Caffeine jitters & Crash

Where Did The Jitters And Crash Go?

Synergies Between Caffeine and L-Theanine

Everybody knows the feeling. Thirty minutes after drinking a coffee you’re ready to climb Mount Everest, but you can’t seem to stop shaking. Another two hours pass and you're ready for bed. 

Possibly the biggest downside of coffee is the dreaded jitters and the following crash. Many people deal with the crash by drinking another coffee or energy drink...then another...and another. #Lezbehonest you’re probably on coffee number two or three right now. It’s a perpetual cycle.

Keep Calm and Drink Tea Poster

Almost immediately after launching Zest Tea we started getting feedback from customers about feeling wide awake and alert after drinking our caffeinated tea blends. That was to be expected, but many customers also commented on not feeling ‘jittery’ and not ‘crashing’ a few hours later.

For thousands of years, tea drinkers have been talking about this so-called ‘calm energy’. At first we didn’t market the effect, because we weren’t sure the average consumer would notice. It quickly became apparent we had underestimated the market (or the product). Even prominent tea bloggers like Sororitea Sisters started talking about this unexpected side effect (or lack there of) of Zest. might have put it best:

“We felt ‘in the zone’ almost more clearheaded than we would normally be with coffee by our side.

Staff writer Nick Vadala admitted to drinking at least 8-9 cups of coffee on a daily basis. With Zest, he cut down to 3-4 cups of tea, which proved to him that it matched, if not exceeded, the caffeine content in a cup of coffee. “It definitely hits you harder, but I didn't get jittery or anything,” 

This begs the question: Where did the jitters and crash go?

It ends up teas contain a rare amino acid called L-Theanine, which has a synergistic relationship with caffeine and actually helps to moderate caffeine's effects. In normal teas, one might write this off as resulting from the lack of caffeine, but with Zest, which has as much caffeine as coffee, or about three times the levels of traditional teas, it’s extremely apparent.

Although these effects have been spoken about in tea lore for thousands of years, it wasn’t until recently that academic and government groups began conducting hard studies on the synergistic relationship of L-Theanine and caffeine. One such study, published in The Journal of Nutrition found that the combination of the two substances significantly improved cognitive functions. Most importantly, these effects were not present when the subjects consumed caffeine or L-Theanine separately. There are now a multitude of studies confirming this effect.

So there you have it. Thousands of years of crazy tea lore confirmed by modern science. Pretty cool if you ask me.


If you’re interested in testing the effect for yourself you can buy Zest Tea Energy Blends at

I was born and raised in Stonington, Connecticut, a quaint oceanfront town bordering Rhode Island. The town is known for its Seaport, a late 80’s Julia Roberts movie (Mystic is part of Stonington) and its outsized reputation in sailing spheres. One particularly well known sailor, and co-owner of Dog Watch Cafe, a prominent dockside bar, is Clay Burkhalter (pictured blow). When we heard he was skippering the annual trip to bring Tethys, a gorgeous 61 ft Swan yacht, down to the British Virgin Islands, we offered him a load of Zest Tea to take along for the voyage. He gladly accepted the offer and added the tea as an alternative to the normally stocked coffee. 

Clay Burkhalter
Boating Trip Map


As is common on these trips, there are sailors on shift 24 hrs a day. The most grueling shifts are the night watches in the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning. The sailors holding the night watch are often exhausted, but must remain alert to keep the ship and her crew safe (all while in pitch darkness and hundreds of miles away from land). In recognition of the shift we made the Tethys crew a special batch of our energizing Earl Grey, packaged in a durable, watertight container, and called it Night Watch.

Coffee has been the long time go-to fuel on these 1,500 nautical mile (about 1,700 mile) and 7 - 10 day trips, so we weren’t sure if our tea would be a welcomed alternative. Upon the crew’s return, we were delighted to hear that Zest had stood up to the hefty task and had actually become the preferred choice among the exhausted sailors. Clay told us that:

 “my crew and I really enjoyed Zest, because it tastes great; really keeps you awake and alert” and, given the strenuous task at hand, was even “better than coffee”               

Clay and his crew have made this trip many times before, but this delivery was especially strenuous. Most of the trip was done in 30 mph + winds and while cruising a few hundreds of miles off the coast of South Carolina, two small fires knocked out their autopilot and engine alarms. They were forced to go off course and stop in Bermuda for repairs. It’s hard to complain about stopping in Bermuda, but a detour to the small British island can add days onto an already arduous trip. After fixing the issues, the crew started south again. A few days later, Clay, as he always does, delivered the ship to Virgin Gorda in prime condition.

British Virgin Islands Beach

P.S. If you’re planning an exceptional endeavor and want to try out Zest Tea, contact me at We want to know if Zest holds its own under extreme conditions.

Our Semi Epic Story

October 20, 2013


We (Rickey and James) started Zest tea because we love quality tea, but we also love the energizing boost we get from a cup of joe. Yes, most teas have some caffeine, but sometimes some doesn't cut it. You know those mornings.

We were sick of trading in our delicious, healthy, tea, for that sludge they call coffee at the office, so we set out to find quality energizing tea. Unfortunately, they didn't exist. Instead of whimpering and moving on (well maybe a little whimpering) we starting making our own blends of caffeine infused teas using our favorite high quality blends.

We've been tea-heads (sorta like deadheads but with different plants) long enough that we knew how to blend a great tea, but to start it was only for ourselves. Then our friends heard about what we were doing. They loved the idea and when they tasted the teas they had to have it for themselves. Eventually we succumbed to our friends pleas and decided to make our blends available to the masses. There was only one problem, we were broke. 

We didn't know what to do, until Venture for America issued the program's fellows (us) a challenge to raise money for a company or cause via a crowdfunding platform called RocketHub. Two months later (and with a lot of help) we had raised over $9,500 from 84 different funders. It wasn't much, but it was enough to get the wheels rolling. In the coming months we will finally release our first batch of Zest, with four tantalizing and energizing flavors. 

We're pretty laid back guys (but serious about our tea), so if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or just feel like talking tea, drop us a line onFacebookTwitter, or here


'I got nasty habits, I take tea at three'

-Mick Jagger

(note: we do not have moves like him)