The difference between tea and a tisane

in , by The Red Beet, October 16, 2020

Today I would like to share some facts about tisanes and teas.

Actually, a herbal tea is not a real tea, it is a tisane.

The real tea comes from the leaves of a plant, called Camellia Sinensis. It is a shrub and native mostly in Asia. Green teas, Black teas, Oolong teas, White teas... are derived from this plant.

On the other hand tisanes (ti-zahn) do not contain the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. They are water based infusions made from the plant's flower, roots, leaves or berries, they can be spices as well.

Now that we know what is the main difference, let's dive a bit deeper...

Caffeine content:

Teas contain different amount of caffeine, depends what kind of tea you are drinking. Tisanes do not contain any caffeine, all herbals are caffeine free.


As for most teas, you have to bring the water almost to boil, but not to reach boiling temperature. If you are preparing a tisane, you have to boil the water. Always, always make sure you pour hot, boiled water on your herbs, or you boil the in the water.

Steeping time:

Steeping time might be different for every tea, but one thing is sure, that oversteeping tea will give you a bitter flavor. With tisanes it is easier, the longer you steep, the more intense will be the flavor, but you cannot really oversteep. In general steeping time is 15 minutes. If the herbs have bitter flavor, you will get it within 15 minutes or after an hour... 

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