We're ever ready to educate our customers about the difference between Teas and Herbs. The confusion arises, of course, because of the common usage of the term 'Herbal Tea'. Well, if it says Tea, isn't it Tea? No. We use them like tea, we steep them like tea, we enjoy them like tea but there's no real TEA in them. Long before the benefits of or real Tea were realized, a cup of chamomile or peppermint passed for Tea. So you may ask - What is tea? Anything from the tea bush Camellia Sinensis is considered Real Tea. So everything that is traditionally Black, Green, Oolong or White Tea falls in this category. Decaf tea also falls into this category. What is not in this category? Botanicals, spices and herbs, like chamomile, peppermint, lemongrass, hibiscus, rooibos, spearmint, ginger root, cinnamon, etc. I'm sure you get the difference now.
There are, indeed, benefits from herbs but they're not the same benefits that are obtained from tea. Herbals may be good for digestion or alleviating allergies, or soothing before bedtime. The antioxidants, polyphenols, immune-enhancing properties and all the other myriad benefits associated with Tea come only from Black, Green, Oolong and White tea, manufactured from the plant Camellia Sinensis. All other plants and herbs such as chamomile, mint, lavender, hibiscus, lemongrass, raspberry leaf, rosehips, linden blossoms, ginger root, orange peel or rooibos are naturally non-caffeinated herbs, spices, fruit and plant products but Not Tea! Blends of fruits and botanicals are sometimes called Tisanes. These often have hibiscus in them which gives it the characteristic red color when infused.
One of our popular herbal blends is Herb Revive. It is naturally sweet in taste and contains apple, stinging nettle, verbena leaves, lemongrass, cranberry slices, sweet black leaf and flavoring.
Another bestseller is Mystic Mint. The blend contains spearmint, tulsi, rosehips, lemon myrtle and linden flowers. Alternatively, if you are a staunch herbal blend fan but not allergic to caffeine, try a real tea the next time. If caffeine content bothers you, start with a Green or Oolong which is usually lower in caffeine. Another option is to steep the tea leaves for 20 seconds, discard the liquor and re-steep for the prescribed length of time. Drink the 2nd infusion rather than the first and you will be sipping much less caffeine.
A few aspects to consider when buying Herbal blends:
- Buy what you need and no more. Herbs are not as hardy as tea and are prone to speedy deterioration or pest infestation. Order in small quantities and restock as needed.
- Store in a cool place. Tea can withstand temperature fluctuations, but botanicals need more care. Refrigerate if needed.
We're always ready to guide you if you need help finding a tea you will enjoy. Whether you're pouring yourself a cup of Tea or Herbs, here's to your health!