Herbal Tea Info
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Herbal teas are not actually produced from tea leaves like white, green, oolong and black teas. Herbal tea, often called an herbal tisane or herbal infusion, is generally made from dried fruits, herbs, even flowers. They can be brewed as tea leaves or blended with other types of tea to create an aromatic and flavorful cup of tea that is caffeine free.
There are typically three categories of herbal teas based on their main ingredients. First, rooibos tea is an herbal tea made primarily from the South African red bush. Also, mate teas are an herbal tea made from the South American Yerba Mate plant. Finally, the more popular herbal tea category of herbal infusions can be made from a variety of ingredients including dried fruits, hibiscus, and rosehips.
History of Herbal Tea
The Chinese were known to have discovered tea thousands of years ago. Likewise, the Chinese were using herbs for their medicinal properties for centuries and they were the first to introduce herbs into tea drinking. Fruits, vegetable, herbs and flowers were often added for medicinal reasons as well as to improve the taste of teas. Eventually a version of tea called a tisane was created that didn't actually include any tea.
The Best Herbal Teas
Most herbal teas are flavored with fruits and flowers. For example, Wild Orange Blossom Herbal Tea is a sweet herbal infusion of orange blossom and rose petals plus citrus fruits. Another fruit herbal tea that is delicious and healthy is Strawberry Lemonade Herbal Tea. This fruity tea is full of strawberry and lemon pieces. Kids (and adults) love these caffeine free herbal teas!
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Herbal Tea Preparation
Making loose herbal tea usually requires hot water at 208º, 1.5 tsp of loose tea per 8 oz of water and steep time of 4-5 minutes. Many herbal teas taste great when iced, to make herbal iced teas, simply double the amount of tea used. Steep with the same hot water temperature and steep time as if making hot tea, then pour the brewed tea into a cup nearly full of ice.