L-theanine: a non-protein amino acid that is mostly found in tea. It’s a brain calmer and mitigates the “jittery” effects of caffeine which explains why the ancient Buddhist monks loved tea as part of their meditation practice. You can actually buy L-theanine in capsule form from health food stores—it’s marketed as anti-anxiety supplement, but I prefer to get mine the natural way through drinking good tea. Besides the brain calming benefits of this compound, it also imparts a savory taste character to tea which the Japanese especially like.
Next time you’re drinking your tea and notice a calm coming over you, it may be the L-theanine at work—relaxing you and taking you on a mental vacation.