The Best Coffees to Wake You Up in the Morning

Unsplash | Nathan Dumlao

Every culture around the world has a unique way of waking up in the morning, and coffee is certainly the most popular beverage in America. From espresso drinks to drip coffee, there are a large variety of options to perfect your drink of choice in the morning, each achieving a different purpose for your day.

Drip Coffee

The most classic coffee drink, and the easiest to brew at home, drip coffee is a fantastic way to wake up in the morning. Taken black, with cream, or with non-dairy milk, drip coffee is the perfect baseline for new and experienced coffee drinkers alike. Drip coffees often a middle-of-the-road caffeine kick, with around 70-100 mg of caffeine in a standard 8 oz. cup. Caffeine content can vary depending on roast level — light and medium roast coffee beans tend to have more caffeine than a dark roasted bean — but there will always be a significant wake-up buzz from a drip coffee. Drinking drip coffee in the morning also provides your body with antioxidants to boost your day, and some suggest having a warm beverage in the morning helps to kickstart your digestive system from its dormant state while you sleep, among other health benefits.


One of the more fashionable coffee drinks in beverage culture right now, straight espresso is like a drip coffee with the volume turned up. Espresso can be ordered as a single- or double-shot, and often contains 70-90 mg of caffeine in each individual shot. Espresso is brewed at high pressure in a short span of time, creating a strong, concentrated, and flavorful drink that can be drunk straight or added to water to create an Americano, an espresso-based version of a drip coffee. For the best of both worlds and extra-strong caffeine jolt, the Red Eye has become rather popular in cafes, which consists of a drip coffee with an espresso shot added to it. People with high caffeine tolerances may find that Red Eyes give a perfect buzz, though it can be rather strong for low-tolerance drinkers. While espresso can be difficult to brew at home, a Moka Pot is a great alternative to achieve a similar style of drink without breaking the bank on an espresso machine.

Unsplash | Fahmi Fakhrudin

Lattes and Cappuccinos

For espresso lovers who need a little extra substance, lattes, and cappuccinos are the solution. Simply put, a latte is an espresso shot that has frothy, steamed milk (or non-dairy alternatives) added to it. A cappuccino is mostly the same, though there is a larger layer of foam on top of the drink. This added milk can provide your body with an extra boost of protein, fat, and sugars from the milk, all of which provide nutrients your body needs after being asleep. Dedicated to the bald heads of the Italian Capuchin Monks, the cappuccino and latte have come a long way from their origin, and baristas today have a lot of fun coming up with unique additions to these milk-based espresso drinks to make them even better. Adding cocoa or cinnamon powder, flavored syrups and honey, or even dipping pastries into the latte are all ways to make your drink unique to what your body needs, providing you with the caffeine and nutrients necessary to get your day moving right.

Alternatives and Additives

Straight coffee can’t be the perfect option for everybody, and there is nothing wrong with that! There are many modern options to remix your morning coffee and make a drink that isn’t as coffee-forward, while still having all the benefits. The Dirty Chai Latte has solidified itself as a mainstay in many cafes in America, consisting of a standard Masala Chai with an espresso shot added. The spices and flavors present in Masala Chai provide a spiciness and sweetness that balance well with the coffee, and also provide its own layer of long-lasting caffeine that will help prevent a caffeine crash in the midday. For folks who want to avoid coffee altogether, but still want that classic dark drink, Chaga mushroom coffee has become a popular option. While “drinking mushrooms” might sound odd, the Chaga mushroom is an earthy-tasting coffee alternative that has precise and long-lasting caffeine that minimizes the jittery feeling often associated with coffee, while also providing nutrients and medicinal compounds that promote brain health. Avoiding the addicting effects of pure caffeine, Many companies also sell chaga as an additive to coffee or flavored with chocolate to mimic the flavor profile of a dark coffee or latte, making it an easy switch to make.

Regardless of what your needs are, there is a morning wake-up drink out there for you. Try mixing up your coffee from time to time, and discover the unique options that you can use to jazz up your morning routine!

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