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Stash Vanilla Chai Decaf Black Tea Review
In the Mood for Self-Punishment? Drink This Tea!
Summary : A harsh, rather bitterness chai tea that tastes nothing like any other chai tea you'll ever try. Instead, vision a bitter, overpowering strong vanilla tea and you'll get the idea of what you'll find in this less than desireable tea from Stash.
Review : Chai teas I love...no doubt about that. Sadly, I've come to the realization that despite my love of vanilla, I may never find a "vanilla tea" that I actually like. Yet, here it is, February 2nd, 2007, and I find myself looking at a Stash Tea called Vanilla Chai Decaf Black Tea.
I'm always, repeat always, leery of decaffeinated teas. Too many just have a bitterness about them that is all to present unless that bitterness is totally buried underneath something else.
Yet, this tea from Stash I felt compelled to try it. Part of it is due to my love of chai teas...I love spice. And the second reason is because I also, like a stupid Pavlov dog, will always try a tea that says "Vanilla" on the label - despite being "burned" multiple times by the label "vanilla."
The Vanilla Spice Decaf Black Tea from Stash contains the following ingredients : Naturlaly decaffeinated black tea, ginger, cassia, allspice, clove, nutmeg, and natural flavors of vanilla nut, cinnamon, cardamom and clove.
Stash says remarkably little about this tea. Here is their description : "Naturally vanilla dds rich and creamy flavor notes to our delicious naturally decaffeinated Chai tea."
You'll understand why Stash says so little about this tea the second you taste it. The tea is terrible! What else is there to say?
Quite a bit, actually. First off, this tea can only be charitably called a "chai tea." Gone are the familiar flavors of cinnamon, allspice, cardamom and other things that are typically thrown into a chai tea.
Instead, the vastly overpowering flavor of vanilla dominates this tea. Now, vanilla all by its lonesome isn't a bad thing. Indeed, if Stash used this amount of vanilla in a herbal tea...I suspect they would have a winning tea. Call it "Vanilla Ice Cream Herbal Tea," or something along those lines.
But alas, Stash didn't use this vanilla in a herbal tea. Instead, they used it, overpoweringly I think, in a decaffeinated black tea. Note the emphasis on decaffeinated. The reason this is important is because it has been my experience most decaffeinated green and black teas tend to have a mild to rather bitter taste to them unless that bitterness is totally buried underneath "other things."
And I suspect that is what Stash tried here. Dump enough vanilla into the tea in hopes no one would notice the bitterness. Well, maybe not a bad plan of attack...but the results were far from perfect. Indeed, I'd say the results are far from desireable.
Instead of "covering up" the bitterness of the decaffeinated black tea, sadly the vanilla seems to mix with it and produces a very harsh, and surprisingly bitter tea. When you take your first sip, well, prepare to "pucker." And truthfully, when you take your first sip...be close to the kitchen sink so you can spit it out when the nasty flavor hits your tongue. It will take some willpower to choke it down.
Overall, this is a pretty darn bad tea. Save this tea for someone you don't like.
Recommendation : No. If you like chai teas, you will not like this tea. If you like vanilla teas, you will not like this tea. If you enjoy self-punishment, then perhaps you will like this tea...but only if your pain threshold is substantially higher than mine.
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