Tea drinkers: They sure seem superior don’t they—with their fancy steepers and infusers and Earl Greys and lapsang souchongs? There’s a reason why the stimulating beverage sweeps entire countries like England and China (coffee who?)
Possibly to uncover some insights about its own population, The Independent reports that a study at Pekin University attempted to discover if tea actually makes people more creative. In the study, published in Food Quality And Preference:
a team of psychologists at Peking University in China conducted two tests on 50 students, who had an average age of 23. Half of the participants were given a cup of black tea to drink while the other half were administered a glass of water before their cognitive and creative skills were put to the test.
The tests, in our non-scientific viewpoint, were awesome, requiring the participants to make a creative installation out of building blocks, as well as coming up with a cool name for a noodle shop. The entries were then judged by students not taking part in the study. (As The A.V. Club’s Caitlin PenzeyMoog points out: “Totally subjective!”)
At any rate, the study concluded that “the findings suggest that tea boosted creativity in both tests, leaving researchers to conclude that the hot beverage improves overall cognitive function.” The main sources for that inspiration: caffeine and theanine, which have “beneficial effects on attention”; the latter shows up in tea but not in coffee. Which means we might have to attempt a switch from our beloved java to see what this lapsang souchong is all about.