I bring up tea not only because it’s the much celebrated week of midterms, but also because of personal preference. I rarely drank coffee in high school, and if I did, it was because the peppermint mocha was back for its seasonal debut at Starbucks or because I needed to be up in order to finish a paper. To me, coffee wasn’t a recreational drink, and it still isn’t. Coffee just doesn’t taste as good as it smells – wouldn’t it more make sense if it did?
Anyway, I found my substitute caffeine fix through tea.
The cool thing about tea is that you can manipulate its abilities for a specific situation. Chamomile tea can help calm a stomachache, for example, and if you needed to stay awake, black tea would provide you the same amounts of caffeine as coffee. Thus, for all those tea-loving junkies (and for those looking for a break from coffee), I’ve noted some beneficial ways you can fix some problems you might run into during this stressful week with tea.
Bloating, Gas and Everything In Between
Look for: Chamomile
From speeding up the healing process of skin rashes to soothing canker sores, chamomile can work wonders. However, there is one wonderful effect of chamomile that can specifically help us during finals week: stomachaches. Let’s break the ice. Everyone gets them, and no one is immune from that gastrointestinal mess. Stress can trigger stomachaches, and we wouldn’t want to have one studying, or worse, during a test. Basically, its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic qualities can save your grade.
Can be found at: Kerckhoff Coffee House (Cozy Chamomile Tea or Chamomile Lemon Tea), Starbucks (“Calm” tea) and Trader Joe’s (Organic Chamomile Herbal Tea).
Stress and Anxiety
Look for: Mint
Mint leaves have menthol, a natural muscle relaxant. This ingredient, commonly advertised in cough drops, can also help you get a good night’s sleep (or nap, in our case). A cup before a test or before bed can certainly help your nerves stay put, right where they belong. Also, mint tea is usually decaffeinated, so don’t worry about drowsiness while taking your test.
Can be found at: Kerkhoff Coffee House (Moroccan Mint Tea or Mint Medley Tea) and our very own Bruin Plate (Spearmint Tea).
Feeling adventurous? Try The Coffee Bean’s Ginseng Peppermint Tea
Sleepy & Unfocused
Look for: Black Tea (Black, English Breakfast, Earl Grey)
Black, oolong, green and white teas are all made from a shrub called Camellia sinensis. Yet what differentiates the four teas is their oxidation level. Black tea has the highest levels of caffeine because it is oxidized the longest. In addition, polyphenols, antioxidants found in black tea, are known to fight oral cavities and plaque – something we should utilize in the midst of stress-eating and late night De Neve.
Can be found: Kerkhoff Coffee House (English TeaTime, Earl Grey, Breakfast Blend or Aged Earl Grey)
Feeling Adventurous? Besides Starbucks’ Black tea & Classic Chai Tea, try the Iced Earl Grey Latte or an iced Arnold Palmer (lemonade and black tea). Also, Peet’s Coffee & Tea has a variety of black tea which includes Winter Solstice and Assam Golden Tip.
Quali-tea studying awaits
There is a wide range of tea from orange spice to passion fruit, but ultimately it comes down to the basics.
The quarter’s halfway over, and we’re in the home stretch, everyone – let the tea help us.
(Above) Tea selection at Kerckhoff Coffee House