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Herbal Infusions

This week we address a common question: Which herbal teas do you carry? To begin, herbal infusions are not tea! Herbal infusions are made from other plants, such as mint, linden, and chamomile -- not from the plant that all teas come from, Camellia sinensis. These herbals are often mistakenly referred to as "herbal teas." Although the popularity of calling any hot beverage "tea" cannot be denied, we like to make a distinction. In Europe they are more correctly known as tisanes.

We encourage people to drink herbal infusions when they are looking to avoid caffeine. Other herbals and blends are Lemon Verbena, Elder Flower, Lavender and Hibiscus, to name a few. Many of these herbs have medicinal benefits associated with them. Herbalists work with combinations of herbs to heal a great range of sicknesses. Here is an introduction to the herbals we offer:

Hibiscus Elder
This blend is very popular iced as well as hot. We add some stevia, a natural sweetener, to the blend which also includes some Lemon Verbena. The flavor is different from the predictable mango-flavored ice tea available in most restaurants. It brews into a beautiful ruby-colored infusion.

Lemon Verbena
This herb is grown by many people in their gardens and either used fresh or dried. It is much more popular in Europe where it has been used as a relaxing beverage for centuries. The large, beautiful leaves are light green and open fully after infusing in hot water.

Herbal Chai
This is our Africa Chai, so named because the base is pure Rooibos. This is also an herb, not really "red tea" that you see in several marketing campaigns these days. Red tea is what the Chinese call black tea -- the "red" describes the color of the infusion, not the color of the dried leaves. We add a mix of spices to make it an interesting, caffeine-free alternative -- it's also delicious with milk or soy milk.


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