Tea Vs. Tisane? Know The Difference To Pick The best
Image Credit: Black tea, Pexels

Tisanes, a refreshing alternative to typical beverages without caffeine, were discovered in China 5,000 years ago. They have been a hit with customers ever since. While most people are familiar with coffee and tea, the term "tisane" may be unfamiliar to some. You may have heard this term interchangeably with "tea," or perhaps you've never attended it at all. However, it's essential to note that the two are different. There are distinct characteristics that set true tea apart from tisanes. Despite their common moniker of "herbal tea," this term can be misleading, as it implies the presence of tea leaves. Armed with this knowledge, you can converse with tea connoisseurs and make more informed choices when selecting a beverage to suit any occasion.

Although the term "tisane" initially denoted any brewed medicinal drink, it has recently been reintroduced in English to differentiate non-tea beverages from tea. The English word "tea" has a dual meaning. Regarding brewed beverages, "tea" can indicate an infusion of Camellia sinensis or any herb, spice, flower, or fruit. In contrast, when referring to dried leaves, "tea" typically denotes only the Camellia sinensis plant, Whereas the definition of "tisane" encompasses all other dried plants except Camellia sinensis.

Tisanes have been widely recognised for their many health benefits. Tisanes are good for consumers as they strengthen the immune system, purify the respiratory tract, and aid in high blood pressure and blood circulation. They provide various health benefits, such as assisting in weight loss, improving digestive health, and alleviating gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, tisanes have a soothing effect on the skin and can even reverse cell damage.

Let's now explore how tisane and tea are different! What are the factors that set them apart? 

Genesis and Origin

Tea (as in leaves and caffeinated drink) originates from the Camellia sinensis plant, which thrives in tropical and subtropical regions. Conversely, tisanes are created by infusing various plant components such as herbs, spices, barks, flowers, roots, seeds, berries, and leaves in water. A tisane refers to any beverage derived from plants, excluding natural tea or Camellia sinensis. The most popular tisanes include mint, chamomile, verbena, and rooibos.

A flower tisane, Image Source: Pexels

Caffeine Content

Generally, any beverage with the word "tea" is brewed from tea leaves or tea bags and contains caffeine. It may come as a surprise, but teas do, in fact, contain caffeine, proving that caffeine is not exclusive to coffee. Although the quantity of caffeine varies depending on the type of tea, all teas contain some caffeine. Green tea, for instance, has as little as 35 milligrams per eight-ounce cup, whereas black tea can contain as much as 90 milligrams. In contrast, tisanes do not contain caffeine but a diverse array of herbal ingredients.

Preparation and Ingredients

Both teas and tisanes can be brewed using a tea bag or a strainer. Tisanes can be made using one of two methods. The first method is called decoction. To prepare a tisane utilising this method, add the tisane to a pot with cool water. It is essential to use a pot not made of aluminium, as it may react with the herbs. Place the pot on the stove on medium flame and bring the water to a boil. Bring the tisane to a boil and continue to do so until around two-thirds of the water has evaporated. Then strain it before consuming.

A tea brewer, Image Source: Pexels

Alternatively, you can prepare a tisane using the infusion method, which involves steeping herbs in hot water, straining the liquid, and filtering out the herbs. The fundamental contrast between teas and tisanes is that the latter is not made from tea leaves but rather from an infusion of herbs. Tea undergoes a complex heat-fixing process, while tisanes are dried without heat-fixing. 

Since now you know the difference between tea and tisane, we hope you can pick what suits you.