If you’ve ever had tea on an empty stomach, you know how problematic it can sometimes be. Depending on the strength of the brew, a cup of tea normally has a pH close to 4, which is roughly the same as tomato juice, however any way you brew it it’s still likely to come out slightly acidic.
Some people seem to have no problems with tea and nausea, but not being one of them, I’ve had to come up with ways to counteract the nausea and enjoy my tea. The most effective way to do this is to use food. In my trials and errors, I’ve come across certain categories of foods that seem to work wonders.
Shortbread cookies are simple and they taste relatively neutral. It is no wonder they have been served with tea for years. Other such common tea foods also work such as pound cake, scones, biscotti and even plain muffins. Amazingly, I’ve found a less than usual remedy as well in non buttered or heavily salted popcorn.
There are some things that I would avoid with tea if my purpose is to fully enjoy my cup. The main factors are strong tasting flavored berries, black berries, cranberries, raspberries, and blue berries. I find that eating these at the same time as drinking tea can severely detract from the tea’s flavor. Things that are overly salty, sour, or sweet can also have a devastating effect. For example, you wouldn’t want to be eating Anchovies with most teas! Interestingly enough, tea will also taste funny after most candies as well (who would have ever guessed?)
In my experiences, it seems that carbohydrates, or starchy foods, do a wonderful job with tea. They rarely have very strong flavors and they help fill your stomach and counteract the excess acidity. So next time you feel an upset stomach creeping up on you during tea time, don’t reach for the candy, reach for the cookies instead!