Mayo In Coffee: It's Not Just For Football Players Anymore

Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis is known for making headlines with his unique eating and drinking habits as much as his talents on the field. A few years ago, Levis posted a TikTok video of himself eating an entire banana, skin and all. And that's not all. Levis reportedly also drinks his coffee served with a generous dollop of mayo.

Levis' penchant for mayo-laced coffee has now earned him a contract with Hellmann's for a lifetime supply of the brand's mayonnaise. While Levis later explained that he originally added mayo to his coffee to "get a rise out of people," it seems there may be some merit to adding this unusual condiment to your java.

Mayo is rich in fat, so when mixed with coffee, it creates a revamped version of bulletproof coffee — a high-calorie coffee made with unsalted butter and medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil that can serve as a meal replacement for carb-heavy breakfasts. Considering that fatty ingredients like butter and oil have become more mainstream additions to coffee, throwing mayo into the mix may not be as groundbreaking as it seems.

Mayo can make coffee taste better

There's a rationale behind considering mayo as a potential coffee mix-in. For one, mayo is made of oil, eggs, and either vinegar or lemon juice — ingredients that are often added to coffee already. Some claim that oil, an essential ingredient in bulletproof coffee, makes the coffee taste creamier, and eggs are featured in both Swedish and Vietnamese coffee recipes — supposedly, they help neutralize bitter and acidic tastes. Even vinegar and lemon aren't as unheard of as one might think; the latter is a key ingredient in espresso Romanos.

Mayo's combination of eggs and oil mirrors the effect of butter when whisked into coffee, adding a certain creaminess to the beverage. Additionally, mayo's salty flavor can enhance coffee, as salt and acid are known to mitigate bitter flavors and highlight sweeter ones in their place — a culinary trick endorsed by Alton Brown as well. So, if you find yourself with a mediocre batch of coffee, the addition of mayo might cut through some of the bitterness even better than milk, making the drink taste sweeter.

That said, it's worth nothing that mayo can be packed with calories and sugar, so it's not the most nutritious addition to coffee. Even the concept of high-calorie, fat-laden bulletproof coffee is contested due to its high saturated fat content, which might raise cholesterol levels, per Healthline.

Tips for adding mayo to coffee

Tasting eggs, oil, and acid in coffee may not be to everyone's taste, but for those who'd like to give it a shot, there are a few things to keep in mind. Mayo's thick and sticky consistency might not blend easily into coffee, leaving unappetizing blobs floating in your drink. Consider using a handheld milk frother or blender to whisk the mayo, rather than squirting it straight from the bottle and into your coffee.

The acidity of hot coffee might also curdle the mayo, resulting in grainy bits in your cup. If this happens, you might want to consider sticking to a cold brew when using mayo. If you find yourself turning into a bit of a mayo-in-coffee fan, it's also a good idea to splurge on a quality product: Look for mayos that have minimal unnecessary additives. Mayos made from lemon might also taste better in coffee than those made with vinegar.

Once you're ready to get brewing, start with a small amount of mayo and work your way up. In general, one teaspoon of mayo for an eight-ounce cup of coffee is a good place to begin — it's easier to add more if needed than to fix a cup of coffee that tastes a little too mayonnaise-y.