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Let’s get drunk… on tea.

Tea-drunk is a somewhat controversial and confusing expression since regular tea does not contain alcohol and does not make you drunk.

The main perpetrator of this “tea drunkenness” is a little molecule known as L-theanine. Consumed without caffeine, L-theanine induces a very calm state, oftentimes a sleepy one. Studies done on L-theanine show it is an effective anxiety-reducing medical treatment. Yet, when L-theanine is combined with caffeine, it is thought to increase the production of alpha waves in the brain, inducing a meditative state without making you tired.

Some people compare feeling tea-drunk to a strong caffeine buzz. This can cause positive and euphoric feelings or negative effects like shakiness or nausea. Tea drinkers may experience acceptance of the world, a feeling of contentment, or a philosophical mindset. The overall feeling is described as a Zen feeling. The side effects vary by person, but it is generally a positive experience.

Prepping for this is quite simple. A light meal is recommended before drinking your first cup of tea, which will allow your body to absorb the caffeine and L-theanine more effectively. Second, the better the quality of the tea, the better the “drunkenness” will be. Oolong, matcha or pu-erh will be the best options for this. Although loose-leaf is optimal, there are great premium bagged quality teas that will also do the trick. After you pick your tea, steep it and enjoy the ride. Tea will do you no harm, so even if you don’t feel it, enjoy the tea. 


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