Question for the Tea Gurus: What Tea to Drink?

By Jesse Jacobs

teatime

Our tea gurus (aka servers) often receive the question, “Which tea should I drink for this time of day?”

The easy answer is, “Whatever tea inspires you.” But if you’d like a little more guidance, here are a few pointers:

Going Strong in the Morning

It’s 7 a.m. and the alarm goes off. Time for work. Before you dive into another busy day, you could use a little help clearing the cobwebs out of your mind. This is the perfect time to pause for tea. Taking just five minutes to sip a cup of tea can help energize you for the day.

While all tea contains caffeine which induces wakefulness, while still being much more mellow than coffee, your brewing technique influences how much caffeine you’ll extract from the leaves. Longer steep times (1-3 minutes) and hotter water (at or around boiling point) yield more caffeine. Our Ryokucha Green Tea is a great breakfast tea because it can handle longer steep times without becoming bitter. The tea blend includes matcha, a powdered Japanese green tea, which gives you an extra caffeine boost because you’re consuming the entire leaf, rather than steeping the leaves and removing them from the water.

For a rich, hearty brew, try steeping 1 tablespoon of Ryokucha in the Vivid Brewpot, using 180 degree water, for 2-3 minutes. To get water around 180 degrees Fahrenheit, just boil water, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes to cool. Or, pour the water over the leaves when small bubbles are forming on the bottom of the kettle, rather than letting the water come to a rolling boil.

Black teas and pu-erh teas are also great for the morning, since they can also handle boiling water and longer steep times.

Decompressing in the Afternoon

It’s 3 p.m. It’s been a productive day so far, but you’re having trouble focusing on the last of your tasks as the day winds down. You want to drink some tea, but don’t want to stay up late because of the caffeine.

If you’re caffeine sensitive, use cooler water and shorter steep times in the afternoon. Green teas, oolong teas, and white teas taste great with cooler water around 180 degrees or less.

Try brewing 2 tablespoons of Bai Mudan White Tea in the Vivid Brewpot, using 180 degree water, and steeping for just 30 seconds. The same tea leaves will yield delicious cups of tea for many additional infusions, but just remember that each infusion will extract additional caffeine.

Our Apple Ginseng Oolong is another great afternoon tea. The apple and ginseng chunks decrease the amount of tea leaves in the teapot, and the tightly rolled tea leaves take longer to unravel in hot water, releasing caffeine slower than other teas.

Chilling Out in the Evening

Late on Friday night after a long week, you head home. You’re too wired to sleep but too fatigued for caffeine. Then it’s time for an herbal like Turmeric Spice. Ginger, orange and turmeric make this herbal a great digestif. It’s hydrating, sweet and creamy, and soothing to ease you to sleep.

We often use the term “tea” to talk about both teas and herbals. But real tea only comes from the camellia sinensis plant. Black, green, oolong, white, and pu-erh tea all comes from this same plant, and all contain caffeine. Blends made from other plants do not usually contain caffeine, with the exception of yerba mate, which has lots of caffeine.

Chamomile and lavender are also popular for their relaxing properties. Try our minty Chamomile Melange, or our Cacao Mint with lavender for unique twists on these traditional herbals.

Experiment

The best way to find the right tea to suit you is to try various teas. Experiment to see what works and what doesn’t work for your body. Our new Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tea is a great launching pad, combining videos, teas, and tea ware to help you explore the world of tea.

Learn the Rules to Break the Rules

Now that you know the basics, feel free to throw them out the window. If you enjoy drinking Turmeric Spice in the morning and Ryokucha in the evening, that’s great! The most important thing is to enjoy your tea and to truly taste it.

Especially if you’re drinking a high quality teas such as ours, please–don’t just swig it back to get your daily dose of antioxidants. Savor each cup. With every sip, pause and listen to your body. Note the taste, and the sensations it may induce.

So we’re back to our original suggestion, to choose the tea that inspires you. For some folks that might be the same tea, every day like clockwork. Others might have 30 teas in their cupboard, one for every mood.

Whatever tea may be in your cup, our wish for you is this: May you truly taste your tea, and in turn, truly taste life.

 

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By Jesse Jacobs
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