You've probably been down the isle in your local supermarket that has a bunch of different varieties of tea. Well guess what? Most of those aren't actually tea, they're tisanes. Tisanes, or what you know as herbal tea, is not tea unless is actually contains camellia sinensis.
Camelia sinensis is the true tea plant that is native to Asia. It is what black, white, oolong and green tea comes from depending on how the leaves are processed. Black tea is made by rolling baby tea leaves until they turn black, then they are dried. White tea is made by steaming young leaves that have been grown in shade to reduce chlorophyll. Then they are dried afterwards. Oolong tea is made by allowing the young tea leaves to wilt in the sun before drying. Green tea is made by steaming mature, but tender leaves. The white flowers of camellia sinensis can be used for tea as well, and it only flowers once a year during autumn.
What is a tisane?
a herbal tea. a medicinal drink or infusion, originally one made with barley.
Any herbal infused drink that is not made with camellia sinensis is a tisane. This also includes fruit, spices, flowers, plant roots and leaves of other plants. These all have their own name based on whatever part of the plant is used. If you're using roots, it will be called a root tisane. If you're using flowers, it will be called a flower tisane. Although camellia sinensis has medicinal properties, herbal infusions are widely known for their health-giving and restorative benefits. If you notice, most of those tisane blends in the store are labeled for a specific ailment such as chamomile for sleep, ginger for coughing and red raspberry for menstruation.
Create your own tisanes with different plant parts and enjoy the benefits of herbal infusions.