Before starting this post, understand that a purist can very well argue with me that herbal tea is, in fact, not truly a tea. Herbal tea, also known as tisane tea, is not made from the Camellia sinensis plant (as introduced in A (Somewhat) Brief History of Tea blog). Instead, this tea can be made from anything from fruits to seeds to normal herbs. However, walking through the store, you will see herbal tea on sale in the tea section. Herbal tea is also brewed by seeping the items in hot water for a period of time, just like tea. So, for the sake of this blog, it will be considered a tea.
Because of the different types of teas for herbal teas, there is not a general way to produce herbal teas. One can take mint leaves, pour hot water over them and consider that a mint herbal tea, even! Due to this, herbal tea might be the easiest kind to produce at home. You do not need to worry about mixing it with tea leaves and you can still produce an excellent tea by taking items from your kitchen and garden.
Different herbal teas will produce different effects. For example, it is general knowledge that chamomile tea helps to sooth frayed nerves (which is a perfect drink for the holidays for all those hosting Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow). It is also considered to be one of the most popular herbal teas.
Lavender is another herb that is generally known to calm nerves, both through aroma and ingestion. Combining it with chamomile can produce that much of a greater effect. The two combined can also help prevent insomnia. After all, who hasn’t been kept up late into the evenings due to some worry?
Thyme tea might help fight anemia, a condition affecting the blood. It might also help with some digestive problems that the drinker might be facing.
Chai tea is a spicy tea that tends to have strong undertones of cinnamon and nutmeg. Perfect for the autumn season, it is believed to help strengthen the immune system and fortify the body. This is due to all the spices that are normally mixed in with the tea. The different spices tend to produce different added benefits.
The list of benefits from herbal teas are endless due to the simple fact that herbal teas can be made from almost anything from a leaf in the garden to a fruit found in the store! This also means that the brew time will vary.
Typically, a brewing time will take five to ten minutes with boiling water. Caffeine will vary, though you can make an herbal tea as caffeinated or non-caffeinated as you wish. Be wary of the kind of herbs that you use if you have any sensitivities, as it can be potentially hazardous. Herbal teas will vary to each drinker. They can be sweet, spicy or have a strong floral taste, so it depends on the individual preference how the person might react.
Though herbal tea is not technically a “tea,” it definitely deserves a lofty status in the drink world due to its variety of tastes, benefits and amazing qualities.