Tisanes, Teas and Sips & Treats
By Gabriela Alban Hidalgo / 31.07.2019
Have you ever wondered?
What is tea, what is not tea, what is an herbal infusion and what are our Sips & Treats? Don't' worry if it sounds confusing; it was confusing to me at first. However, here we break it down for you. :)
A Tisane or Herbal Infusions
The word Tisane, a French word for the term herbal infusion, usually consists of dry flowers, fruits, and herbs. Fruit teas or tisanes are caffeine-free blends containing a range of fruits, spices, and herbs. These medicinal drinks, at times, can be called detox teas or health elixirs. In fact, there is evidence of their significance dating back to ancient China and Egypt.
One of the first-ever recorded legends tells the story of Shen Nong or "Divine farmer." He is said to have lived during 2737-2697 BC and broadly recognized as the god of Chinese medicine. His passion for health and the medicinal qualities of herbs inspired him to teach the ancient Chinese of new practices of agriculture and herbal medicine. Texts from philosophical classics of from the Han Dynasty claim that Shen Nong transformed ancient people's diets from one based on meats and clams to one of based on grains and vegetables.
Shen Nong is believed to have charted his thorough study of herbs, translated to English as The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor, which is the authoritative text for Chinese medical theory and acupuncture.
Tisanes can be served hot or cold; they can be prepared either by an infusion or by decoction. Preparation by Infusion: By pouring boiling water over a plant matter, as we do in preparing tea. Preparation by Decoction: By placing the plant matter in actively boiling water to release more essential oils and flavors.
Leaf tisanes: lemon balm, mint, lemongrass, and French verbena
Bark tisanes: cinnamon, slippery elm, and black cherry bark
Root tisanes: ginger, echinacea, and chicory
Fruit/berry tisane: raspberry, elderberry, blueberry, peach, and apple
Seed/spice tisanes: cardamom, caraway, and fennel