Three simple tea tips for improving your day
Let’s start off with a Fun Fact: Gram-to-gram, there’s more caffeine in tea than coffee. But, there is two main reasons why coffee can bring on the jitters, whereas tea tends to leave us more balanced. A conventional cup of coffee will require more grams of coffee beans to be used than the leaves required to make a cup of tea, resulting in lower levels of caffeine in tea on a cup-to-cup basis. There is also a secret weapon in tea that helps to balance out the edge we get from caffeine.
L-Theanine is an extract in the tea plant. By itself, theanine does not really do much, but when it is taken with caffeine it becomes activated. Caffeine can sharpen our attention, give us more energy, and help with our ability to focus, where L-Theanine works to provide a calming edge. All teas derived from the common tea plant will have L-Theanine as part of their make-up, though different teas, black tea and green tea for example, will have different levels of caffeine per cup.
Tip 1: Switching to a Green Tea
This leads to Tip Number 1: If you’re finding yourself hitting a wall in the afternoon, and seeking a caffeine hit, but experience problems later in the evening falling asleep, then try changing to a green tea, which has lower caffeine than black teas.
But, this comes with a footnote on the recent uptake in matcha tea consumption.
I love matcha, I drink it all the time, so this is not a swipe at matcha more than it is a word of caution. Matcha is a green tea that is processed into a dry powder. When you mix this with water or milk and drink it, you are ingesting the tea leaves, not just the extract that you would normally have when you brew tea leaves in a strainer or a tea bag. The result of this is that the amount of caffeine ingested is higher than the normal cup of green tea. (Also, some matcha teas are sweetened, which is also fine if you want a sweeter hit to your drink, but in the event you were not aware of that, now you know)
Tip 2: Try a Coffee-Free Week
Tip Number 2: See how your week feels if you go without coffee. That may sound sacrilegious to many of you, but there is a lot of coffee to be had in your life, and a week flirting with the idea of being a monogamous tea drinker is not going to hurt. You might even like it.
If you are going to do this though, give tea the chance to succeed. If you are going to take a week off from your normal morning coffee made by your local barista (who you probably see more than your actual family), then make sure you sub out the coffee for a good quality, interesting, tasty tea, and not some low grade, mass market alternate.
Try the Assam from the team at Teacha tea >
Tip 3: Be Like Tim Ferris (add some honey to that evening routine)
Finally, Tip Number 3 comes from my favourite podcaster and business interviewer, Tim Ferriss. It is a really simple one and it concerns a time of day I’ve been trying really hard to revolutionise for myself, the evening. I suck at getting to bed with any regularity. I am a cliché of the millennial generation, and I just struggle to put screens away from me before I go to bed. While I have friends who will do similar but tell me that they just eventually fall asleep with Netflix or their phone still on next to them, I cannot switch off unless my phone is put away.
Tim has a great video where he discusses his evening routine. It is his hour run up to getting into bed and all the things he does leading up to that stage. I do not have the budget that Tim does to buy my own ginormous bathtub for nightly plunges, especially in my Inner-City apartment, but I can drink tea!
I have not used the brand Tim references, but finding caffeine free tea is very easy. Many herbal teas (teas that are not made using tea leaves such as mint – as an example) do not have the same caffeine content as tea, so are a delight to be had in the evening time. You could also source decaffeinated tea. Tim adds unfiltered honey into the tea, which he anecdotally claims helps him and his friends to get to sleep nice and easily. As well as being my final Tip for Tea, it is my first tip for Honey.
Maria Popova, An Illustrated Field Guide to the Art, Science, and Joy of Tea, brainpickings, https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/10/16/a-little-tea-book-sebastian-beckwith/
Tim Ferris, Evening Routine with Tim Ferriss, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLYqhezACpc