If you’re going to be completely accurate about the word ‘tea’, traditionally you are talking about the beverage made from the leaves of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis (pictured above). “Proper” teas made from the Camellia Sinensis are: Black, Oolong, Green, White, Yellow and Pu-er.
Because herbal and fruit teas are so delicious and consequently enjoying a huge boost in popularity, the word “tea” has become confused with “infusion”. All teas from traditional black tea to fruity mixes are technically infusions: the hot water is infused with flavours through the steeping of leaves, fruits and herbs (see our earlier article on steeping!).
The major difference is that fruit and herbal teas are entirely caffeine free as they not made from tea leaves at all. For this reason, there is a trend toward the use of terms like "tisane" (pronounced tea-zahn), "botanical," or "infusion" and they can be served hot or cold. Herbal teas have a long history, dating back to ancient China and Egypt, where tisanes were drunk for both enjoyment and medicinal purposes.
At the end of the day, as with so many other aspects of tea drinking, it all comes down to your personal preference. The variety, how long you steep it, how much tea you use, the temperature of the water used to steep, whether you want to drink it iced or hot, as well as what you like to call it – are all up to you!
At BRU we think the most important thing is that you end up with the beverage of your choice the way you like it. So choose your favourite tea or infusion, pop it into your BRU Maker, sit back and enjoy!