A type of black tea, orange pekoe refers to the tea’s high quality, not its flavour. Leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are harvested and fermented, which results in black tea’s colour. The three grades of black tea are orange pekoe, pekoe and souchong. Because it’s simply a type of black tea, orange pekoe contains the same general health benefits all black teas provide.
Studies suggest that the amino acid L-theanine found in the tea plant alters the attention networks in the brain and has demonstrable effects on brain waves, leading to a feeling of relaxation without causing drowsiness. In one placebo-controlled study, subjects who drank tea produced more accurate results during an attention task and also felt more alert than subjects who drank a placebo. Green tea, in particular, has been shown to help individuals relax and concentrate more fully on tasks, without the jittery feeling that coffee can bring. Theanine has also been tested in the treatment of schizophrenia with some success in reducing anxiety and other symptoms.