Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Stash, White Christmas

Stash Description:
Dream of a white Christmas as you sip this delightful holiday tea. A unique blend of white tea, cool peppermint and a hint of ginger. Adding a touch of sugar or honey brings out the distinct flavor notes.

white tea, peppermint, ginger root

My Review:
Yeah, yeah, I know - Christmas is over. Except, it was sunny and shirt sleeve weather around here on Christmas. Today it is bitter cold and windy with blowing snow. The trees are covered and it just feels like the proper time to drink this one.

I discovered Stash Tea years ago just as my adventure into new teas was beginning to blossom. A local yard and garden center kept a big bowl of assorted Stash teas near their door to encourage people to try them and hopefully buy them. It seemed to work on me at least. I had not seen this one before now.

I have three bags to experiment with, a gift from a friend. Going online to check out the box reveals a weight of 29g for 18 bags. That translates into 1.6g per bag. You should keep your cup small - say 6 oz, I chose to purposely ignore my own advice because who drinks only 6 oz at a time in the land of supersize it. Seriously Stash give us at least 2g. 2.5 would be better.

I used boiling water for the first cup. It does not tell you on the envelop that Stash recommends 150-170F water. Maybe it is on the box. It is on the website. My conviction is most bag tea drinkers will ignore directions and use boiling or near boiling water.

I'm also of the opinion most people will leave the bag in the cup. I however chose not to do so and removed it after three minutes.

The aroma is decidedly peppermint. It is not overwhelming. Cooling peppermint is also the predominate taste. It is at a pleasant level. With the first bag I prepared a few days ago, I could not readily detect the ginger. Today it seems more accessible. It adds just a small hit of heat at the end of the minty chill. Now that I am experiencing it, I find it kind of a neat shift. The only other ingredient listed is the white tea. I really only catch it around the edges of the sip and it seems muted. I do sense it as more present in the aftertaste.

I did add sweetener to the cup as I thought it was improved by doing so. Feel free to disagree.

I decided to go ahead and use the final bag with water heated properly to 160F - mid range of the recommended temperature. The cup was steeped for three minutes.

So did it make a difference? I have to say yes! The cup seems naturally sweeter and the flavor more rounded. With cooler water the white tea comes to life a little more. The bag gets in the way of this tea and it is still a bit muted but do pay attention to how you brew this one. You will be rewarded.

Reading back, I feel like I gave White Christmas a bit of a hard time. If you are just beginning to broaden your tea experience or are just looking for a pleasant convenient bagged tea, this is well done. I think the personal issue for me is the muted flavor. Experience can sometimes sidetrack the enjoyment of a simple cup.

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