A Cup a Day
By Ciera Miller
Have you ever stood in line at a cafe and just stared at the selection of tea that they have? There’s pomegranate rooibos, spicy chai, English Breakfast, green tea, white raspberry oolong, chamomile, Lipton iced, and so many more that I could fill an entire paragraph just naming all of them. Imagine how long it would take to read all of them, let alone drink all of them. You could drink a different kind of tea every day of the week just by breaking down your teas into the six core kinds of tea: green, yellow, white, black, oolong, and pu-erh.
On Monday, because it’s a Monday, you would need something full of caffeine. After a weekend of hopefully pure fun, returning to work or class may put you to sleep, and you’re going to need a cup of tea that gives you enough energy to keep your head up in that pesky 8am lecture or meeting. So what tea has the most caffeine? Usually, it’s black tea with around 37 milligrams, but in the case of matcha green tea, it surpasses black tea by about a solid 400% at around 130 milligrams. This is because in matcha, the whole leaf is used in the the production of it as a green tea, instead of just the smaller part used for black. So, on Monday, power through with a matcha green tea latte to stay awake and alive.
What does Tuesday call for? You’ve successfully survived Monday and sort of gotten back into the groove of the work week, and you’re thankful for it. You want to celebrate your survival with something sweet, something rich, something rare… And what tea is not only rich and sweet, but also very rare? Yellow tea! Yellow tea is mostly only found in China, and it uses more buds in its production to create a sweeter, buttery taste to the tea. It is one of the only teas to do so, which makes it stand out from all the rest. Grab a cup of Yellow Mu Dan to bring with you on Tuesday!
Wednesday. The middle of the week. You’re not yet in need of another caffeine boost, but you’re not yet in need of something to celebrate either. Everything seems to be good and you’re enjoying yourself. So why not enjoy yourself with a cup of tea? Treat yourself for all that you’ve accomplished and all the accomplishments you still have to come with a cup of white tea! Back in ancient China, white tea was only served to the royal family because of how much of a delicacy it was. It’s said to have been served to the emperor only by the purest of servants, who wore white gloves to honor and respect him. One of the emperors even lost most of his land because of his adoration of white tea! Enjoy your time like an emperor would on Wednesday and enjoy some White Peony.
Oh no, not Thursday. Arguably, Thursday is the worst day of the week. Why? Because it is so close to being Friday but it is not Friday. Thursday dangles Friday in your face and asks you how much you want it, and you really want it, a lot, and you reach for it but Thursday only moves it slightly away and says, “You have to wait another 14 hours!” It’s enough to make you grumpy and tired, and lose energy wishing for the weekend. So it’s time for another tea high in caffeine, and as we discovered before, black tea is the highest, besides matcha. But what kind of black tea? A favorite in Europe and the United States, there are so many different flavors. But will English Breakfast lift your soul enough for it to fly through the weekend, or will a spicy chai make you glide with a good attitude? I don’t know about you, but I’d grab an iced chai.
Finally! Friday! Time for a par-tea! Who knows what you’re going to get up to on a Friday night, so you have to be versatile, and the most versatile tea out there is oolong tea. Not only can you drink one kind of oolong tea, but there many different ways to steep and oxidize the leaves so that you have a different flavor, depending on your taste. Start off with one cup of Phoenix Oolong tea, and then make another batch. It won’t taste the same because every batch of Phoenix Oolong is different in its making, no matter how you follow the directions. It’s like a phoenix, rising anew from its flamy bed. The different flavors will keep your night interesting.
Saturday is also a fun day, the beginning of a weekend. You can run around all day with your friends, maybe hit the mall, grab a new dress or a new shirt that makes you look dapper. Maybe do something fancy with your new clothes, like have a dinner party with the friends from before or others. At the table, serve the fine wine of tea, pu-erh tea! Like wine, pu-erh tea is fermented, and famous for its particular fermentation because it’s fermented not once, but twice! For this reason, it smells wonderful and will only add your dinner party atmosphere. Have a nice aromatic glass of Sheng Pu-erh!
Finally, Sunday. But it seems like we’re all out of tea. Never fear! Although herbal tea is not one of the true tea types because it contains more herbs, it’s still classified as a tisane, and closely related. It’s also still fun to enjoy on a relaxing Sunday afternoon, the day that lends you comfort from the fun weekend you had and the work that Monday promises to bring. Sit outside and watch the sunset in the distance with a cup of warm chamomile, and sigh over thoughts of warmth and love.
There you have it! A cup of tea for everyday of the week. Suddenly, the tea selection at Starbucks looks a lot less scary when you narrow it down. And maybe if you drink a cup a day, you can throw out the apple, and keep the doctor away that way. Just tea for thought.
Sources: The Six Classifications of Tea – Tea Trekker, 6 Tea Types: A Beginner’s Guide | Life is Better with Tea, Does Tea have Caffeine? | Tea 101 | Art of Tea, Why You Should Start Your Day With High Caffeine Tea Instead of Coffee – Cup & Leaf, The Best Yellow Tea From Floral to Nutty, What is White Tea?, The 5 Best Oolong Teas, What is Pu-erh Tea?