TeaGinner said

Have you ever been or heard of being "tea drunk"?

I’ve heard and read many articles online of individuals getting physically inebriated on wait what, TEA?!? Has this ever happened to you? I don’t understand this as I didn’t think tea had physically intoxicating properties but it seems that this is a VERY real thing! So back to the question, have you ever been “tea drunk”? If so, did you drink a nice 30 year old raw pu-ehr or just drink a lot of one tea? I’m so curious as this is odd to me and just wondered. Thanks guys!! :)

50 Replies
darby select said

Yep, happened to my friend and I after attending a tea tasting and then going out for more tea. It isn’t like having alot of alcohol, but a weird feeling.

Bonnie said

Tea drunk (google this) is explained as:
1. Nausea when you drink a lot of tea on an empty stomach and feel sick or:
2. A feeling somewhat like a ‘high’ or a ‘heightened feeling of well being’ that can effect people in different ways and different degrees and is caused by the L-theanine in tea being delivered by caffeine to the brain. The L-theanine is good for you (as in healthy) and may reduce anxiety. (I’ve heard some people say they drink a high quality tea and feel it after a few small cups (which has happened to me on many occasions with certain White tea, Pu’er and Oolongs).
The feeling is not like being intoxicated with no sense of what’s going on.
Think of the feeling of being cold and getting into a hot shower and going ahhhhh. The instant sense of pleasure all over like a shiver. (I’m not going any further with this but will let anyone else enter into the conversation.)

Uniquity said

Green tea sometimes makes me nauseous, but I don’t think of it as anything good! : )

Bonnie said

Sometimes the nausea might be from higher caffeine in some tea’s too. (green tea usually has more but not always)

TeaGinner said

Awesome descriptions Bonnie! Thanks for helping me out with this concept! The first one (nausea) sounds super unpleasant but the second one sounds great. I guess I was mislead by the title of tea “drunk” as you pointed out it’s just a heightened sense of well-being!! :)

cuppaT said

Hmmm, “Orgasmic Oolong”. Frank, are you reading this thread?

Bonnie said

I wasn’t going to go there, but that word does come to mind.
I have to edit what I say from my own experiences because I have White Matter Disease in my brain and migraines and fibromyalgia already and I take anti-seizure medication. SOOOO….the tea drunk feeling for me is AMPLIFIED! I have to be careful of where I am and who I’m with or it could be awkward or funny (depending on the circumstance and I am a 64 year old single woman!). So, don’t drink a good tea with me if you’re a good looking young man unless we are not alone! (Joking! I have mucho manners!)

AJ said

Russian prisoners will often obtain tea and brew it at such a strength as to cause psychoactive effects when drunk. This brew is called “chifir’”.

Serenity said

Whoa… we need to incorporate this information into our Anna Karenina book/tea club!

TeaGinner said

Hm, it sounds really unsafe!! :P (sizzling tea bags in a pan)

Claire said

I have experienced some really mellow and euphoric feelings before when drinking tea, in particular good puerhs and oolongs.

Yup during the summer after many iced teas. I didn’t notice at first until my mom asked me, why do you look/sound drunk. That is when I googled it & sure enough you can be “tea drunk”. The following day I had everyone drinking iced tea & my mom & friend both remarked that they felt drunk.

tperez said

Yep, pu’erh or good oolongs generally give me at least a little bit of that feeling. Also felt a bit of it with a green tea sample from Mandala. I experienced a very strong “tea high” the other day with an aged oolong.

From what I understand, the theanine and GABA content are generally higher in larger leaf, old tree teas.

Dustin said

Old tree teas? Is that the same concept as with wine where you have old or ancient vines?

tperez said

Eh, I don’t know anything about wine, but probably!

Old tree/ancient tree pu’erh seems to generally be considered higher quality/more valuable and have more cha qi. Like if you look at Yunnan Sourcing’s raw pu’erhs, the nicer ones generally say they’re from old/wild/ancient arbor trees.

From what I’ve read, older trees = higher concentration of chemical compounds and generally last for more infusions. I haven’t actually had a pu’erh that I know the age of the trees from though. :P

Will said

I usually use it in a positive way, rather than using “tea drunk” to refer to a bad feeling from too much tea.

Uniquity said

I’ve never experienced it, though I do get nauseous from greens and whites on occasion (as well as green oolongs). I personally think that is a taste aversion though, and it’s nothing I enjoy, so I avoid them.

I’ve been tea drunk, it’s an awesome feeling.
Gren tea also makes me nauseous. blech.

James R said

Yes its an awesome feeling. There is the concept of Cha qi present in tea which is a sort of energy the tea has. Some sheng pu’er teas especially Lao Ban Zhang have very high cha qi. Some aged oolongs also have cha qi. This works in conjunction with caffeine (stimulant) and the amino acid L-Theanine (relaxant) to both keep you aware of everyhing as well as very relaxed. Being “tea drunk” also means you have a high level of saratonin in your brain.
Its an incredible feeling you have a heightened state of mind and state of body. You really get knocked out, sit on a comfortable couch or chair and lay back. You are aware of everything around you but you are so relaxed you don’t want to move. Keep some snacks by you too, you’ll get hungry…sounds like the effects of some other substances but yes I’m talking about tea.

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