Does Black Tea Reduce Stress? You Missed a Big Opportunity!

Today, I was stressed about what happened at the workplace and wanted to come home quickly to relax with my favorite hot cup of black tea. Black tea and stress have a close connection. If not for my tea, I would have been depressed long before due to work, family, and financial issues, but I always trusted black tea to relieve me from day-to-day stress. 

According to research, people who drink black tea can relieve the day more quickly than non-black tea drinkers. The stress hormone cortisol levels are also lower in black tea drinkers than the non-tea drinkers after being exposed to a stressful event. 

Black tea can reduce the risk of dementia and depression. Researchers have also found that black tea has brain-boosting ingredients such as L-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). 

Does black tea lower cortisol levels?

Cortisol is a hormone in our body that gets activated in stressful situations. It increases our blood glucose level and will increase the glucose uptake by the brain. 


For example, suppose you made some mistake at the workplace, and your boss got to know about it. In that case, your cortisol level might be skyrocketing. However, once the situation has settled, your cortisol levels will also drop gradually.

Black tea has been found to decrease cortisol hormone more quickly after a stressful event [1]Quinlan P, Lane J, Aspinall L. Effects of hot tea, coffee and water ingestion on physiological responses and mood: the role of caffeine, water and beverage type. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1997 Nov;134(2):164-73. doi: 10.1007/s002130050438. PMID: 9399380.

This is why we feel more comfortable and relax after drinking a cup of black tea. Scientists prove this fact; however, the mechanism of how black tea compounds reduce cortisol levels is yet to be found. 

Other than lowering cortisol levels, drinking black tea has also reduced blood pressure and platelet activation [2]Steptoe A, Gibson EL, Vuononvirta R, Williams ED, Hamer M, Rycroft JA, Erusalimsky JD, Wardle J. The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Jan;190(1):81-9. doi: 10.1007/s00213-006-0573-2. Epub 2006 Sep 30. Erratum in: Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Jan;190(1):91. PMID: 17013636..

This means that people who drink black tea can come out of stressful situations more quickly than those who do not drink black tea. 

How does black tea help with stress?

Black tea helps us to recover more quickly from a stressful situation. Relieving our stress is connects to lowering the stress hormone cortisol, as mentioned before.

Although short-term stress helps us meet challenges in our life, such as studying for an exam rather than watching TV, it can damage us in the long run.

In this situation, stress becomes our enemy, causing us to hurt mentally and physically. This is why we need to let go of the everyday stress by drinking a cup of back tea.


One study published in the journal Psychopharmacology in 2007 has found, black tea can lower the stress hormone levels in our body.

The group of participants who drank 4 cups of black tea a day have relieved the stress more quickly than people who drank the control drink (fake tea substitute). The black tea drinkers’ stress hormone cortisol level was lower compared to the fake tea drinker.

For this study, 75 volunteers have participated. These people were male non-smokers who drink black tea regularly.

Researchers divided these men into two groups. They asked one group to drink 4 cups of black tea per day and the other group to drink a fake tea similar to black tea in color, taste, and smell.

They had to avoid consuming different types of tea, coffee, and other caffeinated drinks during these six weeks.

Researchers then exposed the participants to different stressful events. The researchers measured their cortisol, blood platelet levels and how they rated their stress level as they feel.

Researchers have found that both groups of men had increased their heart rate and blood pressure levels during stressful events.

However, the dropping of cortisol levels in black tea drinkers was rapid compared to the fake tea drinkers.

This is seen by dropping 47% of cortisol after about 1 hour in black tea drinkers and only 27% drop of cortisol in fake tea drinkers.

Black tea drinkers themselves have rated as feeling more relaxed after about 1 hour of the stressful event. The black tea drinker’s platelet activation was also lower compared to the non-tea drinkers [3]Steptoe A, Gibson EL, Vuononvirta R, Williams ED, Hamer M, Rycroft JA, Erusalimsky JD, Wardle J. The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Jan;190(1):81-9. doi: 10.1007/s00213-006-0573-2. Epub 2006 Sep 30. Erratum in: Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Jan;190(1):91. PMID: 17013636.

Long term stress and black tea

Being under stress every day and most of the time will keep your cortisol hormone levels elevated most of the time.  It might lead to many other health complications such as;

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Digestive problems
  • Memory and concentration impairment

In my opinion, you can prevent yourself from progressing your daily stress into long-term stress and then into depression, memory and concentration impairment, and sleep problems. 

