What mood are you in? Whatever it is, or, more importantly, whatever you want it to be, chances are there's a tea to match your desired disposition. While there are just four types of tea — white, black, green, and oolong — there are myriad variations, not to mention the whole world of herbal teas (also known as tisanes).
From chamomile to chocolate tea (yes, it's a thing), we've got a tea guaranteed to change your mood (ring).
If You Want to Feel Energized, Drink ...
- Yerba mate
- Chinese black tea
During that 3 p.m. slump we have a tendency to reach for coffee or sweets (or both), but why not try yerba mate instead? "It has the same stimulants as those found in tea, coffee, and chocolate," notes Dorotha Statura, tea specialist at DAVIDsTEA, "but the big draw for most yerba mate enthusiasts is that it provides a balanced energy boost that's been described as gentle and free of jitters."
Heidi Johannsen Stewart, founder of Bellocq Tea Atelier in Brooklyn, usually opts for "a good Chinese black tea, such as Keemun Black Snail," but she might also choose pu'erh, a dark fermented tea from China's Yunnan Province. Bang Wei is "an old tree pu'erh. It's floral and complex; the energy is uplifting."
If You Want to Feel Happy, Drink ...
- Chocolate tea
Everyone knows chocolate makes you happy — and, in case you didn't know, chocolate tea is a real thing. A traditional South African drink, it has all the mood-elevating benefits without the calories. Need we say more?
Typically, chocolate teas are a blend of black tea and cocoa shells, like DAVIDsTEA's Dark Chocolate Delight, but T2 has a whole line of chocolate teas including White White Cocoa and Oolong Chocolate Chai.
Not a chocolate fan? Art of Tea has a blend that is literally called "Happy Tea." It combines green tea, hibiscus, and guayusa, an Amazonian leaf touted for its gentle buzz, as well as dried raspberries and apples.
If You Want to Feel Creative, Drink ...
Rooibos is a caffeine-free tisane made from the leaves of a South African bush. "It's full of antioxidants that are great for keeping you up and alert," notes Leslie Anselme, assistant manager at T2's Soho store. She recommends the Australian tea brand's Red, Green, and Dreamy, a summery green rooibos that's great on ice.
Steve Schwartz, the founder and CEO of Art of Tea, also suggests rooibos. He describes the flavor as sweet, bourbon-like, and slightly astringent, and says that it's full of (presumably creativity-boosting) minerals and iron. His pick? Chocolate Monkey, which pairs rooibos and honeybush (another South African tisane) with banana bits, cacoa, and pink peppercorn.
If You Want to Feel Focused, Drink ...
"There’s nothing more focusing than Fukamushi," says Art of Tea's Schwartz. "This style of green tea in the sencha family is used in zen monasteries. It’s double-steamed, so you get a much richer, almost broth-like consistency, and a more concentrated caffeine. It's a mild stimulant without the crash, so you can get into the zone."
Stewart and Anselme agree that green tea is the clear choice here, too, although they prefer matcha. Anselme likes T2's flavored matcha in mint, chocolate, and cinnamon. The mint is great in a faux mojito — matcha, some seltzer, and a sprig of fresh mint — and the chocolate and cinnamon are great when whizzed with soy milk.
If You Want to Feel Romantic, Drink ...
- White tea
Stewart's choice is "a fragrant, light, and delicately floral oolong," while Anselme says something with exotic fruits: "We have one called Ayurvedic Passion, a fruity, tropical green tea with holy basil."
Schwartz errs toward the traditional: "The blend of rose, lavender, mint, and white tea is a known aphrodisiac." As they say, that's Amore.
If You Want to Feel Calm, Drink ...
- Green tea
There's a reason chamomile is the go-to sleepytime tea, but Schwartz says that mint, specifically spearmint, may be the solution if you're trying to get some shuteye. "[Spearmint is] known to balance pH in the stomach, and a lot of times the reason why people can’t sleep is that they have an upset stomach."
If you're looking to de-stress without falling asleep, Anselme recommends Buddha's Tears, a green tea with jasmine. "The hand-rolled balls smell amazing and they're really beautiful to watch unfurl," she says. And you can re-brew them up to 3 times.
What's your go-to tea when you need a mood boost? Tell us in the comments!