“Tea” has its technicalities: Rooibos, Chai, Chamomile, Yerba Maté, and numerous other herbs and spices (save one, which we’re getting to) are not, by the strictest definition “tea” until they are steeped. Some go further, arguing that they are not tea even after steeping, instead being more appropriately labeled infusions or tisanes, though this strict definition is narrow and somewhat pedantic.
These semantics exist because tea is a plant, Camellia sinensis, which translates not only its essence in the steep, but its name too. Happily, whether you ascribe value to the etymological argument is a matter of semantics. Colloquially, it is undisputed and understood that all manner of herbs, spices, and yes, teas, make up an impossibly vast, unique, and delicious set of beverages that are all the more complex because they enhance or completely stray away from Camellia sinensis.
Herbal teas are where people find their lifers; those drinks that speak directly to them, becoming an expression of their identity. This isn’t overstated. Once flavors begin to blend, begin to supplement and amplify each other, they transform into something that feels tailored to your particular person. Single ingredient herbal teas include Egyptian Chamomile, red raspberry leaf, peppermint, spearmint and yerba maté. Popular and approachable blended varieties include Tranquil Mind (relaxing in name and effect), Pineapple Coconut, Raspberry Lemonade and Vanilla Lemongrass. Whatever you’re looking for, be it fruity, floral, smokey, sweet, earthy, grassy: if there’s a particular adjective you find attractive on the tongue, it’s guaranteed to exist somewhere in the world of herbal teas.
Herbal teas are among some of the easiest to steep requiring nothing more than boiling water and a 5-7 minute steep time.