You need to follow home remedies like drinking black tea to combat stress after daily work. This will prevent you from feeling stressed for a long time more frequently.

Compounds in black tea that give mental health benefits

One of the primary compounds in tea is catechins, such as EGCG and L-theanine. Some sources say EGCG is the compound that gives mental health benefits of tea.

However, L-theanine was known to provide mental health benefits when combined with caffeine [4]Rogers PJ, Smith JE, Heatherley SV, Pleydell-Pearce CW. Time for tea: mood, blood pressure and cognitive performance effects of caffeine and theanine administered alone and together. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2008 Jan;195(4):569-77. doi: 10.1007/s00213-007-0938-1. Epub 2007 Sep 23. PMID: 17891480.

Researchers have not identified yet what compound has a beneficial effect on mental health after drinking black tea.

This is because black tea is a chemically complex beverage with many ingredients.

Is black tea good for depression?

A compound in tea called theaflavin might reduce depression and will reduce memory impairment.

Theaflavins in tea is also found to reduce anxiety. Theaflavins benefits are coming from increased dopamine turnover in the brain. 

Research regarding black tea and stress is in the primary stage yet, and we cannot use that piece of evidence to derive a clear-cut conclusion.

Can black tea reduce the risk of dementia?

A study done with elderly Chinese people who drink black tea consistently has a reduced risk of cognitive disorders.

These findings also suggest that people who are at very high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future might also reduce the risk by 86%.

A study done in a laboratory has found to reduce cognitive defects linked to unhealthy dietary habits by catechins in black tea.

Can black tea enhance cognition and memory?

Black tea has both L-theanine and caffeine in combination. This combination of compounds has been found to improve memory, attention, and alertness. But we cannot get the benefit of these two ingredients by taking them separately.

Which black tea is best for stress?

Different types of tea differ in taste, processing method, and maybe in composition too. Following are a list of black teas in other parts of the world;

  • Darjeeling tea is known as the champagne of tea.
  • Keemun tea from China
  • Assam tea 
  • Yunnan black tea from china
  • Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka
  • Earl Grey tea
  • Nilgiri tea from south India
  • Bai Lin Gong Fu tea
  • Lapsang Souchong tea

Any tea from the above list will help you to combat stress. But the flavors of each of those teas are different. So, you can choose a black tea according to your taste preference. 

The world’s best black tea is Darjeeling tea, also known as the champagne of tea. This tea has a delicate light, fruity and floral taste. There is no need to drink this tea with milk. This tea might help you combat stress like the other types of black teas. Its flavor is a bonus. 

However, my favorite tea from the above list is Ceylon black tea. It has a bold, strong, and rich flavor that I adore. It is the black tea I prefer to drink after a hard day of work to reduce stress and soothe my mind.

Another tea that I love is Yunnan black tea. I love this tea because it is partially fermenting, and it’s chocolaty, malty, and dark flavor. If you are someone like me who loves the chocolate flavor, then you will love this tea. You can relax your mind after a hard day by tasting this chocolatey tea.

Earl tea is the most famous flavor tea in the West. This black tea is a flavor with natural and artificial citrus flavors. It will soothe your stressed mind while pleasing your taste buds. 

What are the other benefits of drinking black tea?

  • Black tea might reduce your high blood pressure. You can also get this benefit by drinking green tea, according to the present evidence. Black tea might also reduce the inflammation in the arteries.
  • Black tea might increase the activation of brown adipose tissues, which might contribute to weight loss. Also, black tea improves the gut microbiota composition growing the bacteria associated with lean body mass and decreasing bacteria related to obesity.
  • Drinking black tea might also prevent you from getting type 2 diabetes.
  • Some evidence suggests that regularly drinking black tea can reduce cardiovascular disease risk. 


In conclusion, black tea and stress have an inverse relationship. Many of us have experienced this as we depend on our cup of black tea to soothe our minds from day-to-day stress.

Black tea reduces the stress hormone cortisol level in our body quickly to recover from stress more quickly just after drinking a cup of black tea.

Not only reducing stress, but black tea might also reduce depression and dementia. It might also improve cognition and memory, making black tea an all-in-one package.