U of Alberta: Student Tea Guide

Tea Guide“If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.”

In the wise words of William Ewart Gladstone, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain, we learn that tea is the answer for everything. (And I truly believe it is)

Maybe you’re thinking, “Tea is gross, I only drink coffee.” Well, I think coffee is gross, so we’re even.

But, I think we can agree on one thing – caffeine is a student lifesaver. Caffeine never leaves you or betrays you, so, when you’re madly studying or pulling an all-nighter to finish that paper you forgot about – it’s always there to help you out. But here’s the tough part: you have to decide what your so-called “drink of choice” is.

In my opinion, tea is the best option. But WHY?

Firstly, if you do a quick Google search on the benefits of tea, you will find that there is an overwhelming list, hundreds of articles, and research reports proving that tea is good for you.

Tea has been shown to help your bones, detoxify your body, maintain your memory, boost your immune system, and it can lower your chances of getting diabetes – some research has even found that certain types of tea can reduce the risk of getting cancer! (If this doesn’t convince you to drink tea, I don’t know what will.)

Secondly, keep in mind that plain old Red Rose tea isn’t your only option. You can choose from herbal infusions, fruity tea, white tea, rooibos, oolong – I could go on forever. There’s surely a tea out there for you; you just have to look.

Thirdly, tea is calorie-free (unless you load it with cream and sugar). And if you’re drinking calorie free, it just leaves more room for pizza.

So, based on my personal experience as a self-proclaimed tea snob, here is a guide to the best teas that will compliment your life as a student:


A finely powdered green tea that originated in China during the Tang Dynasty
Matcha is perfect for your early morning classes or your late night study sessions because it is one of the most highly caffeinated teas you can drink. I suggest adding a drop of honey and some milk to make it creamy and delicious.

The caffeine isn’t the only benefit of matcha; it contains an amino acid called “L-theanine” which is known to increase the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which helps diminish anxiety, increase dopamine, and boost your brain function. (better brain function = better student)

A strong mint leaf tea that was first consumed in ancient Egypt
Any variety of peppermint or spearmint tea will calm your nerves before your big test. It’s both refreshing and soothing.

Peppermint tea has been known to solve digestive problems, relieve nausea (which you may be feeling before your test), relieve stress, and reduce bad breath.


A daisy-like plant that is regularly used for medical purposes and was first used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome
If you’re having trouble sleeping the night before an exam or if you want a relaxing tea, try chamomile. Chamomile has been known to sooth your nervous system, acting as a sleep aid.

Earl Grey 

A black tea blended with bergamot oil that was first consumed in England in the 1820s
Earl Grey is typically my “afternoon tea”. It has just enough caffeine to give you a little kick and has a delicious dark flavor sprinkled with bergamot and occasionally a citrus flavour. Perfect for afternoon classes or study sessions.

Due to bergamot’s natural aromatherapy elements, it has been known to calm people and be a mood booster.


A herbal tea that is often blended with different ingredients such as fruit, spices, and natural flavours, the plant originated in South Africa
Rooibos is usually caffeine free, which makes it perfect for evenings when you don’t want to be up all night. Try vanilla rooibos, chocolate rooibos, or peach rooibos for a more flavourful drink.

Rooibos is loaded with minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and can help boost your immune system as well as lower your blood pressure.

So, whether you’re just beginning to drink tea or you’re a long time consumer, these teas will help you in your life as a student (and they all have health benefits, which is a major plus). If you haven’t ever had tea, I suggest you try it out – you may just become a self-proclaimed tea snob like me!

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Melissa is a second year BA in Global and Development Studies at Augustana. Her favourite pastimes are drinking tea, eating chicken wings, rock climbing and playing her ukulele. Melissa loves wearing bright red lipstick to match her hair and her sarcastic personality!