Herbal tea

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An herbal tea, tisane, or ptisan is an herbal infusion made from anything other than the leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). Typically, herbal tea is simply the combination of boiling water and dried fruits, flowers or herbs. Herbal tea has been imbibed for nearly as long as written history extends. Documents have been recovered dating back to as early as Ancient Egypt and Ancient China that discuss the enjoyment and uses of herbal tea. Among Chinese, herbal tea is commonly known as liong cha (Cantonese) or liang cha (Mandarin).

Contents

Etymology

The English word "tisane" originates from the Greek word πτισάνη (ptisanē), a drink made from pearl barley.

Composition

Herbal teas can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds or roots, generally by pouring boiling water over the plant parts and letting them steep for a few minutes. Seeds and roots can also be boiled on a stove. The tisane is then strained, sweetened if so desired, and served. Many companies produce herbal tea bags for such infusions.

Flavored teas are prepared by adding other plants to an actual tea (black, oolong, green, yellow, or white tea); for example, the popular Earl Grey tea is black tea with bergamot, jasmine tea is Chinese tea with jasmine flowers, and genmaicha is a Japanese green tea with toasted rice.

Varieties

Varieties of herbal teas are practically limitless, but include:

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