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Decisions: Beverages

"(Naming the Plant) Tea" (e.g., "Mint Tea")

Question:  Is the common name "(Naming the Plant)Tea", for example "Mint Tea", acceptable for a product that contains plant material other than tea?

Answer: No, when a food product contains plant material other than or in addition to tea, it should be identified with a descriptive common name other than "(Naming the plant) tea". This respects the tea standard, defined in Division 20 of the Food and Drug Regulations as being the dried leaves and buds of Thea sinensis (L.) Sims (or Camellia sinensis). There are 3 standards for tea (tea, black tea and green tea).

"(Naming the plant) Herbal tea" is an appropriate descriptive common name for a product not made solely from the tea plant described in the standard. It is also consistent with the wording in French, where there is a clear distinction made between herbal tea ("tisane") and tea ("thé"). (FEB/2005)