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The Double Ts of Tea : Tea or Tisane?

Recently in a bazaar, I came across a stall that sells organic tea and I had a lovely conversation with the stall owner.

She was enthusiastically sharing with me about her products, that they’re caffeine free and in a more true way, her tea is actually tisane. I agreed with her that not many people really know about tisane and what it is about. And it gave me the inspiration for today’s article.

So what is tisane? How different is tisane compared with the more well known term, tea?

In the dictionary, tisane is explained as a medicinal drink or infusion, originally one made with barley.

If we were to trace back the above meaning, it would lead to a little discovery from the ancient Greek word ptisánē (peeled barley, barley gruel). Some people also believed tisane (the word) may have been invented by the French. Ti (tea) with the word sans (without) would be “tea without tea”!

What do we mean tea without tea?


If one would read up about tea, we will know that tea comes from Camellia sinensis plant, which is found in tropical and subtropical locations and they contain caffeine. Whereas tisane is made from flowers, plants and even roots. In a more common term, tisane is known as herbal tea, without caffeine.

Mint, chamomile,and fruit tea are the regular herbal tea we know. Tisanes have been used for centuries for their medicinal benefits to health.

Like Chamomile, it’s good for menstrual disorders, rheumatic pains, inflammation and other ailments although most of us will associate it with its soothing effects. Stress? Having anxiety? Unable to sleep? Take a cup of chamomile to soothe and calm your nerves.

Whenever I have the flu and cold, I’ll take a cup of mint tea. That minty aroma immediately opened up the blocked nasals and it felt half good already. Of course, the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in menthol may help to relieve some of these symptoms as well.

So if you’re not into caffeine, then tisane would be a better tea option!

We carry chamomile and fruit tisane in our Artisan Tea collection. Click below to find out more!

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