What is the Difference Between a Tisane and Tea?
All teas are derived from the same plant, the camellia sinensis (pronounced kuh∙mee∙lee∙uh si∙nuhn∙sis) plant which is a shrub commonly found in Asia while tisanes (pronounced tea∙zahn or ti∙zan), more commonly called herbal teas, are infusions made from other plants besides the camellia sinensis plant. While teas such as black tea, oolong tea, white tea, and green tea, all originate from the same plant, camellia sinensis, which contains caffeine, these teas are all harvested at different times (summer, spring, fall) and processed using different methods such as steaming, pan-firing, oxidizing, rolling, etc. Tisanes, on the other, usually do not naturally contain caffeine and are considered any infusion of herbs, spices, etc. besides true teas. Tisanes or herbal teas can be made from infusions of dried flowers, nuts, fruit/berries, seeds, leaves, and roots.
Four Main Types of Tea
All of these teas listed in this section, are derived from the camellia sinensis plant.
Black Teas – are rolled then allowed to fully oxidized or ferment before being dried. It produces a dark, robust cup of tea with a full-bodied astringent flavour. Black teas have many vitamin, nutrients and antioxidants that produce many health benefits which may include improving heart health, lowering blood pressure, lowering insulin levels, improving gut health, etc.
Oolong teas– are allowed to partially oxidize or ferment producing colours somewhere between green and dark brown. Since the oolong tea is only partially fermented, the flavour falls between black and green tea, anywhere from grassy or floral to a full-bodied flavour. Oolong tea has many of the same health benefits as black tea.
Green Teas – have undergone less processing than black and oolong teas as they are not oxidized/fermented but instead heated to prevent oxidation. They have a much lighter flavour and a cup of green tea is usually light green, yellow to light brown in colour. Green teas also have many health benefits which may include lowering cardiovascular disease, weight loss, improving brain functions, improving bad breath, etc.
White Teas – are non-oxidized, are very delicate and are considered rare which typically makes them more expensive. White teas are picked at the start of the season when the buds are young and still covered by white fuzz. The typical colour of white tea is light gold and it has a very light mild flavour. White tea has many health benefits which may include promoting healthy skin and hair, improving energy and alertness, improving heart and oral health, etc.
Many of our teas are blended with different tisane ingredients to get their unique flavour profile.
Various Types of Herbal Teas/Tisanes
Rooibos teas – is also known as the African red tea or red bush tea as rooibos tea comes from the Aspalathus linearis plant which contains no caffeine and is native to South Africa. It is oxidized to allow the oils to come out giving it a sweet rich flavour with a slightly reddish cup. Rooibos teas have many health benefits which may include improving diabetes, heart health, weight loss and reduce wrinkles.
Flowers – camomile, hibiscus, rosehip, jasmine and lavender
Leaves – rooibos (shown separately above), peppermint, spearmint, mate, and roasted mate
Barks – cinnamon, and echinacea
Roots – ginger, turmeric root, licorice root
Spices – cardamom, cloves, coriander
Many of our fruit and herb teas are a custom blend of many of the above ingredients, giving them their unique flavour profile and health benefits. Most of these teas are delicious prepared as an iced tea or hot tea and handle sugar well but not milk. A great example is our Peach Ice Cream loose leaf tisane which is shown in the picture below.