The Best Teas: What to Drink to Wake You Up, Calm You Down, and Maybe Even Replace Your Wine

teas for busy womenI can’t believe I’m about to write these words, but they’re true: I’m getting into tea.  For years I have resisted tea, hating the “bitey” taste of green tea, and not seeing the appeal in black tea. The closest I came to “liking tea” was either with fruity blends of crushed/dried flowers and fruits (without any tea leaves in there) or “sick tea,” which is just hot water with honey and lemon.  But then I started reading about rooibos tea as a wine replacement on random Reddit threads from people looking to moderate their drinking, and I thought, huh, I guess I’ll give it a try.  And much to my surprise, I liked it — it didn’t have the bite from green tea, it didn’t taste like warm jello like a bad fruit blend, and it didn’t require a fresh lemon. It’s just a warm, comforting, drink.  Finally! I thought. I get it! (By the way, I think I’m giving up wine for 2017 (but not liquor or beer); I can write more on this if you guys want.) Back to teas for busy women — the whole experience made me realize that there’s a much bigger world to tea than just green and black tea.  So, today I thought we’d go through a few quick benefits of different teas, but I’d love to hear from you, readers — Do you drink tea? What kind of teas do you like best, and what purpose do they fill in your life? Do you drink tea to replace wine, or wake you up, or calm you down? Do you like the routine or ritual associated with teas? Which type, brand or blend is your favorite? 

What to drink to replace wine or for an afternoon routine: I have no idea why, but rooibos was recommended by a few places I looked on the Internet. It also has a lot of other supposed health benefits, including improving blood circulation, promoting healthy hair, being anti-inflammatory, and more. I also like that it’s caffeine free, and requires a long steeping time (5-7 minutes), so if you tend to get distracted the way I do, you’re OK if you leave the bag in too long. (According to this Eat This, Not That article it’s also supposed to curb hunger, but I feel like drinking any big glass of liquid before dinner will do that.)

What to drink for tummy trouble: I’ve long sworn by peppermint tea when my tummy doesn’t feel good (other benefit: it makes your office smell nice!), but I have a new favorite: this Lemon & Ginger tea from Yogi Blends.  There is a serious difference, though — I’ve always found peppermint tea soothing if my tummy isn’t feeling well, whereas the lemon & ginger tea tends to sort of be like a kick in the gut.

What to drink to wake up in the morning: I have no plans to give up my two cups of coffee in the morning, but if you can stomach it, this is obviously where green tea excels. Another friend swears by his Yerba Mate, which is supposed to give you a smoother boost of energy in the morning.

What to drink to calm you down at night: I happily drink my rooibos tea at night as well (so far so good), but I’ve heard awesome things about this caramel tea. And of course, there’s also the very popular line of Celestial Blends’ Sleepytime Teas, which I’ve used from time to time in the past.

When I was nursing, I drank raspberry leaf tea on the advice of my lactation consultant to help boost my supply — it’s also supposed to be great for relieving menstrual pain.  When I was weaning and my hormones were going crazy, I drank nettle tea on the same woman’s recommendation.

Ladies, what do you recommend as the best teas for busy women? Do you have a favorite tea — and what do you view its purpose as being?

best teas to replace your wine the best teas for busy women: what to use to wake you up, calm you down, and maybe even replace your wine


  1. I love rooibos tea.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Me too. Currently drinking a pumpkin spice rooibos tea from Trader Joe’s. Big fan. Actually I am a fan of all the tea I have gotten at TJ’s and they have been pretty inexpensive. So far I have tried:

      Vanilla Black Tea
      Mango Black Tea
      Pumpkin Spice Rooibos
      Moroccan Mint Green Tea
      Sencha variety (the ginger Sencha was so good!!)
      Well Rested (for night time)

      • JuniorMinion :

        Also forgot to add, although Kat discusses Yerba Mate I would steer clear of this. When I was in ibanking, its what people used to use to stay awake all night and it will make you amped up. Like, 6 shots of espresso amped up

        • You know, I tried it and felt like I got nothing from it – not even the lift I would get from black tea. I wonder if mine was no good, or if it just does different things for different people? (I didn’t care for the flavor much, either.)

    • How do you pronounce rooibos? I like it but never feel comfortable talking about it out loud. In my head it’s roo-eh-boo or roo-eh-boy. Those can’t be right.

