Morning Brew: How To Choose Your Wake Up Coffee

This article explains what’s the best wake up coffee and where to find it.

There are few things that a coffee fan loves more than waking up to a great cup of Joe. Wake up coffee offers the kick you need to get your day started. But the best coffees for waking up are about more than just a jolt of caffeine.

Not only do they get you going, but they also taste great and are something you look forward to from the time you go to bed the night before to when your alarm sounds in the morning.

So how do you choose your morning brew?

How Do You Choose the Best Wake Up Coffee?

How Do You Choose the Best Wake Up Coffee
Wake up with the right cup of coffee

Start with Great Beans

Before you even begin thinking about drinking your morning coffee, you’ll want to consider the beans. Choosing the best beans is the only way you are going to get a great morning brew.

Ideally, you’ll get high-quality coffee beans that are unground and recently roasted. Grinding your fresh beans at home means you’ll get the freshest cup of coffee every time. Grinding at home can also save you some money.

It also means you can buy your beans in bulk and do the work yourself in your own kitchen with a hand-powered or countertop grinder.

You can keep bulk beans fresh by storing them in an airtight container in the freezer and pull out what you need for the day or week as you go. Never freeze ground coffee – only beans.

Heat Your Water to Perfection

Heating water might seem like a fairly self-explanatory process, but you have options. You can use an electric kettle, a stovetop kettle, or a weight kettle.

Note here there is no mention of heating the water in the microwave, pulling hot water directly from the faucet, or using an automatic coffee machine. If you have less-than-ideal water quality or you think your water is hard, consider using filtered water when making your wake up coffee.

It’s getting closer to your morning brew.

Now you’ve chosen your beans, ground them at home, and heated your water. It’s time to brew. You have a few options when it comes to brewing. These include:

1. Cloth Bag Brewing

A bag for brewing might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s actually one of the best ways to make a great cup of coffee. You’ll want a coarser grind for bag-brewing.

This is one of the simplest ways to make coffee and an option if you lack the usual tools you’d have for making a cup.

2. French Press

This method has re-emerged in popularity in recent years and for a good reason. It’s convenient and makes a strong cup of coffee that’s perfect for the morning.

Pressing your coffee takes a little bit of patience when actually making the motion, but overall you can get coffee quickly and easily in about four minutes.

3. Chemex

A Chemex is an artsy way to make a great cup of wake up coffee. You’ll want finer grounds than you use for a bag or French press brewing method. You might be interested in our round-up of the best tasting coffee brands for morning people.

4. Brewing Cone

This brewing method is similar to Chemexbut you don’t need to worry about the cumbersome brewing tool. You can find brewing cones made from different materials and designs, but the porcelain models tend to produce the best-tasting cup.

5. Cold Brew

Like your wake up coffee ice cold? Try the cold brewing method. You grind your beans coarsely, place them in a basket with cold water, and let them sit on the counter for up to 14 hours.

This doesn’t offer the ready-to-brew appeal of the other brewing methods, but you’ll get a strong, fruity end product that many people love.

6. Espresso

If you’re ready to automate the process as much as possible, investing in an espresso machine ensures you get a coffee shop quality product at home.

7. High Caffeine Wake Up Coffee

High Caffeine Wake Up Coffee
Have a coffee first thing for that caffeine buzz

One of the biggest reasons people wake up in the morning looking forward to their cup of coffee is because it gives them the jolt of caffeine they need to start their day. You can make your coffee stronger by choosing a lighter roast and leaving your grounds in the water for as long as possible.

So, in the case of a French press, the longer the beans soak and the slower your push, the higher the caffeine you’ll get.

If you’re looking for a stronger flavor, you’ll want to adjust your grounds-to-water ratio. Darker roasts also produce a stronger flavor because the longer roasting time creates a richer flavor.

Keep in mind that when adjusting the grounds to water ratio, you don’t want to overdo it and end up with a bitter cup of coffee. Too much on the grounds side of things, and you’ll ruin the taste of your morning brew.

Ideally, choosing a high-quality dark roast will get you the strongest and best flavor.

Make sure the coffee maker you’re using is clean and that you’re using a new filter, depending on the method of brewing you’ve chosen.

Different Types of Morning Brew

1. Espresso

Espresso is a mix of finely ground beans and water. The hot water is forced through the grounds packed in tight, so you get a thick, rich coffee. The best espressos have a natural crema layer on top. It’s a myth that espresso always has more caffeine.

Often, the caffeine content in espresso is less because the water passes through the grounds so quickly.

2. Americano

This potent coffee drink is 1/3 espresso and 2/3 water. It’s bold and delicious and loved by coffee purists the world over. It makes for a great cup of morning coffee.

3. Latte

This is a mix of 2/3 espresso and 1/3 steamed milk. It’s smooth and creamy but has more calories than straight coffee alone.

4. Cappuccino

A cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot milk, and 1/3 milk foam. It’s very much like a latte, but it has less espresso (and caffeine).

5. Macchiato

Macchiatos are made with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk. If you’re looking for something that’s higher in caffeine but has the fanciness of a coffee shop drink, this is it. But keep in mind, you’re still likely getting a lower dose of caffeine than you would with a regular cup of coffee.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.