Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Herbal Flavored Teas— also known as tisanes —are a major part of the tea world, but did you know they're not technically teas? What is commonly referred to as an "herbal tea" is actually an infusion or decoction made from a plant other than Camellia Sinensis—the plant from which true teas (green tea, black tea, oolong, white and pu-erh) are made. For this reason, there is a trend toward the use of terms like "tisane" (pronounced ti-zahn), "botanical," or "infusion."
Some tisanes are caffeine-free and can be served hot, cold and frappe. Herbal teas have a long history, dating back to ancient China and Egypt, where tisanes were drunk for both enjoyment and medicinal purposes.
Tisanes are usually categorized by what part of the plant they come from. Here are some examples of each of the major categories of tisanes:
Leaf tisanes: lemon balm, mint, lemongrass, and French verbena.
Flower tisanes: rose, chamomile, hibiscus, and lavender.
Bark tisanes: cinnamon, slippery elm, and black cherry bark.
Fruit/Berry tisane: raspberry, blueberry, peach, and apple.
Seed/Spice tisanes: cardamom, caraway, and fennel.
Sometimes, tisanes are made from a blend of plant types or from multiple parts of the same plant.
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As with any tea or herbs, please consult with your healthcare provider before drinking any infusion due to potential allergies and serious drug interactions, or if you are pregnant.