What’s the Difference Between Tea and Infusion?

difference tea infusion

You may already noticed this while shopping, you can find teas and infusions on the same shelves in your favorite supermarket
But do you know the difference between tea and infusion? Few people really know the answer
And that’s what I’ll explain you in this post

What’s the difference between tea and infusion?
The tea is the drink you get when you soak tea leaves in water
The infusion is a more generic method, exactly the one you used to prepare your tea (but you can use other leaves)

After this short introduction, let’s see in detail what exactly mean each word

Infusion

Definition

An infusion is a liquid made by leaving herbs in hot water until the flavour is strong.

Collins Dictionnary

You may already know this, but take a look at the words they use

An infusion is the drink you get when leaving leaves in hot water
So it’s not limited to tea tree leaves, it’s an infusion whatever the plants you use, it’s a generic term, for any drink you do like this

Plants you can use

As I just said, most plants can be use in an infusion
The good thing is that each one has specific benefits

Infusions picture

Here is a list of the most used plants and the corresponding benefits:

  • Thyme: expectorant, ideal during a cold
  • Chamomile: calming and anti-inflammatory, in case of pains
  • Fennel: helps against bloating and gas
  • Hibiscus: one of the rare plants to give vitality
  • Ginger: known for its aphrodisiac abilities it also helps to activate digestion and reduce nausea for pregnant women
  • Verbena: calming, perfect before going to sleep

Obviously, it’s just a short list of the well-known plants you can use in an infusion that gives you an idea about the benefits you can get when drinking an infusion

Preparation

To perfect a good infusion you need to use:

  • 250 ml of boiling water
  • A spoon of chopped plants

The time you need to let leaves in your mug depends on the plants you are using, but generally it’s between one and five minutes

I’m using this infuser (available on Amazon) to make the preparation, it’s easy to put in water and remove when you think it’s ok, without leaving bits of plants in your drink, I recommend it

Another tip is to use honey to improve the taste, and it can also be helpful during a cold
But I don’t recommend milk

Where to buy your infusion?

In your favorite shop, you can now find more and more products to use
Be careful however, the “infusion” word is not a guarantee of what you’ll get, it’s a generic term

You may also find it in with organic products, or even online!

Tea

Definition

Tea is a drink made by adding hot water to tea leaves or tea bags. Many people add milk to the drink and some add sugar.

Collins Dictionnary

So basically, a tea drink is an infusion with leaves from a tea tree
You can call “tea” the drink you get while preparing tea leaves, or even the leaves themselves

Tea tree

Let’s look at some pictures now πŸ™‚
Do you know what a tea tree looks like?

The tea tree is a shrub
Their leaves are cultivated to prepare the tea drink

Here are two pictures to give you an idea of what it looks like:

A tea field with tea trees in the foreground
A giant tea field in Malaysia

Origins

Tear origins are not clear because it’s ancient
The first traces of tea come from the sixth century in China
It was first drink boiled and then beaten before the infusion

Tea is a popular drink from China, and helped to the development of many industries around the world, like the manufacture of tea bowls (ceramic or porcelain)

Different tea flavors

As you may already know if you buy tea regularly, there are several sorts of tea:

  • Green tea: got from tea leaves, heated at a high temperature and then dried
  • Black tea: the most drank tea in the US and Europe, it’s a teal they gave a total oxidation
  • And you can also find other tea flavors, less common, like yellow tea, white tea, semi-oxidized tea and post-fermented tea

Each one comes from a different manufacturing process, and so has a different taste

You have to try all of them to know which one you prefer πŸ™‚
Rather than buying your tea at a supermarket, you can try various and original flavors from specialized shops, they are often the best quality you can find (if you are in the UK you know what I’m talking about ^^)

Amazon has also a wide variety of products available online, if you don’t want to go out πŸ™‚

Preparation

The tea preparation is basic
You just have to infuse your tea in heat water
You can use tea bags if you shop commercial products, or a tea bowl (check the price on Amazon) if you prefer to drink organic and quality products

You have to know that it’s recommended to infuse the black tea with boiled water while for green tea you can use less hot water (160Β° F or 70 Β°C)
Infusion time depends on the tea you use, generally you can find the information on the package

Differences between tea and infusion

Let’s finish with a face to face comparison of tea and infusion, what are the key ideas you need to remember?
Here are the two main differences between tea and infusion

Definition

An infusion is a preparation process, when you soak leaves in boiled water

A tea is the drink you get when infusing tea leaves (but it’s also the tea leaves name, you can see this sometimes)

Plants

A tea drink is gotten by using only tea leaves
You can find some tea with other ingredients like mint or lemon, but the main plant stay the tea leaves

An infusion is a process to prepare a hot drink, with boiled water and plants leaves
We always call this an infusion, whatever the plants you use, even with the tea leaves πŸ™‚

Conclusion

That’s it, you now know the difference between words tea and infusion

I hope this post was useful for you, and you can now explain this to your family and friends that never understand the difference πŸ™‚

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