What is tisane? How is it different from Tea?

What is tisane

What is Tisane?

Simply put, tisane is any beverage that doesn't come from the evergreen Camellia Sinensis bush. It can be from a plant or several plants.

It could comprise any part of the plant- leaves, flowers, buds, or even the stem. A tisane can also be referred to as "herbal tea," but this is not correct. Tisane is highly wholesome, just like tea.


Types of Tisanes

We know about the types of tea- green tea, black tea, oolong tea, and white tea. But little do we know about the tisane or its types. The classification is done based on ingredients that go into making the tisane. Let's discuss some significant tisane types.

  • Root tisane: Roots like ginger, turmeric, chicory, and echinacea are used to make a tisane. These roots intensify the flavors of the tisane.
  • Flower tisane: To make an extremely aromatic drink, flowers are used in the tisane. Flowers like hibiscus, rose, lavender, dandelion, chamomile, etc., are the most common flowers. As a result, flower tisane is an aromatic beverage.
  • Leaf tisane: Leaf tisane is made from the leaves of certain bushes like peppermint, lemongrass, dill, chamomile, French verbena, lemon balm, South African rooibos, and Yerba mate. Yerba mate contains caffeine. It is probably the only tisane that has caffeine in it. Leaf tisanes were very popular in ancient Egyptian and Greek cultures.
  • Fruit tisane: To prepare fruit tisane, one can use either the fruit itself or the fruit leaves, or both. Some of the fruits used in making fruit tisane are apple, coconut, peach, raspberry, grapefruit, lemon, blueberry, orange, and so on. Fruit tisanes are generally sweet and slightly acidic. One can also use dried fruits such as almonds, cashew nuts, raisins, etc.
  • Seed tisane: Do you know even seeds are used in making tisane? Cardamom, cloves, fennel, licorice, cinnamon, muskmelon, and caraway tisanes are pretty popular. The catch is that you cannot use seeds in high amounts as it will make the taste astringent.

Also Read: Jasmine Tea Benefits: Why should you try Jasmine tea?

A tisane can either have a single element (like only flowers or leaves) or many elements. 

Fun facts:

  • In some tisanes, roasted whole grains like barley are also used along with fruits or leaves.
  • Tisanes can be prepared using stem, tea bark, or moss as well.
  • Sometimes different parts of a single plant are used in making tisane.


How to Prepare Tisane?

Tisane is also prepared like tea. It's steeped in hot water for some minutes. Traditionally, however, tisane was prepared a little differently. It was first soaked in cold water, and then that water was heated.

This process is known as a decoction. Tisane is not soaked in boiling water as high temperature kills the nutrients found in the herbs.

It is also not kept in utensils made from aluminum because the tendency of aluminum to react with herbs can cause issues. Like tea, tisane can also be served both ways- hot or cold. That means you can not only enjoy iced teas but iced tisanes as well.

 Also Read: Tea Brewing Guide: Learn Brewing Loose Leaf Tea


Difference Between Tea and Tisane

Tisane and tea are poles apart. Their properties, the methods of processing them, everything is different. In some cases, they are even brewed distinctly. 

  • Tisane is free from caffeine, whereas teas contain caffeine. Tisane doesn't contain caffeine at all. Those who don't like caffeine (or are intolerant) prefer tisane over tea and coffee. But since caffeine is not there in a tisane, it will not provide you with an energy boost as tea does. Instead, it has a calming and soothing effect. It's given to people who have a hard time relaxing their body as well as their mind.
  • Tea comes from one source. Tisane comes from many sources. True teas are derived from only one plant - Camellia Sinensis. Tisane, on the other hand, comes from various plants. Teas are consumed in pure form. For example, if people drink green tea, they will only drink green tea without mixing it with any other tea/herb. But tisane is primarily a blend of many herbs.
  • Tisane has more components than tea-So, it is healthier. As we have already discussed, tisane is a mixture of herbs. And what do you infer when you hear the word herb? That it is something that heals, right? Tisane is more of medicine; it is hailed for its medicinal properties. Although tea is also healthy and full of antioxidants, tisane contains more nutrients. That is why tisane is considered more beneficial than tea.
  • Tisane is a comparatively newer beverage. Tea is older. One significant difference between tea and tisane is that tisane was discovered much later than tea. Tisane is said to have been found in the late 15th century BC in a province of Egypt. On the other hand, tea traces its origin back to as early as the 50th century BC. Thus, tea is an older beverage than tisane. It is one of the factors owing to its wide popularity.

 Also Read: Health Benefits of Black Tea


Parting Note

So, you see how easy it is to get confused between tea and tisane? But in this article, we have made it easy to distinguish between the two drinks. Tisane is a plant infusion that shares some properties with tea, but it is not tea. Tisane might be less famous, but it has impressive health benefits. Like true teas, it also improves digestion, lowers the risk of chronic diseases, alleviates allergies, promotes sleep quality, reduces stress, and so on. Nonetheless, both tea and tisane have distinct attributes and characteristics.


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