  2. Teas for busy women? For God’s sake

  3. I’m not a big tea drinker. I really like Harney & Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine tea when I do drink tea though. It’s a nice mild green/white tea with jasmine flowers.

    I am interested in hearing about cutting out wine thing.

  4. I often put a tea bag in my bottle of water for cold tea. For hot tea I love Stash lemon ginger tea, TJ Moroccan mint, and any hibiscus teas. I also really love my Cuisinart electric kettle, which has different temperature settings.

  5. Anonymous :

    My entire family are big tea drinkers. I buy 100-count boxes of Stash tea on Amazon. They have many varieties, Lemon Ginger being one.
    Costco green tea is also great.

  6. ‘Tea to replace wine’? You’ve got to be kidding me

  7. TO Lawyer :

    I’m intrigued by the idea of tea to replace wine. I’m trying to lose weight and thus cut down on my wine consumption and I don’t feel like tea replaces the cravings for me.

    Can you talk more about that Kat, as well as your decision to give up wine for the year?

    • JuniorMinion :

      I swapped mine out on weeknights first with fun flavored craft diet sodas (think those low calorie jones ones / diet craft rootbeer) and then with fun flavored la croix (improvement over diet soda i think) / seltzer water. I am particularly partial to the grapefruit one. I also brew lots of herbal iced tea (in houston so hot tea, aside from my freezer box office, feels less awesome). This helped me a lot – finding a way to continue the ritual but just replace what I was having with something else delicious.

      I am still struggling on the weekends but have had good luck with pouring myself half glasses of things so I get the experience without all the calories.

      • Topo Chico is my go-to if I’m craving a glass of wine but don’t want to drink one for whatever reason.

    • I’ll try to write something for the blog soon. Lots of thoughts — it’s been an interesting five weeks or so. (I stopped drinking it after Xmas.)

      • Reminded of this article freaked me a bit

    • I think replacing wine with tea could actually work for me.

      The reason I drink wine, honestly, is because the only other think I drink is water/seltzer, and so having a glass of wine seems like a special thing I can do in the evening. Not to say I would completely give up wine for tea, but I can see some nights (especially during the winter) being able to replace wine with tea for the same effect.

  8. Coach Laura :

    I have always been a tea person. Love the smell of coffee but had never liked it.

    I have English breakfast tea w milk and sugar every morning.

    I don’t like pure green tea except w Asian food but love the Lipton superfruit Orange Passionfruit and Jasmine tea and drink 5-8 cups a day at work. Try it if you don’t like the bite of geeen tea as it’s not sharp.

    I love Trader Joe’s Mint melange for sick tummy days and I also drink it after work as a wine replacement. Yes I do drink tea as a sub. Will have to try rooibos.

  9. FrankieCat :

    Earl Grey, Hot.

  10. Anonymous :

    Yes, I want to know more about giving up wine but still drinking beer and liquor.

  11. Anonymous :

    I like Snarky Tea.

    And yes, it is largely because I find the packaging amusing.

  12. Frozen Peach :

    Herbal tea has been my magic bullet for hydration during the work day. I hate drinking flat water and had several experiences seeing the maintenance crew clean the black mold out of the office water cooler machine…yuck. Now I’m notorious for showing up to meetings with two cups of tea (one isn’t enough for an hour!).

    Here are my go-tos– if you stop by my desk you’re always welcome to try a bag!

    Bigelow I Love Lemon (includes Vitamin C which is nice)
    Traditional Medicinals Cup of Calm (nice for stressful meetings)
    Kava Kava tea is great for stress as well
    Bigelow Red Raspberry and Perfect Peach
    Twinings Mixed Berry (black tea with caffeine but so delicious)
    Celestial Seasonings wild berry zinger
    Yogi Honey Lavender

  13. I’m not usually a hot drink person, but I do like the Aveda tea and its cheaper alternative, Yogi Calming tea. I like the sweet taste, so I am trying to use this as a replacement for actual sweets in the evening.

  14. There are some cute tea subscription boxes to help you find new teas (and get fun gadgets too). I’m currently getting Tea Box Express but thinking of switching to either Muse Monthly or Novel Tea Club (both of which include a book and some tea).

