Updated: Jun 22
Not because a beverage is labeled as tea and prepared the same way as you would a tea, it is a tea. If it is made of fresh or dried flowers, leaves, fruits, stems, seeds or roots other than the leaves from a tea bush, it is called a tisane or herbal infusion or simply an infusion.
True tea comes from Camellia sinensis, a flowering evergreen that can grow to a height of fifty feet. For easy harvesting, small tea gardens and large commercial plantations normally prune the tea plant as a shrub. In the wild, there are ancient tea trees that are more than a thousand years old.
True tea contains caffeine unlike most, if not all, tisanes. So if you are limiting your caffeine intake, it would be good to know if your tea is a true tea.