Charles Dickens once said “If you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs” and now a study by Unilever to be published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, is the first to provide scientific support for this belief.
Unilever scientists investigated the immediate effects of tea consumption and found that a cup of black tea improved mood and tended to enhance creative problem solving.
The focus of the study, conducted for Lipton Yellow Label Tea, was on the total tea experience including preparation and consumption. The specific results were revealing, with improved mood reported in the tea drinking group compared to a control group that had consumed only water. The findings that tea may also improve creativity were indicated by faster response times to problem solving challenges that had been set.
Lead Unilever scientist Suzanne Einother comments: “These findings appear to confirm what many of us suspect; that the close to sacred ritual of the tea break can effectively boost your mood, which in turn can lead to other benefits such as improved problem solving.”
“We suspect this effect is down to a combination of elements including aspects of tea preparation and the taste and aroma during consumption as well as simply taking a break from other activities. Further work is planned in order to better understand the nature of the effect tea has on mood.”
The findings are the latest discovery for the world’s favourite beverage and can be added to other potential benefits that drinkers enjoy, such as for example, the increasing scientific evidence that points to the positive effect tea may have on heart health.
Notes for the editor
- 150 regular tea drinkers were recruited for the study
- Lipton Yellow Label tea was used for the study
- Participants were given tasks to measure alertness and problem solving techniques while feelings of pleasure were assessed using a self-completed two dimensional mood scale