At my last desk job, I dedicated an entire drawer to tea and tea-making paraphernalia. In fact, I consider tea an essential office supply, right alongside pens and staplers. Here are five kinds of tea that are helpful to have on hand, from morning and afternoon pick-me-ups to preparing for a meeting, de-stressing, and soothing the stomach after lunch.
I've included a few readymade tea bag brands, but you can also create your own looseleaf blends. Mountain Rose Herbs is a good source for organic teas, herbs, and supplies.
Morning alertness: Alternatives to coffee include black and green tea and guayusa, an Ecuadorian plant with a caffeine level between that of coffee and green tea. I've found that guayusa boosts mental focus without causing jitters.
• Try it: Runa Guayusa Tea
Throat care: Have a big presentation to give, or is your voice feeling taxed after a long meeting? Teas made from mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm, marshmallow, and licorice root can calm and soothe the throat.
• Try it: Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat
Stress relief: Everyone has to find his or her own best way to relieve tension, but for me a cup of tea, alongside deep breaths, is essential. I like sipping and smelling tea with lavender, which has calming effects.
• Try it: Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief
Digestion: Indigestion can be especially uncomfortable at work. Be sure to see a healthcare professional if it's a chronic problem, but for occasional gas or bloating after a big lunch, carminative herbs like fennel, ginger, and mint can help.
• Try it: Gaia Herbs Gas & Bloating Tea
Afternoon energy: Feeling an afternoon energy slump? Green tea is mildly stimulating and research has shown that it freshens breath and helps fight tooth decay — perfect for after lunch!
• Try it: Eden Organic Sencha
What kinds of tea do you like to drink during the workday?
Related: Eating at the Office: What's in Your Snack Drawer?
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(Image: Emily Ho)