An important first step in learning about the world of tea is understanding what tea is and what it is not. Firstly, tea is a plant and it is called Camellia Sinensis. Meaning, if you're steeping something that is not Camellia Sinensis nor has Camellia Sinensis blended into it, it's not tea. Peppermint is an herb, lavender a flower and ginger a root and so on. These substances are important to distinguish because if you can't have caffeine, which most other tisanes (the word that means something you steep like a tea that has no tea in it) don't, then you don't want to call a green tea an 'herbal' when it does indeed have caffeine and tea itself isn't an herb. There is quite a lot of confusion in the market about what tea is, and if you're putting something into your body, you have a full right to know and understand what that is. Camellia Sinensis produces recognizeable types, like White, Green, Oolong, Black and Pu-ehr tea, which is a Chinese way of fermenting and pressing tea. Sometimes actual tea leaves are combined with herbs, spices, flowers, roots and/or fruits and so on, but those are, perfumed teas. Or teas with additions. Like how you can have a plain chocolate bar or a chocolate bar with nuts. Just because the nuts are there doesn't turn it into a nut bar. It's still a chocolate bar with nuts. So, step 1: Know what's in your teapot! We'd love to hear your comments below about what's in yours!

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