In the research published in specialist journal Food Quality and Preference, 50 students were split into two groups, one was given a cup of black tea to drink and the other a glass of water. They were then tasked with making an "attractive and creative" design out of building blocks, followed by a test to come up with a "cool" name for a new noodle restaurant.
Their work was then judged for creativity and design by other non-participating students. In the first test, tea drinkers scored 6.54 points while water drinkers scored 6.03 points. In the second test, the tea drinkers scored 4.11 against 3.78 for the water drinkers.
“This work contributes to understanding the function of tea on creativity and offers a new way to investigate the relationship between food and beverage consumption and the improvement of human cognition,” the report stated.
"Two biological ingredients, caffeine and theanine, have beneficial effects on attention, which is an indispensable part of cognitive function.”
"But the amount of tea ingredients our participants absorbed was relatively small. Also, theanine facilitates long-term sustained attentional processing rather than short-term moment-to-moment attentional processing."
They suggest that it’s the mood boosting properties of a good brew that encourages extra ingenuity.
There are plenty of other proven benefits of putting on a pot – researchers from Edith Cowan University’s School of Medical and Health Sciences examined more than 100 tea-related studies from around the world, and found that the hot stuff can help prevent a number of diseases.
Black, white and green varieties can reduce the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, thanks to their flavonoids.
So bottoms up!