Although it is most commonly referred to by the moniker “herbal tea blends”, the vast varieties of steeped herbal beverages that are enjoyed all over the world are not really teas at all. In fact, tisanes (the more accurate term for herbal teas) don’t even come from the same plant as true teas. Black, white, green, and oolong tea have the same source: the camellia sinensis plant. The distinctive appearance and taste of any type of true tea comes from how the leaves are prepared once they are harvested. Altering the amount of time camellia sinensis leaves are given to dry and oxidize determines the style of tea that will result; the more time tea leaves spend in the curing process, the stronger and bolder they will be.
While tisanes packaged, sold, and prepared in the same way as true teas, their origins could not be more different. True teas are made exclusively from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Tisanes can have a variety of sources; the most common sources are the South American yerba mate plant, the South African rooibos bush, and any number of herb plants native to all parts of the world. They can be made by drying different parts of the plants from which they come. Tisanes are typically categorized by the part of the plant that is used to make them. Many tea drinkers would be surprised to learn that a large number of the most common “teas” on the market today are actually tisanes: mint and lemongrass (leaf tisanes), chamomile and lavender (flower tisanes), peach, raspberry and apple (fruit tisanes), ginger and Echinacea (root tisanes), cinnamon and black cherry (bark tisanes), and fennel and cardamom (seed or spice tisanes). Unlike camellia sinensis, the plant sources of tisanes are used for much more than their leaves. Because they come from such a wide range of plants and plant parts, tisanes offer many more options in flavor than true teas. The wide variety of tisane flavors is often used to create flavored tea blends; true teas are mixed with tisanes to create varieties such as Chai.
Tisanes of all kinds have been steeped for centuries. The ancient civilizations in Egypt and China left behind documented uses of tisanes for medicinal purposes as well as their general consumption for enjoyment. Either in pure form or blended from various plant sources, tisanes were thought to have had a wealth of healthy properties that could ease anxiety and help to restore health. Tisanes continue to be popular for both their delicious flavors and health benefits today. They are naturally caffeine free (even decaffeinated true teas still contain trace amounts of caffeine), rich in antioxidants and vitamins, and are available in a broad array of flavors and blends. No matter what your taste preferences are, you’re sure to find at least a few tisanes that satisfy your palate. Tisane varieties are just as readily available, easy to prepare, and maybe for some even more tasty than true teas.
One of the most popular cold beverages in America is iced tea. What can be more refreshing on a hot summer day than a perfect icy glass of tea? Endless varieties of iced tea recipes can keep you cool throughout the hot season and benefit your body. Try a new twist on traditional recipes and experiment with pure and flavored teas, rooibos, herbal blends, fruit teas... Let's enter a world of iced tea together with our trendy Iced Minty Organic Pu-Erh recipe.
Minty Organic Pu-Erh Iced Tea (makes 1 quart)
8 level teaspoons of China Yunnan Pu-Erh Organic Black Tea
4 cups of water
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 cup fresh mint
4 tablespoons honey
ice for serving
1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil.
2. Combine tea leaves and fresh mint.
3. Pour water and let steep for 5 minutes. We recommend our Iced Tea Maker "Control", which will allow brewing fresh iced tea in a simple way!
4. Add honey and lemon juice
5. Serve in tall glasses over ice garnished with fresh mint and slice of lemon. Enjoy!
Rooibos is grown in South Africa, and is becoming more popular in many other parts of the world. It is flavorful and it can improve your skin. It contains compounds such as zinc and other types of minerals and nutrients which do amazing things for your skin.
What is rooibos?
This type of loose leaf tea, while relatively new to the West, has been consumed regularly in South Africa, and is known to treat many varied types of skin problems. The tea is a rich red color, and the very name of this type of tea means “red bush.” It has many health benefits in addition to alleviating various types of skin conditions. It is simply overflowing with antioxidants and nutrients. A huge benefit to this type of tea is that it does not contain caffeine. It’s a delicious drink, and if you want to have a cup or two before bed, it won’t keep you awake half the night.
And as for skin problems, who wants them? Skin conditions such as acne and eczema can be embarrassing and lead to other types of problems, such as low self confidence and lower your self-esteem. It can make you be more self-conscious in public, when you want to be self-assured. Other skin conditions such as rashes and sunburn can be incredibly painful. It’s important for most people to have healthy skin, but attaining that goal is easier said than done in most cases.
Everyone in this society, it seems, wants to possess completely clear, amazingly healthy, and absolutely gorgeous skin. But how is this goal attained, and can it be? There is an endless number of advertisements and commercials suggesting this or that product, but how do you know which one will work for you? Products of all types are targeted at you in every other advertisement, all claiming to work miracles on your skin. The quest to look younger for longer, and to have smooth, clear skin is practically ingrained into this society’s culture.
