What Is A Tisane?

What Is A Tisane?

The Honest Truth On The Difference Between Teas And Tisanes.

Herbal tea – whether consumed for health benefits, to help keep hydrated or simply for the pleasure of it, we’re all familiar with it, but is it really a tea? The short answer: no. The longer answer: Still no, but with a little more detail:

Tea refers to a beverage brewed from the leaves of the Camilia Sinensis or tea plant. Whether it’s white, green, yellow, oolong or black the only beverages that can truly be classified as tea are boiled from the leaves of this plant. Now, that being said, it’s not technically wrong to refer to an herbal infusion as a tea as well. After all there are many big commercial tea companies that sell herbal drinks listed and marketed as “herbal tea.” (hey, we’re guilty too, but we’ll touch on that a little later…) The word “tea” has come to be known by many as a word synonymous with a hot beverage made from from the leaves, flowers, roots, buds or seeds from a variety of different plants. This includes herbs such as peppermint and chamomile and spices such as cinnamon and even fruits (lemon “tea” with honey, anyone?) The proper name for these is not “tea” but “tisane” though the term “infusion” wouldn’t be misplaced either.

Infusions or tisanes are any plant derived beverage other than true tea. When you look the actual word up in many dictionaries, the definition for Tisane is simply “herbal tea.” Of course, Webster’s dictionary elaborates a bit defining it as being an “infusion (as of dried herbs) used as a beverage for medicinal effects.”

So if it’s not really tea, why do we continue to call it tea? Well, the simplest answer is because the word “tisane” is not commonly used; meaning there are many people that have no clue what a tisane is, what it does or what it means, BUT everyone has an idea of what tea is. (ie: hot-water salad...If you know, you know.) Therefore it’s simpler and even more beneficial for companies, including ours, to label herbal and non-caffeinated blends as tea. Especially if they’re hoping to sell any product. It all comes down to marketing, really. If we listed our herbal and fruit teas as herbal or fruit tisanes, more people are likely to skip over them completely whereas herbal and fruit tea is a widely known term and is likely to move more product.

Now, you’re in the know, and can impress your friends with your knowledge at your next get-together! Tisanes are herbal or fruit teas, and we call them teas instead of tisanes because it’s more easily recognized.

Back to blog