Friday, December 21, 2007

A Delightful Stash of Tea

Hi all,

I hate to say it, but this looks like the last post of 2007! Happy New Year everyone! I hope you've all had, and still are having, a wonderful holiday season. Remember if you have not done so to request a $5 gift certificate on the right side of this blog. It's my gift to you.

Recently, I received a nice review package from Stash Teas. I am a long time fan of stash teas, and have always found them near the top of the list as far as quality is concerned.

For this review, I will start by listing the items included in the review package, discussing my reactions to the packaging, etc, saying something about each of them, and then explaining which item was my favorite and why I think that.

The first thing that impressed my upon examining the contents of the parcel was the packaging. Each of the teas is stored in a very durable foil-type sack. Each sack has a sturdy zipper seal on it to keep air out and hold the aroma in, helping to prevent your tea from becoming stale. Additionally, each bag features a nice description of the tea it contains, explains the proper brewing temperature, and provides intelligent brewing suggestions. The packaging is also very attractive in it's color scheme and design. Definate shelf appeal.

The first item is the very popular Silver Needle White Tea. I have tasted a lot of white teas since I have been a blogger, and found each of them to be slightly different than the others. Stash Tea's Silver Needle White is a delicious, very mild full-leaf white tea. As far as Whites go, this one is pretty good, but not the best. I noticed that the cup was very slightly cloudy. The flavor, however, is fantastic. As good as Adagio's whites, but not quite on par with some of the new organics I have tasted (more about that in a later review). Overall, I would say that this is a very fine white tea. It's well above the average, and it's apparent that Stash has put some considerable effort into ensuring high quality.

The second item is Fancy Golden Tippy Hao Ya. This is a specialty black tea with a unique smoky flavor. I found this tea overall to be higher quality than the white tea. This tea does not have any clouding at all, resulting in a clear and crisp cup of tea. I found myself really enjoying the smoked flavor of this tea. The tea also has a nice color - a nice golden color - which adds to the appeal. This tea's flavor profile is that of a mild black tea with the smoky notes. It's also slightly sweet, with less astringent than most blacks. It is a very fine tea, and I would recommend it to anyone.

The third is a Formosa Oolong Fancy Grade. As far as oolongs go, this is near the top of the charts. It has that delicious, mild nutty flavor common to oolongs, but also has some additional fruity notes that aren't so common. These are lovely features for an oolong to have, though. This tea also has no clouding, and a great color in the cup. A nice golden - not as deep as the Hao Ya, but a nice soft and mellow golden. This tea is also slightly sweet, needing no added sweetener at all.

The final tea is Gyokuro Asahi Pearl Dew. This tea is unique and interesting. This is a green tea, and is unique among greens. It has a subtle sweetness and a strong vegetal taste which I couldn't get enough of. It also has excellent cup color, but does cloud a bit. This is made up for, however, by the nice, whole uncrushed leaves and the unique blend of flavors. This is a very rich tea, with lots of flavor and punch. It's intensity lies in it's flavor blending, and it's underlying vegetal taste.

Overall, the Pearl Dew was my favorite of these, although it was hard to decide between that and Tippy Hao Ya. I adore the flavor blends in the Pearl Dew, really like the tint of the liquid, love the smell, and mostly love that it's high quality and good for me.

You can visit Stash, and order their free catalog at

Hope you've enjoyed the review. More to come early this January, so keep watch!

Over and out,


Tom said...

Stash does make some excellent teas -- some of the best bagged tea around.

I avoid them for the packaging decisions they've made. Individual Foil wrappers? As if individual paper wrappers weren't environmentally unfriendly enough.

Again, I like their teas. I do buy it occasionally, but I'd buy a lot more if I had a foil-wrapper free option.

Tom said...

Relz -- thanks for pointing out that Stash sells loose leaf tea. I never knew that!