  15. Has anyone tried the Kava teas? HOTG seems to like them, and I’m curious about the calming/drunk feeling

    • New Tampanian :

      I tried real kava at an outdoor festival recently and it. is. weird. They tell you not to drink it if you have been drinking alcohol.

      It made my mouth numb (this is normal apparently) and I didn’t like how I felt after just a couple sips. I stopped drinking a little more than 8 months ago and they tried to tell me it would be a good substitute. Nope. Not for me.

  16. Anonymous :

    Turmeric Ginger Tea is the best late afternoon drink. Have it everyday.

  17. Harney and Sons has many great tea options – my favorite is the red raspberry tea. This tea always makes me feel great! I also really enjoy their Valentine blend (hello – chocolate tea!), and their Earl Grey Supreme.

  18. Tazo Hibicus Tea – warm or cold. Straight or mixed with sparkling water.

  19. Tazo Hibiscus Tea – warm or cold. Straight or mixed with sparkling water.

  20. Love coffee but generally drink several cups of tea a day. Easier on the stomach.

    Current favs —
    Stash green jasmine
    Capital Tea – peppermint and Chesapeake Sunrise

  21. No oolong lovers? There is a store in Nebraska or something (Tea Smith) that has a Dark Goddess Oolong. I also like Repub of Tea milk oolong which comes in sachets rather than just loose leaf so it’s more convenient. Oolong is sort of a midpoint between black and green tea. And for black tea, cream earl grey from Capital Tea – I like this better than straight earl grey, and Capital Tea’s is the best I’ve tried so far. If you want a special evening ritual, loose leaf tea works. Though not as a tea for a busy woman (even if you have a tea mug with a built in strainer — wet leaves are just a PITA).

  22. I like Irish breakfast tea – its very strong and I thought I didn’t like black tea until I tried Irish breakfast. I drink it straight no milk. Barrrys gold blend is good. It’s popular in Ireland.

  23. I am trying to find a tea to replace my second cup of coffee, which makes me too wired… And it is a treat in the evening too.

    Cardamom Cinnamon black tea
    The Republic of Tea (bags)

    With a touch of sugar free sweetner, a bit of milk. A tastier Chai latte. But much healthier.

  24. Indian Spice tea is a favorite of mine. I drink the one by Yogi tea. It tastes slightly sweet, like cinnamon, cloves, ginger and a touch of black pepper.

    At some point I noticed that when I drink it in the evening it curbs my appetite for snacks. Wine does the opposite. So this might be a good one to try for those of you who want to cut down on wine for weight loss.

    I know cinnamon is used to control blood sugar and I wonder if this is maybe why it lessons my urge to eat?

  25. Huuuuuge tea fan (YUGE)!

    Mornings- I do green tea with cinnamon (Republic of tea), or Moroccan Mint (Tea Pigs), or whatever sort of green tea I can find. Zen tea from TAzo is also great.

    Evening wind-down tea: decaf mint tea from Tea Pigs.

    Replace wine: I LOVE the apple cider tea from Teavana. Make a pot of that and let the conversation flow.

  26. Celestial seasonings Bengal Spice or Stash licorice are great for replacing alcohol. We usually make Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger for my toddler son instead of juice .

  27. Anonymous :

    Great post. I actually quit drinking recently after reading Kristi Coulter’s epic Enjoli essay. Things that have worked for me:
    – I bought a Zojirushi hot water dispenser to make tea fast. It lives in my bedroom on a dresser. I bought the prettiest large tea mugs.
    – I only seem to like tea at the end of the day. I go for anything that feels like a luxury in the way it is packaged. Lavender lemon is my favorite flavor.
    – I’m also now a huge fan of kumbacha and vinegar waters. Some similar flavor profiles to wine and makes it feel fun and ok, to have something colorful and cherry and complex but still a very grownup treat.
    – Melty halo top ice cream feels like a reward at the end of the day and the calories aren’t too bad.

  28. I’m not sold on rooibos, but it’s like the “in China they don’t eat Chinese food”. Perhaps I’ve never had a good Rooibos – but I do love custom made black and fruit tea blends!

    • Anonymous :

      I find regular rooibos (I have Twining’s African Rooibos) a bit too “smoky” for my taste without doctoring it. But I really like flavored rooibos tea. TJ has an Autumn Apple Rooibos and Celestial Seasonings has a Vanilla Rooibos that I buy. You might try a rooibos and fruit blend if you like black tea and fruit blends.

