What it tastes like: Varies according to type
Caffeine content: 0 mg
How to drink it: Plain or with milk or cream, sugar or honey, and/or lemon.
A tisane, ptisan or herbal ""tea"" is any herbal infusion not made from the leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). Tisanes are more commonly known as herbal tea even though they typically don't contain ""real"" tea. Tisanes can include virtually any type of plant infused in hot water in a manner similar to tea. Some of the best-known commercially available tisanes include chamomile, mint and fruit flavors.
Tisanes can be made with fresh or dried flowers (Chamomile), leaves (Peppermint), 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. The term is most often used to refer to linden (lime leaf) tea.
Many blends of real tea 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. Such preparations are varieties of tea, not tisanes.
Tisanes do not contain caffeine and may have a soporific effect especially if consumed in the evening. Milk can be added, although some herbal ingredients can be acidic and will curdle the milk.
Herbal tisanes are brewed in much the same manner as other teas however, some may require a longer steeping time to allow their delicate flavors to fully develop.