When you hear the words black tea, green tea, or white tea, you know that tea comes from a leaf. But what do you think of when you hear the words tisane, herbal, and rooibos? You may know what herbal teas are, but what about rooibos or even Tisane? There are two main categories for tea: the tea that comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is black, green, and white tea, and the teas that don't. Teas that do not come from the Camellia sinensis plant can have various ingredients ranging from flowers to herbs to fruits. Possibilities and combinations are innumerable. These teas are called tisanes, and the main differentiating characteristic is that they do not come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Let's learn about and categorize the teas that would fall under the category of tisane.
Tisane is defined as a beverage made from a hot water infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, or other plant materials. Tisanes may contain herbs like Rosemary, flowers like chamomile, fruits like blueberries, and spices like cinnamon. If you put any or all of these four ingredients together, you would have a tisane blend. Many tisanes found their beginning in Egypt during 1550 BC. Chamomile was recorded to be enjoyed by Egyptians in the Ebers Papyrus. It was used to honor the gods, embalm the dead, and cure the sick. Herbs like dill and basil were also blended into tisanes to help with digestion and treat heart issues. It was not until 1070 BC that herbal tisanes became a standard beverage for personal enjoyment.
A more proper name for herbal teas is tisane, but it's often referred to as herbal or wellness teas. The primary ingredient is usually an herb like lemongrass or mint but includes other ingredients like flowers and spices. Many herbal teas have spices like turmeric and flowers like chamomile. With the combination of so many ingredients, the most accurate name would be Tisane, but herbal is what usually sticks. Most herbal blends are often used for medicinal reasons due to the beneficial qualities of the ingredients. Certain recipes can be made to assist with certain ailments depending on the type of herb, plant, or spice used.
Rooibos tea comes from a specific bush from the plant family of Facaceae, found mainly in South Africa, meaning red bush. This plant is sometimes fermented when it is processed, which results in a reddish color. When it's not fermented, you get green rooibos which was introduced in the mid-1990s, but red rooibos continues to be the most popular of the two.
Brewing Methods for Tisanes
Now we know that tisane means anything that does not grow from a Camella sinensis plant. The next thing to know is how to brew it. Ingredients in Tisanes are often sturdy and can handle higher temperatures. Unlike white tea with the lowest oxidation level. which makes it very sensitive to higher water temperatures, most tisanes can be brewed at higher temperatures. Follow our brewing guide for the specific kind of tisane to get the most out of your flavor and benefits.