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Become more creative.
Agatha Christie, the world’s best
of all time, put it quite succinctly: “Tea! Bless
ordinary everyday afternoon tea!”
Writer Fyodor Dostoevsky agreed, proclaiming
“I say let the world go to hell, but I should
always have my tea.”
And it’s not just famous authors who enjoyed a cup of tea to get the creative juices flowing. Musicians like John Lennon and Ozzy Osbourne are among its many fans. Artists such as Henry Matisse and Mary Cassatt used it as inspiration for what wound up on the canvas.
Is there a link between creative people and their love of tea drinking?
According to science, absolutely.
What the Research Says
As the world’s second most - consumed beverage, a number o f studies have been done on the effects it has. One such study involved two creative tasks – one with building blocks and the second with the naming of a fictional restaurant. Half of the participants were given water, while the other half drank tea.
In the spatial creativity task involving the blocks, the tea drinkers scored higher in the ten minutes directly after they drank tea than those who had only water. The results in the semantic study involving the restaurant name were nearly identical , with tea drinkers outperforming their counterparts..
To get even more scientific, researchers studied the effects of two key ingredients in tea: caffeine and theanine, an amino acid that’s primarily found in black and green tea (as well as mushrooms, if you’re looking to create but aren’t feeling particularly thirsty).
The results indicated that 100 milligrams of theanine and 50 milligrams of caffeine improved speed and accuracy when it came to completing tasks. Additionally, cognition ( the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses , according to the Oxford English Dictionary ) also increased, with a focus on how well the user was able to pay attention to a certain task.
Tea and the Creative Process
So tea improves cognition , but how does that relate to the creative process?
Creativity is generally separated into two categories, and we see the effects that the ingredients of a cup of tea can have on both.
The first is convergent thinking, which involves coming up with a single solution to a problem. For instance,
taking three words such as ‘out’, ‘fire’ and ‘school’, and coming up with the
missing word that relates to each one, which in this case would be ‘
The second component is divergent thinking – coming up with multiple solutions to a question, such as uses for a specific object like a hammer.
Both of these categories require an attentive mind which, as we’ve seen, is the result of tea
What’s more, even the act of preparing tea was seen to have a positive effect on
creativity, as it mentally prepared the user for the task at hand.
The Other Benefits of Tea and Creativity
1. Enhanced Skills: While drinking tea won’t necessarily give you superpowers that you didn’t previously possess, it can give a helpful boost to the tools already in your belt. The chemicals in tea, notably caffeine, assist with keeping things interesting by block adenosines, which are the natural tiredness triggers in the brain. This helps a creative person stay sharp, focused, and helps to improve abilities like writing and critical thinking.
2. Re-energizing: Studies have shown that drinking a cup of tea at bedtime results i n a better night’s sleep (assuming an option with less caffeine is on the table). There is a significant correlation between being well - rested and a person’s creative ability, not to mention the health benefits that come along with it.
3. Squelching Those Nerves
Some teas produce a calming effect, which can be especially useful in reducing anxiety. Making a creative presentation, displaying work in public, performing in front of an audience – all of these things can cause nervousness. Not only can tea do wonders when the pressure is on, it can actually improve mental health.
4. A Friend At Work
Taking breaks during periods of creativity is always a good way to ensure things don’t get too stale or mundane, and enjoying cup of tea is a good activity that helps to refresh the mind. It helps with blood flow, which in turn can increase a person’s creative ability. In fact, breaks between work on a project are often when ideas and solutions often come to the mind. The boost that tea provides enhances this.
5. Mood Booster
Unfortunately, creative types know all too well that rejection is just another part of the process. One of the keys to being successful in a creative environment is to learn to accept rejection and move past it.
While it can be easy to lose motivation when a project doesn’t go as planned, tea with caffeine and fresh f lavors has been proven to improve one’s outlook on situations. Optimism is easier to achieve and the creativity can continue to flow.
6. WINDING DOWN
As important as it is to be alert and focused in order to be creative, decompressing at the end of the day is equally vital to maintaining that drive over long periods of time. This is where decaffeinated tea is at an advantage.
Drinking it won’t keep you awake all night, and the act of doing it can help you to analyze what you accomplished during the day and w hat you hope to achieve tomorrow.
The Caffeine Content of Green Tea
In general, you can assume that each 8-ounce cup of green tea will yield anywhere from 15 to 48 milligrams of caffeine. How long the tea is steeped will affect this number greatly, however. The longer the steeping, the higher the caffeine. While all of our teas can be steeped multiple times, the caffeine content will lessen each time.