If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a caffeine boost from coffee on a regular basis. And if you’re anything like the average graduate student, then coffee is almost a life source for you. Coffee might be extremely important to you, but you might just be a casual drinker of the beverage. Whatever category you fall under, I wanted to provide some opinions as well as other resources to learn more about coffee and how to get the most out of it in grad school. Here are some suggestions of what I think are the better choices when it comes to coffee, but whatever you like best is what you should purchase/make.


Coffee at Home

When I have the time, I like to enjoy a break at home by making my own coffee. I understand that many of you who like to do the same might not enjoy making coffee the same way I do, but I like using my French press to get a great cup of coffee. There are many ways to make coffee at home, so don’t feel confined to your home coffee pot or instant coffee mix. Again, I enjoy using my French press when I have time, but there’s other equipment you could use at home to get your perfect cup, including a burr grinder, an aeropress, and even an espresso machine. If you’re unsure of what equipment to purchase, if anything, try visiting your favorite coffee shop and asking their workers how they like to make coffee at home and what methods they would suggest for you.

Besides good equipment, you’ll also want to get the best coffee to make from home. In his article, Jason Heppler wrote about how important it is to purchase coffee beans as fresh as possible. However, I understand that it’s pretty difficult to have the time, means, and funds to buy truly fresh coffee beans, especially for graduate students. I found two sites that provide great lists of store-bought coffee brands for all taste buds to enjoy. A writer from the Huffington Post wrote about the best French roast coffees, and Suzanne Rust, from realsimple.com, listed the best coffees of light, medium, and dark roasts in whole beans or ground coffee.

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Coffee at the Coffee Shop

If you only have the time to go out and by a cup of coffee and don’t want to worry about making it from home, there are plenty of ways to learn how to order the best coffee for yourself. First, you’ll want to decide on what type of coffee shop you want to visit. Depending on your city’s surroundings and what’s available to you, either close to your campus or close to your home, you might or might not have many choices of coffee shops. Research the coffee shops that are close to you, and visit them to find out what type you like.

The next thing to do is to figure out how exactly to order from coffee shops. If you’re a beginner drinker/buyer of coffee, it might be intimidating to see a bunch of words you’ve never heard, so start simple. I suggest asking the barista (the title of the coffee makers) about what he/she recommends for people who don’t often order for themselves, or you could ask for their most popular drink. On the other hand, if you’ve ordered from coffee shops before but haven’t enjoyed what you’ve received, visit the Daily Meal’s website, which gives you a description of many different types of coffee that you can order from coffee shops. Also, look over this article, which is about how to order from coffee shops and about the things to focus on when ordering your drink.

Coffee Around the World

If you don’t know much about the history or industry of coffee, you might not realize that coffee from different countries has different tastes. For instance, I enjoy coffee from Colombia because of the mild flavors and its versatility from French press to espresso shots. I also enjoy Guatemalan coffee because of its rich and slightly spiced flavor. If you want to learn more about what other countries and regions of the world have to offer in their coffee, visit the National Coffee Association’s website. You can get different countries’ coffee from a number of places, including local grocery stores, coffee shops, and online. Personally, I order my coffee online from artisan coffee roasters in California.

How does your energy get lifted throughout the day? What, specifically, would you recommend to other readers?

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