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Recent Tasting Notes
Summer Vacation! I decided to do another bagged tea revisit. In general these are always such a disappoint, as I continually discover that the grocery store teas I used to be fine with back in the day I just can’t tolerate now that my palate is more sensitive. But I’m always willing to give them a second chance.
I do like Moroccan Mint blends, and this one actually uses Young Hyson Chinese green tea rather than gunpowder green (Moroccan Mint is one of the only times I actually find gunpowder green somewhat tolerable, it definitely isn’t my favorite kind of green) so that already improves it a bit for me. It’s also a mint/spearmint blend and includes a touch of lemongrass, and the last Moroccan Mint blend I tried that included a touch of citrus (it had lemon verbena) really worked for me, so maybe I’ll still like this one as much as I remember I used to? Then again, Stash has not had a very good revisit streak with me… I think I’ve only still liked one Stash tea upon revisit, with all the rest scoring very lowly with me upon revisit. Hmm…
I decided to do this one as one of my quart mason jars of iced tea. Prepared hot brewed first, then left to fully chill overnight before drinking. Call me shocked, it… still holds up! I mean, it’s by no means the most amazing Moroccan Mint tea I’ve had or anything (Steven Smith Teamaker’s full leaf Fez is far nicer), but as far as cheap, bagged tea goes… I can actually drink this and not think to myself, ugh, this tastes nasty, like I usually feel when I’m drinking cheap bagged tea. The spearmint leads as the dominant flavor, and is really refreshing as an iced tea. It’s nicely minty and lingers a bit on the tongue, and I feel I get that slight touch of citrus.
You’ve done okay with this one, Stash.
Flavors: Citrus, Menthol, Mint, Spearmint
A Berry Frui-tea July! Decided to have a bagged tea revisted tonight, and a fairly standard one at that… Stash’s Lemon Ginger. I’m six days in on a prolonged migraine attack, and mint and ginger have always been things that are fairly soothing for my migraine nausea. I actually have a special nausea blend that is a mix of both of those things that I’ll sip on when the nausea is at its worst, but this even a lazy ginger herbal sounded fine. I still have some of this, and though it’s old, it appears it isn’t past date yet.
I have had some very nice lemon ginger loose leafs in the past, so I’m imagining based on that this revisit is probably going to be a little more lackluster than I’m remembering… I do recall I used to like this quite a bit in the past. I really dislike the orange variety of this tea by Stash, Sunny Orange Ginger, which I revisited pretty recently and still have pretty recent memories of, so I’m even more hesistant that this will hold up now… but we’ll see. Of course I had to remove it from the paper bag, because paper teabags taste nasty to me.
If I’m honest, this… really doesn’t hold up, because it does remind me of Sunny Orange Ginger. It definitely isn’t as bad as that tea to me, but the same things that bothered me about that Stash flavor are bothering me about this tea now that I’m trying it again. The lemon just tastes too artificial, and the ginger tastes way too strong, to the point it leaves this lingering heat on the back of my tongue after every sip. Between the two I’d take a cup of this any day, because the lemon is definitely a more pleasant sort of artificial lemon taste than that weird orangey taste was in the Sunny Orange Ginger, but… eh. When I can make a cup of my Tulsi Lemon Ginger loose leaf, it’s just hard to imagine finishing all the teabags of this off…
Flavors: Artificial, Ginger, Lemon, Medicinal, Spicy
A Berry Frui-tea July! Found another orange-flavored bagged tea in the back of the cupboard (and this one actually doesn’t expire until November, so age shouldn’t be an issue this time!) I’m guessing this was one of the teas I enjoyed back in my baby tea-drinking days when I only had bagged tea, but I honestly don’t remember it at all, so if that was the case, it didn’t leave much of an impression. Ah well, time to try it out now!
The aroma comes off a little underwhelming, but it does smell slightly of orange and spices. The flavor of the cup is maybe just a little weaker than I was expecting, but it isn’t unpleasant. The orange still comes across with that somewhat artificial taste that I usually get from orange in tea, but it isn’t overwhelming the cup, and I’ve had a lot of bagged teas where the spices (particularly that artificial clove flavoring they like to use) can be quite heavy-handed, and here they are more subtle, with just a hint of cinnamon and clove left on the tongue after the sip. The flavor is actually nice, because it isn’t overpowering, it just feels like the black tea itself is a little weaker than I was expecting. Most orange spice blacks I’ve had in the past have been a little more robust than this one. On the plus side, it at least doesn’t come off with any bitterness and only the most mild of tongue-drying astringency after a sip. On the whole? Honestly pretty good, especially for a bagged tea, and I’ve had a few real misses with Stash. I’m happy to say this isn’t one of them. I wish the black tea had a little more “omph” since the flavoring is nice, but I won’t have trouble sipping down what is left of this box, either.
Flavors: Artificial, Cinnamon, Clove, Orange
This is one of the better powdered and bagged green teas I’ve tasted (low-bar).
This is the green tea we stock at the office. It’s okay in a pinch, like when I’m traveling or in a hurry, but it pales in comparison to a high-quality whole-leaf green tea.
