Best Teas to Drink Before Bed
Do you ever want to drink tea but are worried the caffeine will keep you up at night? In this article, we’re going to go over a few teas that can be great to drink before going to bed, either in the late afternoon or evening. These teas are all low in caffeine, so you can get plenty of the flavor and health benefits you like from green tea, without the caffeine.
First, let’s start off by saying that all true teas contain some level of caffeine. Drinks like chamomile and peppermint are not actually teas because they do not come from the tea plant. The tea plant naturally produces caffeine as a defense mechanism to protect itself from insects. As a result, virtually all teas will have caffeine in them, although some are incredibly low in caffeine. These teas can be a good choice for later on in the day, and even at night.
The first tea we will be discussing is Hojicha, a special type of roasted tea from Japan. During the production process, this tea is roasted in a hot pan at a higher heat. This heat can reduce the amount of caffeine, making hojicha lower in caffeine than its uroasted counterparts. The tea also has a warmer and more soothing flavor to it. The tasting notes of dark chocolate and caramel are the perfect thing to curl up with at the end of a long day. For warm summer evenings, you can even prepare the tea as a cold brew and you will get the same effect. In fact, the cooler water will extract the sweeter notes from the leaves, giving the tea an even smoother taste. Hojicha is often made with more stems and older leaves than a typical sencha tea. Sencha is made from the younger sprouts of the tea plant, which tend to have a higher concentration of caffeine. That’s because these younger leaves are more tender and therefore more vulnerable to insects. The older leaves and stems are tougher, and therefore don’t need to produce as much caffeine to protect themselves. For this reason, Kukicha, a tea made from stems and Bancha, a tea made from older leaves are also good teas for the evening.
Bancha is quite an inexpensive tea, and it’s actually the second most common type of tea in Japan after sencha. This tea is made from the older, thicker leaves on the tea plant. The flavor tends to play more on these warm wood, cereal and popcorn notes. Because of the unique and more subtle taste of this tea, we think that it makes for a good “snacking tea” meaning it pairs well with afternoon snacks like popcorn and mixed nuts. The tea is sometimes drunk in Japan after a meal, to help aid in digestion. This tea makes a great addition to your evening routine and it is one of the most affordable types of Japanese green tea. It costs just $16 for 100 grams of this tea, which is enough to make 100 cups of tea, as you can reuse the leaves 5 times.
Kukicha is also another great tea you can drink before bed. This tea is made from the stems of the tea plant, which give the tea a pleasant straw or late summer grass flavor. The addition of the stems can make the overall flavor of the tea a bit more milder. For example, a tea like Karigane is made from the stems and leaves of the same plants used to make Gyokuro. While Gyokuro would normally have this powerful sweet and savory flavor that a lot of tea drinkers fine too intense, the stems can create more of a milder flavor. The Karigane gives you a more neutral taste, with notes of cucumber, canteloupe melon and straw. While Karigane is on the more expensive side, most Kukicha teas are lower in price. The caffeine content in Kukicha is also much lower than that of leaf teas, containing around 18mg of caffeine or less than a quarter of a small cup of coffee. Depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine, you can definitely enjoy this tea at night time, or even before bed. Stem teas can even be roasted to form a Kuki hojicha, which will be even lower in caffeine. The Kuki Hojicha from Mr. Issin takes on an even darker flavor profile, similar to that of black coffee, minus the caffeine.
The final Japanese green tea to have before bed is Genmaicha. This is a tea made by combining toasted rice with tea leaves. Originally, this started as a way to conserve tea leaves during times of economic hardship, but it eventually became its own popular form of green tea. Because there is no caffeine in toasted rice, it brings the caffeine content of the tea down, allowing you to enjoy this tea late into the evening. This tea has these warm cereal notes that you may find nice and soothing right before bed. The tea has a nice sweetness to it with some light grassy notes from the tea leaves. You can also get the genmai or toasted rice separately and add it to the tea leaves yourself.
So there you have it, 4 great Japanese green teas you can enjoy before bed. I hope you found this article helpful when it comes to picking out your next evening tea. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below, otherwise, we’ll see you next time!