Drinking coffee is more than just a habit for many of us – it’s an obsession. The fact is that our blood is probably made of coffee bean extract at this point, and we need it to survive.

Those of you who are coffee newbies may not understand, but we promise, it is worth it. There is nothing more energizing or relaxing than a warm cup of coffee in the morning. Think of it as awakening your zen before a really tough work day, or enticing you to get out of bed and into the car ahead of morning rush-hour traffic.

Over the years, this remarkable beverage which brings life to so many has evolved into many different, iconic forms. By far, the most popular types are brewed coffee, espressos, and Americanos.

Those of us who are addicts have already had them all, and we tend to have our favorites depending on the day. But for those of you who are new, here’s a breakdown of everything you’re missing:

Brewed Coffee

We’ll start with the basics. You may have smelled the coffee pot brewing every morning in your own kitchen or at the office when you arrived. That’s the good old-fashioned cup o’ joe – and it’s where your journey should begin.

One of the reasons this coffee is so popular is because it’s so cheap. Coffee makers do all of the work for you, leaving just the coffee grounds to buy. Add water and preto – life in a cup in just under a few minutes.

Coffee makers have come so far as well. Let me put it you this way, what a time to be alive! Coffee makers now come with automatic brew settings that will make it so coffee is ready for you right when you wake up.

Talk about human progress!

Espresso

Think back to your college years. If you weren’t already hitting up a local happy hour spot, was the most effective way to get a good buzz going before you went out to the club? Shots.

Well, espresso is best served in tiny glasses that resemble those shots you took in college – but much tastier. These little nuggets will power you up for hours to come and thrust you out of your mid-afternoon lull.

After all, the name espresso means “express” in Italian.

Basically, the expresso carries a much higher concentration of coffee to water, making it full of flavor and infinitely more creamy.

Espressos also have their handy little machines, called Espresso Makers. They can also brew cappuccinos, which are basically just espressos with crème or milk.

Americano

It doesn’t get more star-spangled than this.

Café Americano is a diluted espresso, basically just adding hot water. The result is a tasty, smooth drink that still provides the same jolt of energy.

As with any American product, it’s simply bigger and can be even more powerful.

These can be made at home using your espresso machine, but it’s imperative that you add the hot water into the espresso and not the other way around. Adding the espresso into the water will make it a long black, which is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT beverage.

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