Flavors: Cut grass, Dry Grass, Saffron, Seaweed
Cold-steeped this one for a few days in my glass teapot. It’s divine. Tastes exactly like perfectly ripe honeydew melon. Blended well. I get buttery and floral notes in the aftertaste as well. The sweetness of the melon and guava flavors are counterbalanced nicely with a pleasantly sour/ slightly bitter edge from the tea.
Thick, buttery, juicy mouthfeel, akin to the texture of melon.
Not sure which type of Japanese green tea they used for the base— I don’t think it’s sencha— but whatever it is, it makes for a delicious, delicate cuppa.
This company always manages to make very complex and delicious bagged blends.
Well done, Stash!
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Floral, Green, Guava, Honeydew, Melon, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet
May Flowers! I discovered one teabag of this in my cupboard, gifted to me from a volunteer at the library sometime ago. Since I just sampled a bagged raspberry-flavored hibiscus tea last night and found it quite enjoyable (especially when I don’t really drink bagged teas much anymore), I figured I’d give it a go while that comparison was still fresh in my mind. Since I only had the one teabag, though, I did a hot steep.
I’ll admit, with the exception of Stash’s Apple Cinnamon Chamomile (I know, a tea with chamomile in it, of all things!), I’m just not really a fan of Stash’s hibiscus. I don’t know what it is. I’m a huge hibiscus fan (unlike the majority of the reviews I find on Steepster… seriously, I feel like such a black sheep on this site considering how I like things like hibiscus and licorice root!) but there is something kind of bland-tasting whenever I try a hibi-hip heavy Stash tea… it just never seems to have that nice, fruit punchy appeal. This one is no exception. It feels a bit too watery, and I’m getting way too much lemongrass citrus, so neither the hibiscus nor the raspberry is really coming through for me here. I can appreciate that maybe the raspberry isn’t as strong as Celestial Seasonings tends to go with its fruit flavorings, but it seems a little too drowned out here… or maybe it’s just the citrus notes are hiding it? In any event, I think the lemongrass was an odd fit here. Celestial Seasonings definitely had the nicer hibiscus raspberry tea of the two, in my opinion, both because the hibiscus just tasted nicer, and the raspberry flavor was more pronounced. And it wasn’t so citrusy.
Flavors: Berry, Citrus, Hibiscus, Lemon, Tangy, Tart
So I bought a box of this about a week and a half ago, so I had an herbal blend on hand. I like having some herbal teabags at work, to sip without getting too much caffine, and also to have at home, which I am working on my writing project in the evening.
I did not expect this to get sipped down so freaking fast! I am not to be underestimated, apparently.
Its a mint tea! It does what it says on the box! And as I have a fondness for basic peppermint blends, I’d have to say I generally enjoyed it.
This one sounds so good, but now that I’ve tasted it, I kind of wish it wasn’t decaf. I don’t know if it actually makes a difference in taste, but I think it does. I do taste the chocolate and hazelnut, but there’s also a fake element to it… Not sure what that is. Not a bad tea, but it kinda tastes washed out.
Flavors: Cardboard, Chocolate, Hazelnut
Another bagged tea revisit. This is one of the few, however, that I recall I never did like, even back in my bagged-tea-drinking days. I can’t recall now what it was about it, exactly, that I didn’t like, only that I used to drink a lot of the Stash Lemon Ginger, and one day at the store I accidentally got a box of the Sunny Orange Ginger instead because they looked so similar, and I figured, “Eh, no big deal, I like orange too,” and then I didn’t like it at all. It sat in my cupboard untouched for so long at some point I did a big clean-up and threw it out. I was shopping the other day and Stash teas were on sale, and I figured, “Why not?” And here we are.
I removed the tea from the teabag and steeped it in my gravity well infuser for five minutes. The aroma of the steeped tea is really unpleasant to me… and I have to wonder if that is what put me off so much to begin with. It is hard to describe what is so off-putting about it. It’s just this really artificial orangey scent, but it has this acidic or acrid quality to it. Like an orange flavoring you’d find in something really medicinal, sort of like that. And then the ginger is just staggering. Oh boy.
The flavor… Well… I’ve had worse. I mean, I can at least finish this cup. But it isn’t particularly pleasant. It doesn’t have a very strong orange flavor… or maybe it is just hard to tell, because the ginger is really strong. The ginger leaves a burning sensation right at the back of my tongue, and any time a spicy tea is so heavy on the spice it actually leaves an unpleasant heat in my mouth rather than just a nice warming sensation, then it becomes a bit of a turn-off. And from the weak orange flavor that is there, it tastes really artificial.
I wasn’t missing anything here, but my palate has changed so much over time that I don’t regret checking back in and giving it another chance.
Flavors: Artificial, Ginger, Medicinal, Orange, Spicy
Stash English Breakfast is one of the few black teas I can buy in this part of Mexico. Scoring a package is difficult because there is more demand than supply. Its not great tea but I have been happy to have it given there are few alternatives different from herbal infusions, which are everywhere.
The tea bags contain just 2 grams of tea each so I brewed it with just 6 oz of water. The tea its self is mild, weak and inoffensive without any bitterness.
Stash English Breakfast is pleasant to drink and the flavor is slightly sweet but is too weak to pick out any outstanding characteristics. If Lipton is 1 star, this one is a two and a half star brew. While it was ok with milk and stevia, I think those who drink their tea black will get more enjoyment from the cup.