I don’t think there’s anyone out there who doesn’t need a little help starting their day. (And if there is, can you give me your secrets PLEASE?) A lot of people rely on coffee, some rely on 10 hours of sleep. If you can’t have either of those options, or are trying to cut down on your coffee intake, tea may be your answer! There are tons of energizing teas out there to choose from, and making tea can still be a special part of your morning ritual in the same way that making coffee can be.
Why tea over coffee?
I have absolutely nothing against coffee, and I love drinking a nice iced coffee from time to time. For me, my love of tea was born out of my inability to drink coffee consistently. On days when I need the serious pick-me-up, I feel nervous and jittery all day after drinking a cup of coffee. It increases my heart rate and makes me feel not-so-great. Like coffee, tea can be iced or hot, sweet or unsweetened, or with or without milk. For energizing teas, I like to stick to black tea, matcha, and mate.Tea is hydrating and, depending on the kind, can have lots of antioxidants. (It also doesn’t stain your teeth as much as coffee, yuck). Here’s five recommendations to get you started!
Mango Mate Tea
Mate tea, sometimes called yerba mate, is very popular in South American countries and is gaining popularity in other countries for its energizing effects without jitteriness. It has a grassy flavor, which is why I like my mate tea flavored. My favorite is a mango mate from Adagio Teas. I prefer it cold brewed, which means I leave the tea leaves in water in the fridge for a few hours before straining. This removes the bitter flavor that sometimes comes with brewing teas in hot water. It makes for an extremely refreshing treat!
If you haven’t been sucked into the matcha craze by now, I don’t blame you. This powdered green tea can be expensive and a little intimidating. But don’t worry, once you try it I’m sure you’ll be hooked! Matcha is said to be rich in energizing nutrients and antioxidants, giving you a great boost in the morning or midday. If you’re just starting out on matcha, look for flavored varieties and not the ceremonial stuff. Skip the “culinary” matcha unless you’ll be using it for baking or in smoothies where the quality and flavor won’t matter as much. I’ve had great success with DavidsTea’s flavored matcha line, my favorite of which is the mint matcha. It’s incredibly refreshing and energizing when made into a simple shaken iced matcha. To make it, all you have to do is shake 2 teaspoons of any matcha, 8oz of cold water, and some ice cubes together in a mason jar or martini shaker. Pour into a glass and you’ll have a cold, creamy, frothy treat! For a latte, shake with an oz or two of milk.
For a more traditional tea experience, choose a tea like Earl Grey. It’s a black tea, so you’re still getting a fair amount of caffeine. It’s smooth, slightly citrusy, and has the perfect hint of bergamot. Earl Grey is a classic for a reason! I prefer loose leaf for a more complex flavor, but Earl Grey is easy to find in tea bags or loose. I love Twinings brand, which is always incredibly high quality, but tons of brands have a classic Earl Grey blend in their lineup. Try this tea with some almond biscotti or a side of oatmeal for a perfect breakfast.
You may or may not have heard about this blend of black tea, Irish Breakfast. Cousins to English Breakfast tea, I prefer Irish Breakfast for its strong taste. Though it can get a bit bitter, it hold up extremely well to some added milk and sugar while still tasting like black tea. I highly recommend Irish Breakfast if you like adding milk and sugar to your tea for a strong, creamy cup. Irish Breakfast, like Earl Grey, is generally easy to find and very affordable either in tea bags or loose.
Tea that tastes like coffee?
If you love the taste of coffee and are looking for something different to try, yes, there are teas that purportedly taste like coffee. Teavana has their JavaVana blend, and DavidsTea has a few blends called Jumpy Monkey and Mocha Orange Biscotti. Jumpy Monkey has both coffee beans and mate tea in it, good for if you need a flavorful jump in your step! These teas are the perfect compromise between coffee and tea.
Are you a tea drinker? Think you might try some energizing teas to start your day strong? What are some of your favorite teas? I’d love to hear your thoughts!