Should you pick up a coffee habit if you don't already have one?

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Should You Pick Up a Coffee Habit If You Don't Already Have One?

Research about drinking coffee can be overwhelming. Should you drink the stuff or not?

A writer for a New York Times blog wanted to know the answer to that same question. Specifically, is it worth it to start drinking coffee if you don't already?

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One professor of nutrition told the Times, even though there's research on the benefits, "It's another thing to recommend it as a medical choice." And for some, those benefits could come along with side effects like insomnia and jitters.

That positive research about coffee really does seem to be getting some attention.

A recent review of coffee studies concluded drinking a few cups of coffee a day could dramatically reduce your risk of alcohol-related liver cirrhosis.

Either way, it could be a while until your doctor is writing you a prescription for your Starbucks habit.

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Should you pick up a coffee habit if you don't already have one?

What's an espresso?

Like a concentrated coffee shot (and the drink of choice throughout Europe), an espresso is "seven grams of specifically roasted coffee, extracted by an espresso machine for approximately 24 seconds," says Tal Inbar, owner of NYC's Macchiato Espresso Bar. Want to drink it the insider way? Don't order it to go. Italians drink their espresso while standing at the café.

What's a macchiato?

A macchiato is "the same as espresso but 'stained' with a little bit of foam—the word macchiato comes from the Italian word that means to stain," says Inbar.

What's a cortado?

"Cortado means cut (it comes from the Spanish word cortar). It's an espresso 'cut' with approximately the same amount of steamed milk." If you find an espresso or macchiato a little too strong, you'll love this option.

What's a cappuccino?

Three equal parts: a third espresso, a third milk, a third froth. "If frothed correctly (and if the texture is correct), this is not supposed to be so distinct and broken apart but rather a smooth, silky texture blending each of the elements," Inbar says.

What's a dry cappuccino?

Don't like too much milk in your coffee? Try ordering your cappuccino 'dry.' "This is usually very little warm milk and more foam or froth," says Inbar.

What's a red eye?

If a regular coffee is no longer perking you up the same way, try a red eye for an extra jolt: "It's drip coffee with a shot of espresso."

What's a caffe latte?

For those who like more watered-down, less-intense coffee drinks, a latte is "the opposite of a cappuccino," says Inbar. "It consists of espresso with a lot of warm milk and a little bit of froth."

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