Want better sleep and less anxiety? Drink Cold Brew Tea instead of coffee
Cold brew tea is better for you than other kinds of caffeine. Yeah, we said it.
One of the main reasons I launched Kashmiri Tea House’s range of Botanical Cold Brew Teas is because of anxiety & caffeine sensitivity; mine to be precise. The two don’t necessarily always come together, but if you do have both - as I do - they definitely don’t help one another. Starting this business wasn’t an immediate 1 + 1 = Botanical Cold Brew.
This was a journey of several years and the decision to start a business involved many variables, but in the end my driving purpose was the lack of good options for someone who doesn’t want loads of caffeine. Before we go on, if you got this far and are asking yourself; “wait, what is cold brew tea,” I wrote all about that here.
I make the Botanical Cold Brew range for people like me, whose generalised anxiety is a constant and for whom sleep is a healing respite which is diminished by coffee culture. It took me a while to accept that coffee culture (rather than just caffeine itself) was a source of negativity for someone like me, so I’d like to explain what I mean.
Coffee culture has spread across most of the world and the UK is no exception. Coffee itself has been around for a centuries, however in the past 30 or so years, regular consumption (both for alertness and as a social activity) has become more present on our high streets and homes than ever before. This has led directly to a dramatic increase in coffee consumption.
The same way many people find it challenging to not take part in socialising around alcohol; the excitement, “FOMO” or status associated with coffee culture makes it similarly hard to ignore. Of course in a perfect world you can “just not have coffee” - and that’s where the journey began. I started to ask - if you don’t want coffee but do want something with a bit of energy, must you drink poorly made tea? Or sugary sodas? Quite often these are the only options. So instead, quite often, you have the coffee.
Now I realise it’s pretty bold to say that “cold brew tea is better for you than other kinds of caffeine” but the facts are clear, and I’ll get into it shortly. I appreciate that there are some people who aren’t that impacted by the effects of caffeine, but they’re in the minority (and my goodness am I jealous of you.) For those of us who are effected by caffeine - the main downside of copious amounts of coffee in our diet is its effect on our nervous system, digestive system and in many cases our sleep.
Broadly speaking, science has shown us that caffeine - because it’s a stimulant - elevates your adrenaline levels, elevates your heart rate, increases your blood pressure, dehydrates you and because it remains in your system for 6 or more hours after consumption - can severely impact your ability for deep sleep by blocking the adenosine response that your brain needs to trigger sleep.
This is if you have a normal response to more than 2 cups of coffee a day. Now layer on anxiety. The NHS & Mind defines anxiety as a feeling of worry or fear - it’s a normal human response to a source, or multiple sources, of stress. Constantly feeling stressed, worried or afraid can result in Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - which is where you feel anxious and worried over a prolonged period of time and it’s caused by a range of situations rather than one primary event (like COVID-19.)
Of course, one of the symptoms of GAD is heart palpitations. Our bodies respond to anxiety and stress by releasing cortisol or adrenaline. This is our in-built defense mechanism to a ‘fight or flight’ experience - where we feel out of control or in danger and so our bodies release this hormone to help us react faster to a perceived threat. So if you live with generalised anxiety, your body is in a regular state of elevated response; making your heart and mind work faster than it needs to, leading to wider health issues like panic attacks, ulcers etc. Consuming coffee on top of this is very unhelpful.
To sum it up
Over consumption of coffee - stimulates adrenaline, raises your blood pressure, over works your heart, dehydrates you, disturbs your sleep
Anxiety - heart palpitations, over-stimulates adrenaline, prolonged emotional stress, can’t sleep well
Not a great combo, is it? Given that we live in a world where stress, devices, work and now a pandemic and its associated lockdown are already negating our ability for rest & recovery - the question to ask yourself is : "do I really need to be drinking all this coffee?"
To be clear, I’m not trying to say coffee is bad. Real coffee, well made and sustainably sourced can be nice. For many people, coffee in moderation is usually fine. However for a lot of people, swapping coffee or any excessive caffeine, (looking at you energy drink market) for cold brew is a quick and easy way to enjoy a gentle caffeine source.
Cold brew tea offers the option of caffeine that is gentler and smoother to drink since cold extraction draws out less caffeine. More crucially, it has loads of Antioxidants and L-Theanine. This is an amino acid that occurs in many plants - including Green Tea - and in humans it relieves anxiety. If you’re struggling with bad sleep and also experience generalised anxiety; doesn’t it make sense to drink something which helps these problems rather than exacerbates them?
Rather than cold turkey cancelling caffeine all together, have a go at a hydrating, gentle caffeine source. Stress free, flavourful, natural and delicious. Personally I think you’ll find a favourite out of the three flavours, Saffron, Rose or Pomegranate, but you can always try the mixed case first before you make up your mind.
Zero jitters, calmer heart, better sleep - why not?
Shop our Botanical Cold Brew range here.