How rooibos can help
This leaves you with an overwhelming number of skin care products to choose from. Many of these products are not effective on all skin types, and only targeted to specific conditions. And some products may contain harmful chemicals that do far more damage than benefit to you and your skin health.
And the benefits of rooibos tea to your skin are countless. In South African traditional medicine, the belief is that the rooibos tea will treat conditions such as eczema, sunburns, rashes, allergies, skin irritations, and even acne. It seems that this might be a panacea for skin problems. Drink a few cups of rooibos tea every day, and your skin will love you for it. You can even cool the tea and then use cotton balls or cloth to apply it directly to your skin. This will bring out the natural beauty of your skin and may help to improve your skin health. It may eradicate acne and to help alleviate an outbreak of eczema. It may also help to relieve sunburn and rashes.
The choice is a simple one. Drink all natural, all delicious rooibos tea and say hello to beautiful, healthy skin.
Loose teas are delicious and healthy for you. But is it safe to consume while pregnant? Caffeine is not a safe substance to consume, but are the levels in tea low enough not to cause any harm?
Some studies do show that moderate intake of caffeine may be completely harmless while pregnant. Moderate intake would translate to about three cups of black tea a day. But to be more cautious, you can drink green or white tea, or even decaffeinated tea. White and green teas do not contain nearly as much caffeine as oolong or black teas. These types of teas are completely safe to consume while pregnant, unless you drink more than three cups in a day.
A healthy choice?
The effects of white and green teas can actually be healthy for your baby, as they contain a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Rooibos and honeybush
Both African Rooibos tea and Honeybush teas are considered decaffeinated herbal teas.Anemia is a common problem during pregnancy. Many teas prevent the body from absorbing iron due to an ingredient called tannin. Rooibos and Honeybush teas contain low levels of tannin, so they are less likely to interfere with iron absorption.
There are also some herbal teas that you may find to be delightfully flavored that are safe to drink while pregnant. Learn a lot about the different types of herbal teas, for there are some that could have negative side effects on your baby, as would caffeine. But explore all your options.
Decaffeinate your tea
Decaffeination is always an option. But pay attention to how the tea has been decaffeinated. It’s important to know about the process the tea has undergone, as some decaffeination processes can be dangerous and inimical to your health. Decaffeinated tea can also be more flavorful than caffeinated tea. Many people prefer decaffeinated tea for the obvious reasons; there's no giddy after-effects, as some people experience from caffeinated beverages. Decaffeinated tea is a great option for those who love tea, but have high blood pressure, or a health related aversion to caffeine.
What is Rooibos?
Rooibos tea, also known as Aspalathus linearis, is a common drink in South Africa and has been consumed there for years. It’s a unique type of tea, and isn’t quite as common just yet in the Western world. It is a mild flavored, fruity type of tea and is already growing in popularity with the rest of the world due not only to its delectable flavor but to its many health benefits. It is grown in the mountains of the Western Cape Province of South Africa and is sometimes called the African rooibos tea. It can be brewed and consumed hot, or made into a delicious iced tea. It has numerous health benefits and can truly add to a healthy lifestyle.
What does Rooibos Mean?
Rooibos means, “red bush.” It is an African word for the flowering shrub that grows in the Western Cape, north of Capetown, in the mountain region. It grows to five feet or so in height, with a red brown stem and needle like, vibrant green leaves. It is a legume shrub which has roots that are able to withstand the poor soils of the mountain region. Its roots can tolerate the acidic soils due to the abundance they have in nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Antioxidants and Nutrients
The tea that is produced from this plant is delicious and it also has been recently discovered to have high antioxidant contents, like many other teas. Its vitamins and nutrients have led to its increase in popularity in the Western world. It has many health benefits, as do other teas, and is deliciously fruity flavored. It is sometimes blended in with herbal teas that are available today.
The Health Benefits
This tea is sweet on its own. It doesn’t have all the artifice and preservatives and additives of other teas, which makes it a much healthier choice. This tea is incredibly healthy with many benefits.
Research shows that rooibos tea can help with health problems such as headaches and that it may help to lower blood pressure as well. It can even help to prevent anxiety attacks, and helps to alleviate insomnia, and irritability. The tea has already been being used in South Africa to treat asthma, eczema, and hay fever. It is, like most teas, almost like a magical panacea in some ways. It has many other benefits as well. Rooibos can also help maintain healthy teeth, act as an anti-inflammatory, and help to fight off viruses. It has been shown to help with alleviating abdominal pains as well. And it contains elements which are beneficial to healthy skin. This type of tea also contains properties which help maintain healthy circulation of the blood and also helps to fight aging. It of course helps the body’s immunes system as well, like other teas, with all of its antioxidants. Here’s another benefit: Rooibos is free of caffeine! In this way, it is effective at helping alleviate stress, insomnia, and tension and can help relax a person.
It’s fruity and delicious, and healthy too!