The picture shows how tea has been helping me most lately. A stack of papers of me working on problems, and writing down notes on theorem proofs or theorem conditions in preparation for a qualifying exam I have on the 28th. I don't often talk about this side of tea drinking, though it sure helps me get through the days and helps me find more time to drink tea. But seeing as how most students, and especially most graduate students tend to be fuelled almost exclusively by caffeine.
It is the caffeine provided by the tea, that is likely why afternoon tea caught on as such a big deal in the west. That controlled energy release that does not seem overly sudden like coffee, but with additional chemicals that help do things like regulate blood sugar levels, and with the right tea and the right mood can often help calm the person helping them collect their thoughts. It's these properties that I actually owe some of my scholastic success to.
I attended a workshop about meta-cognition and how thinking about thinking can both help us learn better and more effectively, but also help us help our students learn better and study more effectively. What struck me as odd is when they were outlining the processes needed to be able to effectively absorb information, in the back of my head I realized how this sort of naturally helps fit in with my tea habits. The big emphasis is despite what the common belief is cramming and marathon study sessions often do far more harm than good.
The trick is concentrated study bursts, often less than an hour in length, and sometimes even as short as 15-20 minutes in length. But that is dedicated time where you are actively trying to absorb a large amount of information from the textbook, or trying to work creatively and effectively on a problem that is challenging you. (Though if you are making progress on the problem, there is no harm to keep working till it is finished.) But the key to actually processing the information effectively is after that burst of intense studying or work, is to then do something else that you can do without using all of your mental efforts.
For me this is brewing tea, or drinking tea. While this may seem inefficient from a time stand point, the fact that you are thinking very little about what you are actively doing, it leaves your brain time to process and think about what you just spent learning, or solving. But then after that break, go back to studying and repeat the process. I can not tell you how many times I was halfway through a cup of tea, when I suddenly had a new idea of how to approach a problem ( not always correct, but certainly something to try).
This does not just apply to academics, it really could help in almost every single job, in part because the break for tea not only helps with your energy, but also gives your mind that little bit of rest, to cool down and collect itself and its thoughts, while still thinking about how to better do what you are currently doing.