Tisane is the correct name for what people like to call herbal tea.
An herbal brew cannot be a tea because all tea is derived from the same type of plant – and that plant is not ginger or lemongrass or chamomile.
The source plant is camellia sinensis. Yes, white, green, or black , if it is tea, it comes from the same plant. The different teas are the result of how the plant is grown and harvested.
If tea is your preference, you can always grow your own!
The following technique works for many tisanes. First, let’s make a wonderful tisane of ginger and lemongrass.
1 piece of ginger
1 four-inch piece of lemongrass
2 cups water
Honey to taste
Set a small pot filled with two cups of water on the stove.
Set out the mortar and pestle.
Set out a fine mesh strainer and a tea pot.
Head out to the garden and cut off a nice young tender stalk of lemongrass – growing your own lemongrass is simple and oh so delicious.
Slice the bottom four inches off the lemongrass stalk, put the rest of the stalk into the compost bin.
Slit and peel the outer layer off the lemongrass, rinse well, cut into four one-inch lengths that are then cut in half lengthwise.
Now cut a nice chunk off a piece of ginger. Slice off the skin until until you have a one-inch peel free knob. Cut this into thin slices.
Place both the ginger and lemongrass in the mortar.
Use the pestle to grind the ginger and lemongrass a bit. Mashing the pieces breaks open the cellular structure so the flavors are more readily steeped into a tisane.
If you do not have a mortar pestle, just a wooden meat mallet and give the stalks a few whacks.
Making the tisane:
Bring the water to a boil and add the mashed ginger and lemongrass.
Simmer two minutes. Remove from the heat and steep for five minutes.
The flavor should be fairly intense. If it is too strong for you, add a little more hot water. Add honey to sweeten the tisane to suit your palate.
Enjoy mindfully with your favorite tea biscuit.