“What’s Brewing?” is a World Tea News column of recent happenings, news and factoids from the global tea industry.
Here’s what’s notable this month:
The Tea Council of the USA is reminding everyone that it’s about time to move along from 2020 and celebrate the world's second most-consumed beverage in the world – tea!
Just in time for National Hot Tea Month (January), The Tea Council of the USA is promoting how everyone can take comfort in knowing that soothing true teas – which include black, green, white, dark and oolong – have been linked to numerous de-stressing health benefits. While tea drives comfort and relaxation year-round, the council says January is the perfect time to toast to its goodness.
Something to Sip On
According to a 2020 survey of 395 Americans conducted by Seton Hall University and commissioned by the Tea Council of the USA, consumers are choosing tea not only for cardiovascular health and immune-supporting benefits, but for improvement of mood, too. In addition, 93 percent of respondents felt calm while drinking tea, while 84 percent felt centered.
Green tea was most associated with emotional and mental health, with black tea thought of as a pick-me-up. Also, 86 percent of respondents cited having a unique, preferred tea routine to unwind, making it clear consumers are counting on tea-time as a relaxing ritual.
The Soothing Science
The Tea Council of the USA points out that studies investigating L-theanine and caffeine – the components of true teas originating from the Camellia sinensis plant – have found that L-theanine is associated with improved relaxation, tension and calmness, which many in the tea industry are promoting. L-theanine helps one relax by reducing the stimulation caused by caffeine. Studies have also found that L-theanine and caffeine support attention and memory and minimize distraction (footnote 1).
In addition, a 2020 review of studies examining pure L-theanine, concluded that 200-400 mg/day of L-theanine may help reduce stress and anxiety in people in stressful conditions (footnote 2).
A systematic review of research on tea, says The Tea Council of the USA, has shown green tea supports anxiety reduction, cognition and brain function (footnote 3). The benefits of black tea are bountiful too, with a separate study demonstrating when subjects consumed two cups per day, they demonstrated greater levels of attention (footnote 4). "Although tea can be found in more than 80 percent of households across the nation, it is much more than just a popular beverage," says Peter Goggi, president of the Tea Council of the USA. "Tea is rooted in evidence-based health benefits and steeped in tradition, from plant to cup. We look forward to seeing how consumers make these tough winter days a little brighter with tea."
To learn more about The Tea Council of the USA, visit TeaUSA.com.
1. Dietz C, Dekker M. Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition. Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(19):2876-2905. doi: 10.2174/1381612823666170105151800. PMID: 28056735.
2. Williams JL, Everett JM, D'Cunha NM, Sergi D, Georgousopoulou EN, Keegan RJ, McKune AJ, Mellor DD, Anstice N, Naumovski N. The Effects of Green Tea Amino Acid L-Theanine Consumption on the Ability to Manage Stress and Anxiety Levels: a Systematic Review. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2020 Mar;75(1):12-23. doi: 10.1007/s11130-019-00771-5. PMID: 31758301.
3. Mancini E, Beglinger C, Drewe J, Zanchi D, Lang UE, Borgwardt S. Green tea effects on cognition, mood and human brain function: A systematic review. Phytomedicine. 2017 Oct 15;34:26-37. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2017.07.008. Epub 2017 Jul 27. PMID: 28899506.
4. De Bruin EA, Rowson MJ, Van Buren L, Rycroft, JA, Owen GN. Black tea improves attention and self-reported alertness. Appetite. 2011;56:235-240.