A simple cup of tea sparks an instant burst of brainpower and creativity, according to a new study - within minutes of drinking a brew.
Volunteers in the study almost immediately scored better results in creative and cognition tests than those who had drunk a glass of water, researchers found.
The findings suggest it could be the antidote to everything, from writer's block to artists looking for inspiration during brainstorming sessions.
Although tea contains caffeine and theanine, both associated with increased attentiveness and alertness, these do not usually take effect instantly.
Instead, researchers believe tea works to enhance and create a 'positive' mood which in turn sparks the brain's cognitive regions into life.
In tests for the specialist journal Food Quality and Preference, Yan Huang of Peking University's School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences conducted two tests on up to 50 students, with an average age of 23.
Perfect cup of tea
As the students gave their name, age and other details to researchers, half were given a cup of black tea to drink and the other half a glass of water, before immediately going into one of two different tests.
The first test saw them asked to make an "attractive and creative" design out of building blocks and in the second they were asked to come up with a "cool" name for a new noodle restaurant.
Their results were judged by other, non-participating, students for creativity and design and marked on a scale by the researchers.
In the block building test, the tea drinkers scored 6.54 points against 6.03 points for the water drinkers. In the name test, the tea drinkers scored 4.11 against 3.78.
The results show that tea helped both divergent thinking - the process of coming up with a number of new ideas around a central theme and what most people would consider to define creativity.
The report said: "This work contributes to understanding the function of tea on creativity and offers a new way to investigate the relationship between food and beverage consumption and the improvement of human cognition."
They added: "Two biological ingredients, caffeine and theanine, have beneficial effects on attention, which is an indispensable part of cognitive function.
"But the amount of tea ingredients our participants absorbed was relatively small. Also, theanine facilitates long-term sustained attentional processing rather than short-term moment-to-moment attentional processing."
Instead, tea is a 'mood enhancer' and this may have been why it worked so well in the short term, it added.