Last week I talked about immune-boosting teas as we start the school year or head back to the office. This week I want to touch on teas that help us focus and can keep us on track as we head back into the craziness of life after summer vacation.
One of the best types of teas to help you focus is oolong.
Oolong tea falls into its own category. It’s neither black tea nor green tea, but it falls somewhere in the middle. You can have an oolong that may have more black tea characteristics or one with more green tea characteristics. It all depends on how the tea is processed.
Most oolong teas are either rolled, twisted, curled into tight balls, or thin strands. They are designed to steep multiple times, on average, between 3 to 5 infusions. Each steeping has a different flavor profile allowing complex flavors to emerge.
For many years people have used oolong tea for mental alertness. When I need to concentrate, I’ll have a cup of oolong tea. I can attest to this personally as I have a cup next to me as I write this.
My new favorite is Shangrila Iced Oolong. It has an amazingly smooth flavor that just speaks to me. It is as good as my limited edition Rou Gui Oolong was, and that’s saying something.
Another new oolong is my Milk Oolong with a smooth, creamy, buttery flavor.
My Raspberry Oolong is great hot or over ice, and as it’s still quite warm here, I’ll enjoy it more as an iced tea for a while.
Oolong tea is high in an amino acid called L-theanine, which studies show has cognitive effects like improved brain activity — think of focus, better sleep quality, and reduced stress and anxiety, which I think we can all use.
Did you know that my Organic Peppermint Tea is another excellent caffeine-free tea to help you focus? It’s said that drinking peppermint tea may improve your cognitive skills, long-term memory, and mood. So if you’re having a stressful day, brew some peppermint tea. Just remember to let it steep for 5-10 minutes to get the full benefit.
Organic Hibiscus Tea is also another great option. It is made with parts of the hibiscus flower but doesn’t taste floral at all. The flavor is actually tart and reminds me of cranberries. Hibiscus tea can help lower your blood pressure levels, which in turn can help you focus.
One more tea to mention that I’m sure most of you wouldn’t think of is Chamomile Herbal Tea. Most people think of chamomile as one of the top teas for relaxation and sleep, which it is. Chamomile can stimulate serotonin and dopamine production, which can help keep you calm, allowing you to focus if the need arises. An excellent pairing for chamomile is mixing it with matcha green tea or yerba mate for an added energy boost and extra health benefits.
And not to be forgotten is Black Tea. It can also help promote calmness and alertness. Although black tea contains some caffeine, its caffeine content is much lower than your standard cup of coffee, so you won’t feel jittery or anxious after a cup or two. Plus, black tea also has decent levels of the amino acid l-theanine, which may further improve cognitive function, memory, and calmness.
So there you have it, folks. Some great choices for focus.