Whether you’ve heard the term before or not, you can certainly get drunk by drinking tea. The term we’re referring to here is “tea drunk”. This phrase defines a feeling of drunkenness by drinking none other than tea. No alcohol included! It’s a much different feeling than being drunk due to alcohol.
What is Tea Drunk?
There are two different states of tea drunkenness. One is a relaxing sensation, while the other is a sickening feeling. The latter has a specific name for the phrase in Mandarin Chinese; Cha Zui, which means tea drunk.
Tea drunk is a state in which a person feels relaxed or high due to drinking an excessive amount of tea. People usually feel this way with very specific types of teas that come from the Camellia Sinensis plant.
This is most people refer to when they’re talking about tea drunkenness. The other type of “tea drunk” is the sick feeling mentioned above. This can cause:
- A light-headed feeling
These feelings are from drinking too much tea in a short amount of time on an empty stomach. This can happen to people who don’t typically drink tea or drink very little of it. Drinking strong type of teas can have a stronger chance of making a person feel this way.
What Causes You to Feel Tea Drunk?
The feeling of tea drunkenness comes from a few key components in the Camellia Sinensis plant. When it grows under certain circumstances, this plant develops higher levels of these components.
The main components that contribute to feeling tea drunk are:
- L-theanine. This is an amino acid found in all types of tea leaves. It’s what gives the tea its relaxing effect. This is the most contributing factor when you feel tea drunk.
- Caffeine. When you mix caffeine with l-theanine it puts you in a meditative state where you feel relaxed and alert. This is the reason you usually don’t feel tired or drowsy when you’re drinking caffeinated tea.
- Catechins. These are antioxidants found in tea. They’re what makes tea so beneficial for your health. They can also have side effects when you consume them in large quantities. This is how the sick feeling can occur or it can give you a high feeling.
Again, drinking large amounts of these three components won’t guarantee that you’ll get tea drunk. It also depends on the type of tea you’re drinking and how sensitive you are to them.
How to Avoid Feeling Tea Drunk?
Depending on the person, getting tea drunk can be a good experience or it can be a bad one. If you’re trying to avoid the feeling of tea drunkenness then use these tips:
- Stay away from strong teas. This is especially important for people who are sensitive to caffeine or don’t drink that much tea.
- Don’t drink too much tea. Limit yourself to the daily recommended amount of the specific tea you’re consuming.
- Eat snacks with your tea. Eating light foods can help balance your stomach so you won’t get full off of tea alone.
- Don’t drink tea on an empty stomach. Make sure you’ve had a meal or two before drinking tea. This will prevent the nausea effect.
Which Teas Make You Feel Tea Drunk?
Tea plants that have been shade-grown are especially high in l-theanine and caffeine. Aged leaves are another type of strong tea that can make you achieve this “tea drunken state”.
If you’re interested in getting tea drunk, the best teas to try are:
- Matcha: Matcha is a shade-grown green tea that is very high in caffeine and l-theanine. It’s a very strong tea with many benefits. Because it’s a powdered tea, you drink the entire leaf which makes it so much stronger than other teas.
- Gyokuro: This is another type of green, shade-grown tea. The caffeine and l-theanine content are very high, making it a strong tea.
- Aged Pu-erh. Pu-erh is a tea aged and then fermented into a compact ball. Some people often experience being tea drunk with this tea after 2 or 3 cups.
- Oolong. Oolong is a strong tea that contains a lot of antioxidants. Be careful not to drink too much of this tea, or you could end up feeling the ill effects of tea drunkenness.
How to Get Rid of Tea Drunkenness?
If you’ve tried and failed to get the euphoric experience of being tea drunk and instead ended up feeling sick, there are some things you can do to make yourself feel better.
- Eat proteins like meat, beans, and nuts. You’ve probably started to feel sick because you haven’t eaten in a while. Drinking a lot of tea can make you feel full even though you haven’t eaten any food.
- Eat a spoonful of honey. Honey is always good for settling upset stomachs.
- Stop drinking tea for the rest of the day.
Many people will advise you to avoid getting tea drunk. However, if you don’t abuse your tea drinking habits, you may be able to achieve the meditative state many people look for. Good luck!
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.