There are many reasons why the winter weather is depressing, but there are also many ways to boost yourself up. Drinking a warm cup of tea is just one such way.

A cup of decaffeinated tea before bed can help you sleep, while a cup of caffeinated tea can energize you — a better, more natural option than coffee or energy drinks.

Coffee can have natural health benefits, but when sugars and excessive amounts of creamers are added to it, the drink becomes less nutritionally beneficial. Tea brings both caffeination and health benefits at the same time.

One caffeinated tea that can be great during the winter months is chai. David Hale, an employee at Valentia Coffee, said chai tea is his go-to during the winter months.

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“I would probably highlight our house-made Masala Chai Latte,” Hale said. “We take a blend of organic assam black tea, organic ginger root, organic cardamom, organic cloves, organic black pepper, organic star anise, calendula petals, cardamom essential oil and cassia essential oil, and steep it in milk from Sassy Cow Creamery, which results in a warm, creamy and rich beverage that is perfect to get through the winter blues.”

Hale said 11 of the teas offered at Valentia Coffee come from 6&12 Tea, a local company.

Casey Thompson, an employee of Fair Trade Coffee House,  also suggested that spiced teas, such as chai, are a great choice for customers during the winter months.

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Chai tea is a type of black tea. All black teas have caffeine, so they’re not the best choice if you’re looking to relax or go to sleep within the next few hours. Black teas are also pretty earthy, and some people like adding milk or honey to sweeten them.

For a tea that doesn’t need any extra sugars, like honey, try Indie Coffee’s crimson spice tea. J.J. Kilmer, the owner of Indie Coffee, said their crimson spice tea is a fruity, red tea. The addition of cayenne helps wake people up and adds a kick at the end.

Other fruity teas at Indie Coffee include their hibiscus teas. They have both a hibiscus pomegranate tea and a saipon hibiscus tea. Both are quite popular, Kilmer said.

Kilmer also mentioned a variety of other teas that can be beneficial for surviving winter’s coldest moments, especially if one is not feeling well. For example, Kilmer suggested the honey licorice tea for anyone with stomach issues or looking to soothe a sore throat.

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Meanwhile, the Irish breakfast tea is energizing, Kilmer said. Kilmer described this caffeinated tea as dark and “beautiful.”

Another energizing tea is the Kyoto cherry rose tea, a green tea that is seasonally produced every year in Kyoto, Japan. It originates from the spring cherry blossom teas in spring, but Kilmer said it’s still great for the winter. Indie Coffee offers the tea all year long.

For those wanting something more relaxing, Kilmer suggested the Indian spice tea. She said it’s a decaffeinated herbal chai tea made with cinnamon, fennel and cardamom.

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As winter slowly transforms into spring, there are over 40 varieties of tea to enjoy at Indie Coffee, leaving something for everyone.

A great way to beat the winter blues is through exploring Madison. Spend some time trying out new coffee and tea shops. You might just find your new favorite tea.