Morning beverages are indispensable to both, good and lousy sleepers – for the former they are a cherished part of their morning routine and for the latter, an inseparable aid for feeling awake.
Elaborate tea and coffee traditions around the world have seeped into the ergonomic morning routines of the fast-paced modern world. While waking you up and preparing you for your day, that morning cup of tea or coffee also ties you to age-old beverage traditions.
Therefore, finding the perfect morning blend for your preferred beverage is absolutely essential. That perfect cup that marks the beginning of your day should be one perfectly suited to your needs as it sets the tone of how you’d want your day to proceed.
Moreover, if you can find an ethically-sourced, unique, local blend, you could make your morning cup extra special and perfect, while helping the planet.
While finding your perfect cup of coffee, it is essential to keep certain factors in mind, such as your preferred level of caffeine, preparations of coffee suited for the morning, different roasts, as well as alternatives to traditional coffee if you are an adventurous spirit. So, here are a few things to look for when finding your morning coffee –
While some of you may prefer a really strong caffeine hit in the morning, some may prefer gentler transitions to the state of being awake.
Therefore, those of you who prefer a lesser caffeine kick should stick to traditional milk-based breakfast coffee preparations like cappuccinos, lattes and mochas. The fat content in the milk provides energy, and the milk and coffee proportions in all these preparations can be adjusted for a milder caffeine hit.
For those of you who require a stronger caffeine buzz, options like a simple espresso shot, a double espresso or an Americano would do the trick.
While many of you might prefer the simplicity of black coffee, mornings might be the time for coffee options with some milk content. Cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and macchiatos are options best had in the morning as they are more filling and provide energy for the rest of the day.
Black coffee can usually be consumed at any time of the day, therefore you could think about sticking to the milk-based options in the morning and drinking lighter black coffee at other times of the day.
Knowing the roast of your coffee beans is also essential; light, medium, dark and extra dark roasted beans all have different flavour profiles. Therefore, customizing a blend of roasts can yield you that cup of morning coffee best suited to your taste.
Roasts can also be coffee bean and region-specific, so choose a blend whose base notes and acidity levels are in accordance with your taste.
Those of you who are adventurous coffee drinkers may like to go for certain out-of-the-box preparations and new brews in the morning. Green coffee can be an interesting option for you all to try, as its light, almost herbal flavour may make for a good morning brew.
If you are one of those people looking for different, more filling breakfast coffee preparations, you should definitely try French Toast and Horchata Lattes, and other such flavoured coffee latte preparations.
And if you tend to wake up feeling hot, iced versions of most coffee beverages might help you feel appropriately caffeinated and refreshed in the mornings.
Similarly, when you are looking for your perfect cup of morning tea, you should keep certain factors in mind, such as the level of caffeine you prefer, whether you wake up cold or hot, fragrance notes, and alternate tea brews. Keep the following in mind while finding your perfect morning brew –
Those of you preferring a stronger morning caffeine buzz should try and stick to exploring different types of black teas that may suit your palette; Assam tea, Darjeeling tea and Keemun tea may be good choices.
The semi-oxidized Oolong tea, with moderate caffeine content and refreshing flavour can prove to be a good morning drink for those who prefer gentler caffeine kicks.
Green tea options are perfect for those who prefer low caffeine drinks. With a lighter flavour and fragrance, green teas can be the perfect morning tea for those looking for low-caffeine refreshers.
Hot or Cold
If you tend to wake up feeling warm or hot, it is best to go for iced versions of teas or lighter flavoured ones for a refreshing and cooling effect. Lemon ginger green tea, peach black tea and mint green tea poured over ice are some great options to try if you tend to run warmer towards the morning.
For those of you who run perpetually cold, and tend to wake up with freezing hands, adding spices and ginger to a warm morning brew is a really good option. Infusing your choice of black tea with ginger and black peppercorn is a great choice for warmth in the mornings.
Moreover, variants of Indian spiced tea or chai, with milk and sugar are also great for generating warmth in the body, while making for perfect breakfast beverages.
While traditionalists prefer the aroma of their tea unaltered, many of us tend to enjoy our morning tea with a little added fragrance from aromatics like cinnamon, ginger, mint and lemon. If you are one of those who prefer citrusy fragrances in their tea, then look for teas flavoured with elements like lemon, lime, orange, peach, bergamot etc, or simply add the rinds of such fruits to the water with which you infuse your unflavored black or green teas.
For more floral notes, teas scented with jasmine, rose, hibiscus and lavender may do the trick. Adding a few whole spices to your tea infusion can also add to its flavour and aroma.
There are several other options for those who wish to experiment a little more with their daily morning brews. A simple alternative is the matcha latte, as it combines the familiar taste of powdered green tea with milk, and produces a different, more filling morning beverage.
Caffeine-free herbal tea blends, like lavender and chamomile tea, are also a great alternative for those looking to break their caffeine habit, yet craving a morning beverage. The South African Rooibos (Red tea) or the Korean Yuja (Honey Citron) teas are also caffeine-free tea options that can be tried for their antioxidants and immune system boosting properties.
Hopefully, keeping the above-mentioned elements in our mind helps you find your perfect morning cup of tea or coffee that helps you feel energized, refreshed and ready to start the day. Perfecting your morning beverage takes time and effort, so make sure you take your time to understand your own morning requirements, and then customize your beverage accordingly.
Therefore, keeping in mind your own needs, experiment with different concoctions to settle into the perfect morning routine with the perfect cup of coffee or tea, that brings you joy, peace and fulfilment.
What is the best tea to wake me up?
As mentioned above, black teas usually have greater caffeine content. Therefore, if you are looking to feel awake, black teas are the best teas to go for. Customize a blend in accordance with your own palate.
What is the best kind of coffee?
The quality of the coffee depends upon several factors, including the type of bean, the roast, the grind, storage technique, and ultimately the way it is brewed. Also, personal tastes play a great role in determining whether a particular kind of coffee is suited to your palate or not.
What are some alternatives to tea and coffee?
The alternatives mentioned in the article above include both caffeinated and caffeine-free options for both traditional tea and coffee preparations.
Written by Visakha Chowdhury
The author tries to walk the treacherous tightrope between 10.00 p.m. and 2.00 a.m. bedtimes, willfully falls to the dark side a bit too often, and miserably tries to claw their way back to an eye bag-less existence.
Find her on Linkedin.