What is Tisane?

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"Tisane" is not a word people seem to use frequently in the United States, but in certain parts of the world it is used in place of the term herbal tea.  We’ve heard it pronounced “ti-zan,” “tee-zane”, or “tee-zahn.”  However you say “tisane,” let’s explore the meaning.

If you are new to tea or even if you are not, the word tisane refers to any plant parts, excluding tea plants, that are used  in conjunction with hot water, to make a hot beverage.  This brewed beverage term once referred to brews that were medicinal, but that is no longer the case. Technically, “tea” refers to the tea plant camellia sinensis.

Tisanes are generally caffeine-free, unlike drinks made from the tea plant.  All of our tisanes are free of caffeine because their ingredients, like blueberries, strawberries, and rooibos don’t contain caffeine.

What kind of plants are used to make tisanes or herbal teas?  Rooibos, or red tea, is a plant that tastes a lot like tea but does not have caffeine. People also make tisanes from leaves or spices, like rosemary, cinnamon or peppermint.  Another option are tisanes made from fruit, like blueberries, strawberries, apples, kiwis, raisins or elderberries.  Flowers like chamomile, hibiscus, rosehips, and apple blossoms also make great tisanes.  Here in Frankenmuth, we even have a tea with hops in it (no alcohol, sorry).  Basically, if you can make a drink out of a plant by steeping it in hot water and that plant isn’t camellia sinsensis or coffee, it’s a tisane or herbal tea.

We now have three products that can be called tisanes.  All of our caffeine free herbals are actually tisanes. We do not claim any medicinal purposes for these tisanes, as we are not doctors.  That being said we do love great tasting teas and great tasting infusions (another name for a fruit drink). We like these tisanes for the pure enjoyment of them. 

Here is a little run down on our tisanes.  First, we have Brahms Lullaby, which is perfect for bedtime.  Its ingredients run the gamut of tisane flavors, featuring camomile, rooibos, lemon balm, lemon verbena, linden flowers, anise, cinnamon, oat straw, hops, passion flower, and orange peel.  Here's a photo.

Northland Blueberry is a blend of blueberries, apples, currants, raisins, elderberries and is nicely finished with cornflower petals.  Perfect for summer.  Here's a photo, it really does look like all those good things in a cup.

Finally, our newest infusion is Strawberry Respite.  Strawberry Respite tastes like summer.  It is a combination of dried apples, strawberries, kiwis, hibiscus, rosehips, and natural strawberry flavoring. This tisane has a wonderful bright quality to it.  Here's a photo of the ingredients.  If you buy a pack, the ingredients come packaged in our convenient pyramid tea bags.

Tisanes can be enjoyed hot or cold. One of Chris’s favorites is iced Northland Blueberry.  Tastes great on a warm day, is caffeine free, and has all the natural goodness of blueberries.

How do you make a tisane?  Like all our teas, the steeping time and temperature are the top right of the label.  All three of our tisanes are best when the water is near boiling with a steep time of 4 to 5 minutes.  Sometimes we like to make the tisane even stronger by letting it steep a bit longer.  If you make a tisane with someone else’s product, be sure to follow the instructions on the label.

So tisane has a newer meaning and an older one.  Take this opportunity to add this word to your vocabulary and use it.  You'll find that this word rolls off of the tongue very nicely, too.

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