When we talk about the health effects of tea, we are always talking about whole-leaf tea from Camellia sinensis. Tisanes made from other plants can have other effects and we cannot guarantee that tea bags that mostly consist of flavored tea dust. Yerba Maté is a chapter by itself.
The content of nutrients varies from tea to tea. Each tea contains different amounts of the different substances and as you are advised to eat a varied diet, we recommend drinking varied teas for the same reason. If you find tea that you want to drink every day, it is the healthiest for you.
At a very basic level, we say that tea contains (among other things) antioxidants, caffeine (in varying amounts) and L-theanine.
Antioxidants bind to the body's oxidants, which are unstable molecules the body produces, and prevent the reactions that can cause cell damage.
The type of antioxidants in tea depends on the type of tea and its oxidation time during production. Oxidation causes antioxidants to bind in chains and create larger antioxidants. Therefore, white and green tea contain the type of catechins, while black tea mostly contains theaflavins. Antioxidants slow down the absorption of caffeine and counteract the nervous feeling of stress that caffeine causes.
Caffeine is a stimulant that reduces fatigue. The amount of caffeine in tea depends on many factors from cultivation to brewing, but in general we can say that a cup of tea contains a third of the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. The amount of caffeine can be particularly affected by quantity, water temperature and brewing time, the more of these, the more caffeine. Tea bags contain small pieces of tea leaves and will therefore expose the caffeine faster than whole leaf tea.
When it comes to decaffeinated tea, there is tea that has been decaffeinated, i.e. regular tea where the caffeine has been removed. At the same time as the caffeine disappears, some of the nutrients and taste also disappear. We recommend tisanes as a caffeine-free alternative to decaffeinated tea.
The only way to get L-theanine naturally is through tea. L-theanine is an amino acid that activates the alpha waves in the brain. It triggers dopamine and endorphins and gives a relaxed feeling of concentration.