hope all is well, lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Sophie | The Green Life10/11/2015 - 12:30 pm

    Love, love, love everything about this post. So much coziness. Waking up early is still a huge struggle for me, but I love the idea or getting excited about your morning ritual as you go to bed at night. I need to try this! I love all the wonderful additions you made to this coffee. Mesquite is one of my favorites too. Wonderful, Laura. <3ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Allan12/11/2015 - 7:40 am

    I discover the bulletproof coffee before several weeks and from then it become my favorite drink :) so that`s why I can not wait to try your better version :) Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • […] I had to get some fasting blood work done in advance of an annual physical. So instead of my usual beautiful ritual of rolling out of bed, feeding the cats, and then toting a strong, steamy cup of brewed world […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Laura from The First Mess didn’t make anything from the book. Instead she took the idea behind one of the “Lives” and talked about her morning routine. I love reading about other people’s mornings. Loved this post so much! […]ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer03/01/2016 - 1:10 pm

    I’ve been saving this recipe for a while, waiting for a lazy Sunday, and am sipping your better than bulletproof coffee now as I type. I didn’t have the mesquite powder, but even so, the first words out of my mouth on the first sip of this drink are not suitable for civil society. THANK YOU.ReplyCancel

  • Abby08/01/2016 - 7:41 pm

    I’ve made this recipe my last two days off! The only changes I made changes were that I used almond butter and left out the mesquite powder. I love the creaminess of the drink and the foam that separates! It’s a real morning treat.ReplyCancel

  • Juliana Vitale13/10/2016 - 1:47 pm

    this looks amazing and will def try out over the weekend! Now that our temp has finally entered the “fall” season! Btw, where is your mug from? love it! and love your blog!ReplyCancel

    • Laura13/10/2016 - 2:49 pm

      Thanks so much! It was a random find at HomeSense/Home Goods.

  • Kathryn29/12/2017 - 1:13 pm

    Made your recipe this morning and we loved it! Was planning to take a pic but it was so good, it was *gone* before I even remembered to get my camera out. Thanks, Laura! This is definitely going to be our new morning ritual. Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • […] it!2. BETTER THAN BULLETPROOF COFFEE: Raw cashew butter is are secret weapon here. Once you throw it in the blender with some hot […]ReplyCancel

  • […] The Portland Trailblazers drink a highly precise version of bulletproof coffee on game days. NBA stars! They’re just like us :D I have an excellent vegan bulletproof coffee right HERE. […]ReplyCancel

  • Olivia16/03/2019 - 10:29 am

    I have made this before and loved it, so I made it again today and saw “blender” I forgot, so I figured out a lazy way. I added everything but the coffee to a large pot and heated it (next time I will add the ingredients after the milk is heated, it stuck to the sides of the pot and made a mess). Once hot, I added coffee from my Moka pot (espresso machine is on my wish list) and used my aero latte foaming wand, and wow!!! It worked so great, and just a pot and that wand cleans up like nothing. Also, I substituted 1/4 tsp ground cardamom for the mesquite powder (I thought spicy, I then googled and found it’s sweet, then I added an extra tsp of maple syrup) Those subs worked well, thanks again for this great recipe. My goal is to batch make this at some point, so I can just scoop some out of a container in the fridge.ReplyCancel

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