What we call tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis. The Camellia Sinensis is a broad-leafed perennial evergreen plant that most commonly resembles a large leafed bush which also flowers and can, over hundreds of years, grow into large trees.
There are also a multitude of other herbs used as herbal teas, or tisanes. Understanding this distinction is a crucial first step in understanding tea outside of the market sphere and learning to appreciate tea, tea culture, tea history, and in determining which tea or tisane would best suit your taste and even physical comfort, as many teas and tisane offer different compounds for different physical effects and remedies.
The different types of true tea, as in tea from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis, are White tea, Yellow tea, Green tea, Oolong tea, Black tea, and Pu-erh tea. These types of tea are distinguishable by and dependent on a multitude of factors that include location, treatment while growing, and certain processes that the tea leaves undergo before and after harvest. The different types of tisane range from chamomile to peppermint, along with many others.