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Tasting tea: what is tea?

We call a lot of things “tea.” Technically, tea is a beverage made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Informally, we just call any beverage we extract from plant leaves a “tea,” although these are more properly called tisanes. Some of the most popular tisanes have become so popular that they are grouped in their own category. These include yerba maté, a drink that is popular in South America, and rooibos, a beverage popular in South Africa, where it is know as “bush tea.”

Tisanes, often called “herbal teas,” include many beverages that are offered medicinally, but many are simply consumed because they are refreshing and we like their flavors. Some tisanes are also favored because they do not contain caffeine. Peppermint is a popular example.

Find out about Tea and health.

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