When I was at my last event many people were calling herbal tisanes and herbal infusions tea. I will preference this with the fact my great-grandmother (my dad’s grandmother) was an herbalist and I worked at many natural food places and sold herbal tisanes since the 1990s. I know many of the health benefits of them. I respect people who are knowledgeable about herbs (some have been certified) and have not been as involved in that aspect of health like I use to be (my knowledge is a little rusty in that area). I do not understand calling anything put in water now is considered a tea. That is like when natural actually meant something and now means nothing at all. Yes, there was a time natural actually meant healthy and less processed food from the earth. When you get apple juice are you getting 100% juice or are you getting water with sugar and 10% actual juice? To me, the water, sugar and 10% juice is not juice. Cherry Kool-Aid is not cherry juice. There was a time when something was labeled a juice and it had no actual juice in it. Thank goodness this has changed.
I really believe that tea should be used for the camellia sinensis plant. This does not mean rooibos, tulsi or dandelion root are not good drinks, it just means it is not tea, it is an herbal infusion or herbal tisane. I have had many people asking me questions that have nothing to do with tea and them thinking I know nothing. Well if you actually asked me about tea, then I would most likely be able to answer the question.
Where I am living right now there are a lot of people who listened to people who say they are experts because they saw it on the internet or want to look knowledgeable. If they were actually knowledgeable about tea they would not put tea in clear containers and they would not be spreading inaccuracies. People get annoyed when they ask which of my teas helps with a headache. Well maybe you need to talk to an herbalist expert, you could get that answer, I am a tea expert. I can answer some of those questions for the several decades of being in the industry, but as I said my knowledge is a little rusty and I am not selling many herbals, I am selling teas.
On a side note, I was talking with a nice lady yesterday and she used “High Tea” for Afternoon Tea or Tea Service. I do not think she realized she was talking about a working-class supper meal. There is nothing wrong with the working class or them eating supper, but she was using it as a fancy meal. This happens a lot and this does not bug me as much because it has been muddled for a long time. It is like how people misuse hoi polloi. Hoi polloi means common people, the masses, and people think it means rich or exclusive people. This is a really good analogy for Afternoon Tea. Actually, if you said Low Tea you would be correct because afternoon tea was first eaten on coffee and end tables. Afternoon tea is mainly a glorified fancy snack time with tea. It was originally a snack of sweets with tea to tied ladies over for actual supper meal. Later bite-size sandwiches were added to Afternoon Tea.