  29. Tea Addict :

    If the green tea you’ve been drinking is “bitey,” it’s steeping too long, the water is too hot, or the leaves are low quality.

    See water temperatures for various kinds of tea:

    For actual tea (not herbals), loose leaf has a superior taste to bags, which use broken bits and include tea “dust.” Also, depending on what grade of tea you’re buying, it can be more cost-effective to purchase loose-leaf, and there’s less waste. Single-mug infusers are come in all kinds of fun designs, but can be a little messy, so I stick to bagged herbal teas (mostly peppermint and chamomile) at work and drink real tea at home.

    If you do prefer bags, pyramid sachets are the way to go. I’m a fan of Harney and Sons: If you like flavored teas, Caribe and Tropical Green Tea blends are wonderful, as are the Apricot and Paris black tea blends, and Mango and Peach fruit.

    I received this Tea Forte sampler for Christmas last year, which contains an assortment of high-quality black, oolong, green and white teas. It’s really lovely:

    We keep cold-brew green tea in our fridge year-round. It’s not bitter at all, and couldn’t be simpler. I bought a large, round metal tea infuser at the local Asian market for about $2, and fill it with Yamamotoyama’s loose-leaf Sencha green tea: Drop it into a large jug, fill with cold water and let steep 6-12 hours. Sometimes I also add another small infuser with roasted green tea: The flavor is very close to Ito En Oi Ocha green tea, which I got addicted to while traveling in Japan.

    • It’s amazing what a difference it makes to steep the tea in the proper water temperature. Way too many people brew it too hot or for too long.

      I’m a tea addict as well – love some of the blends from Teavana. Winterberry is a current favorite. That’s my evening, replacement for wine (on some evenings) tea. During the day I mostly use teabags, but second that the pyramids give much better flavor.

      At home I drink iced tea all day. As a compromise with my husband (who likes his iced tea from straight black tea) I mix half and half. I really like the fruit teas mixed with the black tea. I have boxes of Stash tea on subscribe and save from Amazon…

  30. Tesco – Scottish Blend for mornings with milk and stevia warmed in my mug for 30 secs in the microwave. I know there are more expensive teas, some of better quality, but this tea is smooth and flavorful without being bitter.

    Eastern Shore Red Bush Tea (Rooisbos) is my go-to for afternoon/evenings.

    I would never think to replace wine with tea, because when I want a glass of wine, I want a glass of wine. For those mornings when the glass turned into a bottle the previous evening, Twinings Irish Breakfast Black Tea. Stronger than English Breakfast, but with a good sense of humor.

  31. For a healthier way to quell chocolate cravings, I swear by the Tisano Cacao Tea at Capital Teas. It is made with cacao shells and smells just like hot chocolate. It’s a bit pricey, but I drink so much of it that I end up buying in bulk for a bit of a discount.

  32. For standard tea bags, I absolutely love Twining’s Lady Grey. I find Earl Grey a bit too strong without copious amounts of milk. The Lady Grey is less intense while still being a solid black tea choice. Plus, it comes in a decaf version for mornings when I’m avoiding caffeine for whatever reason. I also like Bigelow’s Constant Comment a lot, so maybe I have an affinity for black teas that are subtly flavored with orange peel. I don’t actually care for overly fruity teas.

    Sadly, while I enjoy tea a lot, it’s not a wine replacement for me. If you actually enjoy the taste of wine (I do) and not just the psychological/social aspects of drinking (I care very little), tea seems unlikely to to be an adequate replacement. It doesn’t taste anything like wine.

  33. If like me you have moved away from the standard tea bags from the supermarket and have decided to explore the likes of loose teas I would recommend taking a look at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, they have over 1000 different loose teas from, Green Tea, Black Tea, Herbal Tea and so much more, its fair to say its very much a pick a mix for adults who love loose leaf tea,

  34. This is a great post and very true. I like to have a cup of my favorite grooibos team every day, and I can’t see how there can be a better drink for someone who wants to stay healthy. -Stella

  35. I 1000% second that Raspberry Lead Tea relieves menstrual cramps. I didn’t think it would be true, but I swear it works. Maybe it’s a mix of the placebo effect and having a warm cup of tea, but I’ve given it to tons of friends and roommates and we all now swear by it. Just make sure to steep it 10-15 minutes.

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