Tea, infusion or herbal tea: what are the differences between these hot drinks?

Tea, infusion or herbal tea: what are the differences between these hot drinks?

You may have already asked yourself the question: what are the differences between herbal tea, tea and infusion? Here are the explanations from Laure Martinat, doctor and expert in phyto aromatherapy, micronutrition and acupuncture at the Beoma center in Biarritz.

Tea, herbal tea or infusion: these hot drinks, more often consumed in winter or in cases of colds, for example, are similar. At least, that’s what we might think. But in reality, there are several points that distinguish them.

Infusion, a way of preparing tea or herbal tea

Having entered common parlance, the expression “prepare an infusion” is in reality an abuse of language. “Infusion is a way of preparing tea or herbal tea, it designates the manufacturing process but not a beverage” confirms Dr Laure Martinat, expert in phyto aromatherapy.

Different methods of preparation exist

Infusion is therefore the method of preparing a plant in hot water, but without boiling it. “In the infusion, we will take the plant, put it in a saucepan, add the desired quantity of cold water and put everything on the fire. explains the specialist. “Remove the pan at the first simmer, without boiling the water, and leave to infuse for an average of five minutes.“. Then simply filter the mixture and the preparation can be consumed straight away.

It is also possible to macerate a plant. “In maceration, the plant rests in cold water for a specific time. adds Dr Laure Martinat.

Finally, for the decoction, the principle is essentially the same as the infusion, except that the heating time is prolonged. “Unlike an infusion, for a decoction you must allow the water and plant mixture to heat for five to ten minutes.” the expert further details. “For certain plants, such as lemon balm, it is recommended to do so with a lid, so that the aromatic principles of the plant do not escape in the steam..

Tea, a drink in its own right

When we prepare tea, we are actually preparing a herbal tea made from the tea plant, obtained from the tea plant by an infusion process.” further indicates Laure Martinat. In tea, we find theine, which is the equivalent of caffeine, in coffee. “Theine is an interesting molecule, which has toning properties, in particular”.

Which tea to favor? Black ? Green ? White ? For the doctor, you should choose green tea, because of its many anti-oxidant properties. “Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants from the family of polyphenols. These molecules have an interest in the fight against oxidative stress. she explains again.

Laure Martinat adds that it is possible to drink one or two cups of green tea every day. “My advice is to choose tea from organic farming because if it contains pesticides, they will end up in your drink, which is bad for your health if you drink it regularly..

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