Coffee: A hot drink made from the roasted and ground seeds (coffee beans) of a tropical shrub. A Coffee “Bean” is not actually a bean. In fact, though beans are always seeds, seeds are not always beans. A bean is just one kind of a seed.
Tea: A hot drink made by infusing the dried crushed leaves of the tea plant in boiling water. All true tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The tea plant is native to subtropical and tropical regions, so it’s really only found in the wild in Southeast Asia (most tea comes from China, India, and Japan). Nowadays tea is grown on plantations called tea estates.
Also known as herbal teas, tisanes (pronounced ti-zahn) are not actually teas at all (i.e., they do not come from the Camelia Sinensis plant). Instead they are infusions made from leaves, bark, roots, fruit, seeds, herbs and spices. Common tisanes include mint, chamomile, verbena, and rooibos.
All teas have caffeine. The amount varies from a low of 35 milligrams per eight-ounce cup for green tea to a high of 90 milligrams for black tea. Herbal infusions, on the other hand, are caffeine-free.
4 to 5+ minutes for herbal tea and black tea.
3 to 4 minutes for white tea and green tea (can become bitter if over-steeped.) These are best with cooler water and shorter steeping times. Try steeping these for 2 min, then start sipping every 30 seconds until you find your ideal flavor.
**Traditional paper tea bags have a much shorter steep time, 2 min or less, because the cut of the tea is much finer.
For the purpose of this blog, unless otherwise stated, I will use the term “tea” to include tea and herbal teas.