Health,  Tea Culture

Too Late for Tea Time? Great Timing and Good Tea

So, you have made it to the end of the day. It is 5PM and it is time for tea, right? Well, perhaps not.

We know that tea is something that can be drank in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. That being said, depending on the person, they may want to avoid drinking tea first thing in the morning or in the evening after work. There are many variables at play, and we will look some of them to get a better understanding of what the best time is to drink tea.


While you might think that the best time to consume your tea is first thing in the morning, it is generally advised to wait until you have had breakfast first. Consuming tea on an empty stomach can make us nauseous. This is might be because the caffeine in tea can increase the acidity in the stomach. This can be especially true with green tea which can feel harsh on our stomach. When taken with or after meals, the same nauseating affects do not seem to occur.

Takra, a type of Indian Buttermilk (Picture: Source)

Still, celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija recommends that, instead of tea, we can opt for some lukewarm water or buttermilk to invigorate our digestion. These are caffeine-free alternatives that might make us feel awake because they strengthen our digestive capacity. This is different then tea that might make us feel awake because of the caffeine.


The afternoon can be a great time to drink your tea. If you were planning on exercising in the afternoon, it might be a good time to consume your. One study found that matcha, a powdered green tea, was seen to induce fat oxidation in females. Green tea might also help us recover from exercise.

Interestingly enough, there is a whole culture that surrounds the Afternoon Tea Time. Observance of the custom of the afternoon tea time originated amongst the wealthy social classes in England in the 1840s.[6] The ritual was invented by the seventh Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russell, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, around 1840.

Could not stand to go two hours without tea. We know the feeling… (Picture: Source)

As industrialization further developed, wealthy English people were having their evening meal later. They would still eating lunch at midday. The Duchess wanted to fill the time between with some sort of meal. She asked that some tea, butter, bread, and cakes be delivered to her room late in the afternoon. This became a habit for her and she started to invite friends over to share in afternoon tea.

In modern times, it seems people have kept with this tradition but mainly for celebrations. There is an informal afternoon tea session taken by the middle to lower class. This doesn’t seem to be as elaborate as what is described above. The afternoon tea time seems to run counter to certain scientific findings. One study concluded that those who struggle with iron deficiency might want to wait 1 hour after a meal before consuming tea. This is because the tannins in tea can prevent iron absorption in the body.


Depending on the time and the tea, the evening might be a good time to have some tea. Try opting for Japanese roasted and stem teas at this time. This is because, generally, roasting Japanese teas (known as hojicha/houjicha) are made of bancha. Bancha already does not contain much caffeine, and roasting further diminishes the caffeine content. Houjicha in general can be a very cozy tea. The roasted aroma, flavor, and texture of the tea can be quite soothing, especially when brew with boiling water. We have talked about these teas in a recent post about caffeine, coffee, and tea.

With regard to stem tea, the stems of the tea plant are known to contain much L-theanine but not that much caffeine. L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea. It causes the production of alpha-waves in the brain. This tells us that it as a relaxing affect on it.

Calming in the evening, calming in the morning.

All this being said, tea is a diuretic so you wouldn’t want to drink a lot of it. Perhaps we can enjoy a cup or two as the sun is setting. As seen in the pictures above, there are actually versions of roasted stem tea. They can go by many names and we have examples on our site such as our Houji-Kukicha and Karigane Houjicha. These teas are low in caffeine because they are mainly made of tea stems. On top of this, they are roasted, further reducing the caffeine content. These teas can still impart an umami mouth feel and roasted aroma.

So to answer the question in the title, you can drink your tea whenever you like. You can just see what was discussed above as guidelines. We hope this short article has helped you decide when to consume your tea. Feel free to follow our instagram and tiktok for more tea-related content. You can also subscribe to our newsletter by entering your email address in the designated box at the bottom of any page of our website.