Tea-induced headaches

Occasionally, while drinking very bitter tea, I get a headache. It only lasts a brief while (until about five minutes after I finish the cup), but it’s intermittent. I can drink the same tea the next day, but steep it a little less so it’s not as bitter, and it’s fine.

Now I know that I should monitor my steeping time, but sometimes I throw the leaves in there and get called away from my desk, or I leave 'em a little too long, or I got lazy and never washed out my mug. (Although I got one today, and I had washed out my mug beforehand.

If the type of tea matters, it’s Imperial Earl Grey.

Any idea what’s causing this? Normally I’m pretty headache immune…

There is a reference to headaches caused “caused by dilation of blood vessels in the head that had been constricted by the consumption of caffeine” here.

Have you tried decaffeinated tea?

Not really on topic, but I commend to your attention The evils of tea (and the virtues of beer).

Oh I’m familiar with the virtues of beer, being intimately involved with homebrewing.

Thanks for the site.

Unfortunately, it completely fails to deal with my particular problem.
A closer reading indicates that caffeine withdrawal and dilate blood vessels and cause a headache.

I don’t think anyone, no matter how fast their metabolism, can go withdrawal that fast :wink:

All the same, I suspect caffeine is the culprit, as the strength/bitterness of the tea is related to its caffeine content. Perhaps your headache is being caused by the sudden constriction of blood vessels caused by the caffeine.

Migraine sufferers, such as myself, are advised to stay away from caffeine as it often leads to headaches.

unless they’re a migraine sufferer such as myself who finds that caffeine is very effective in relieving headaches.

Earl Grey & Coke are two of my weapons of choice in the migraine wars…

I almost mentioned this in my earlier post but decided not to, as I feared it might be confusing – once a migraine has already come on, some people do fine caffeine helpful as it constricts the pulsating blood vessels and helps relieve the throbbing. But if you don’t already have a headache, caffeine can bring it on.

I can drink any tea, except Earl Grey. I recently tried a decaf version of it. (At least that I s what the Tea Store told me…it was a Roobi tea.)