What Is the Difference between Fruit Tea and a Tisane?

I peer out the window:thermometer_web

and stroll through my yard:daffodils_web

and check out the woods behind my house:wildflowers_web

Yep, definitely iced tea season in Michigan!


plum montageAnd because beautiful days call for beautiful teas, I pull out some plum fruit tea.

This tea has it all:

  • lustrous ruby red color
  • fruity aroma
  • strong, tangy plum flavor

And this fruit tea, available from TeaHaus, is a beguiling mixture of blossoms (hibiscus, peony, tea, rose, and mallow) and rose hips, cinnamon chunks, carob and red beet pieces—and fruit (plum and apple pieces).

It is made of all natural ingredients, and is caffeine free.

This “tea,” however, is actually a tisane because it does not contain any tea leaves (Camellia senensis).

But—

While “tisanes” are defined as any beverage made by infusing fresh or dried herbs, fruit, and/or spices in hot water. . . .

. . . the second definition of “tea,” according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a drink made from the infused leaves, fruits, or flowers of plants other than tea.”

And—

To confuse the terminology further, a “fruit tea” can refer to a blend that contains both Camellia senensis (tea) leaves and fruit. . . .

. . . or it can refer to a combination of fruit, blossoms, herb leaves, spices, and so on (no C. senenis).

One Way to Distinguish the Two

The Tea Wall at TeaHaus distinguishes these by referring to tea (C. sinensis) blended with fruit (or other additives) as “aroma teas.” Thus, you can have a “black aroma,” with a black tea base; a “green aroma,” containing green tea rather than black; and so on.

The blends (or tisanes) that do not contain C. sinensis but are composed primarily of fruit are labeled “fruit tea.”

Other tisanes include those blends based primarily on herbals/flowers/spices (“herbal tea”) and those containing  rooibos or honeybush.

So Is It “Tisane” or “Fruit Tea”??

Both terms are used interchangeably, and yet they are also used to refer to different things altogether.

According to common usage and the dictionary, you can use either term to refer to a beverage made of fruit and no C. senensis.

You just can’t use “tisane” to refer to a blend of fruit and C. senensis.

Got that?

Oh what the heck—just go make a cup and call it whatever you want!plum-tea-dry-in-woods_web

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