Last year I quit coffee and high-caffeine “energy drinks” because it put me on a weird rollercoaster energy cycle that just was not conducive to a steady stream of productivity. I switched almost exclusively to tea for caffeine and used alternatives like cocoa, guayusa and red ginseng to get the job done.
Tea has a couple of advantages over coffee that most of us are already familiar with: the theanine which adds a greater “focus” edge to the caffeine buzz1, and its health-boosting tannin and catechin contents2
The problem with brewing beverages like tea is that it’s a more involved process than coffee, which is why many people seem to prefer the latter. Additionally, to get the most out of your tea, you need to get the loose leaf variety and must use special equipment.
I’m no stranger to brewing tea in the “traditional” manner, but I find it’s a pain in the ass if I just want something to get up and get to work. Teabags are OK in some cases, but are usually low-quality scraps3 left over from the higher quality loose leaf.
So what do you do if you want the benefits of tea without the cheapness of crappy teabags or the more involved brewing and steeping process of good tea leaves?
Instant Tea Powder Advantages
Instant tea powder gives you all the benefits of tea in addition to the speedy prep time of coffee. You can add it to water or if you think it won’t taste awful, you can add it to another beverage.
Now when most people think of tea powder, they think of the Japanese matcha green tea variety, which tends to be a premium (read: expensive) product. This is not the case for the other products I’ve found which do not have gourmet applications or unique flavor that matcha does, but still make for a decent pick-me-up.
For this Instant Green Tea I recently ordered from Health Supplement Wholesalers, I just take a 1/2 tsp measuring scoop and dump it in a normal-sized coffee mug full of water and it’s done. It cost about $12 for 10 oz., and came in two packages, each containing 128 servings. I can see these lasting me for a few months at a time.
It takes a moment for the tea powder to dissolve completely in water that is cold or room temperature, but it eventually all soaks in and disperses on its own. Stirring is only necessary if you want it to dissolve faster. Afterward you can drink it.
In terms of flavor, the instant tea is not as good as actual tea brewed with loose-leaves at the proper temperature, but it gets the job done. While unsweetened, it’s much better than Lipton tea and much better than the tea you’ll find in your typical teabags available just about anywhere. Also, unlike its highly-caffeinated counterpart “instant coffee,” instant tea doesn’t taste like the gutters of hell.
In the product I received from Health Supplement Wholesalers, the tea actually comes with a packet of stevia (a natural sugarfree sweetener) for people who may dislike the bitter tannic tastes of tea. It is possible to mix a large pitcher of the tea too, just scale up the recommended ratio of tea powder to water and mix together for convenience.
If you’re inclined, you could make the tea into an iced tea type beverage with lemon and sweetener of your choice, or drink it with warm or hot water, or dump it into a water bottle and take it with you. You’re only limited to your imagination and your tastebuds.
Instant Tea Varieties
Health Supplement Wholesalers currently offer 3 varieties of organic Instant Tea Powder:
Amazon offers some instant teas too, but you’ll have to look there yourself.
One Word of Caution
Do not drink instant tea (or almost any tea for that matter) on an empty stomach. Sorry intermittent fasters.
When I drink any tea on an empty stomach, I get terrible nausea. I attribute this to the tannins.
Otherwise, I have to say that instant tea powder makes for the perfect beverage.
Have you tried instant tea before? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.
L-theanine and caffeine in combination affect human cognition as evidenced by oscillatory alpha-band activity and attention task performance. ↩
Tea catechins and polyphenols: health effects, metabolism, and antioxidant functions. ↩
“Infusions of green tea blends had the next highest concentrations of the substance, followed by branded black blends such as PG Tips, Twining’s and Typhoo, with an average of 3.3 mg per litre, compared to pure blends.
More specialist teas such as oolong and pu’er had the lowest concentrations of fluoride with an average of 0.7 mg per litre.” ↩