Caffeine/Theanine Ratio in Tea: Why It Matters, and Why It’s So Hard to Measure

I recently read an online article, supposedly vetted by experts, that claimed that white tea has no caffeine. Yeah. Add that to misleading articles arguing that x tea has less—or maybe more—caffeine than y tea and you understand why people are confused about caffeine levels in tea. To be sure, discussing caffeine in tea is … Continue reading Caffeine/Theanine Ratio in Tea: Why It Matters, and Why It’s So Hard to Measure

The Role of Tea and Caffeine in Headaches and Migraine

The Question You have an excruciating headache. Someone tells you to have a cup of tea. Do you want to comply or do you want to throw the kettle at them? Well, anyone who's had a really bad headache might try something as simple as having tea. It may, after all, alleviate the pain. But … Continue reading The Role of Tea and Caffeine in Headaches and Migraine

How Does Decaf Tea Compare to the Real Thing?

"Decaffeinated" with "tea" is an ill-suited pair in my mind. Because no, I can't live without caffeine (my family will attest to this). Still, there are several flavored decaf black teas that I've found quite acceptable. But what about classic teas, those teas without flavor additives? Can those withstand the decaffeination process? Decaf tea itself is … Continue reading How Does Decaf Tea Compare to the Real Thing?

Is Sun Tea a Good Idea?

I just saw yet another recipe for sun tea—made by putting tea leaves or tea bags into a container full of cold water and then letting the thing sit in the sun for a few hours to brew. But sun tea is a terrible idea! And although this particular article (Carr 6/1/20) claims that bacterial … Continue reading Is Sun Tea a Good Idea?

How Tea Is Decaffeinated

Caffeine Most people have an opinion about it! Some of us require a dose (or two!) before facing our day whereas others avoid it. And many of us—to ensure that we aren't counting sheep all night—eschew caffeine in the evenings. So, How DO You Get Caffeine Out of Tea? Actually, it's rather tricky. Tea's caffeine rival—coffee—is a bit more straightforward in this regard. … Continue reading How Tea Is Decaffeinated

Caffeine: You Think It, You Feel It?

In The Music Man, Professor Harold Hill charmingly dupes the River City populace. He first takes their money for musical instruments and then purports to teach their kids how to play said instruments. . . . by telling the kids to simply think of the notes . . . and then play them. With Professor … Continue reading Caffeine: You Think It, You Feel It?

Prefer Tea over Coffee? Your Choice—or Decided by Your Genes?

Tea or coffee? As in, which one do you prefer?Innocuous question, right? Yet earlier in history, as tea and coffee were first arriving to their shores, a European's response might have reflected such weighty issues as: power (who had the means to bring tea and coffee to Europe) wealth and status (who could initially afford … Continue reading Prefer Tea over Coffee? Your Choice—or Decided by Your Genes?

Tea in the Poison Garden

Tea. In the Poison Garden. In Ireland, land of tea drinkers. Apparently recklessly risking their lives, in 2016 the Irish drank more tea per capita than any other country except Turkey! So after being taken aback by the skull and crossbones, I did read the rest of the sign: The 'cup that cheers but not … Continue reading Tea in the Poison Garden

Milk in Tea?

Add milk? Good heavens, no! Adulterate an excellent cup of tea?! Except, of course, a lot of people—perfectly fine people, friends of mine even—prefer to add milk to their tea. And they are certainly entitled to do this. But can I use science to support my strict No-Milk policy? Well, like most things, answers are neither clear-cut nor simple. … Continue reading Milk in Tea?

Does Caffeine Protect Against Dementia?

A Moving Target Health claims and dietary guidelines seem about as stable as Michigan weather—wait a moment and things'll change. That Perhaps Hasn't Moved Far Enough But sometimes, guidelines should change. Consider this: Although study after study has demonstrated the many benefits of tea and coffee, our federal dietary guidelines for Americans for 2015–2020 first say "when choosing … Continue reading Does Caffeine Protect Against Dementia?