Tea 101: Herbal Tea

Although many devoted tea-drinkers find great pleasure in sipping these aromatic brews, “herbal teas” are not officially teas. In the purest sense, only the leaves and buds of Camellia sinensis, the plant that gives us black, oolong tea, green and 100% White Tea should be called tea.

Rather, “herbal teas” are naturally caffeine-free, single or blended infusions of leaves, fruits, bark roots or flowers of almost any edible, non-tea plant. In Europe, herb teas or blends are commonly known as tisanes.

Within the herbal family is the wonder herb rooibos or Red Tea. Known for its high levels of health-boosting polyphenols and flavonoids, Red Tea is a South African herb cultivated only in the mountains and valleys of the Cedarberg region near Cape Town. Sip and you’ll taste a faintly sweet cup with a mellow character and no bitterness.

Known to lift our spirits with each sip, herbal teas are equally alluring served hot or iced.