Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Between the Devil and the deep black tea

When Amerigo Vespucci invented sailing and discovered how to rob indigenous peoples of their land, spices were still expensive. That's not the case anymore because the same kids that make your Air Jordan's and answer your customer service questions also grow your cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, blah blah blah. Actually that brings up an interesting question. Is it still a sweatshop if it's air conditioned? Think about that, but I digress...It's basic economics; the supply is larger, which lowers the cost to us. Because of that, everything is spiced now, but especially crappy /t/. I like to call it chai tea. Actually I don't because chai means tea in a bunch of different language tongues. See what I did there? I'll do it again. Chai means tea in the languages of many different country nations.

In a round about way, I'm getting to the fact that I'm reviewing a “chai” /t/ aka tea tea, redundant tea, or a tea within a tea. Since it was basically free and my first experience with Stash, I thought what the hell. Plus the package looked cool. I like bright red things.

I opened the /t/ bag, and immediately my nose was assaulted by more cinnamon than Big Red gum. I was fully expecting to get a spice ship from India when I opened the microwave, but instead I got this tea. It has a normal black /t/ base with a cinnamon scent. There is also a subtle cinnamon bite to it that builds, likely from the Big Red flavoring, but the clove and nutmeg flavors that are announced on the box are only present when the tea is room temperature or colder. It's a little dusty too, probably from ground spices. To be honest, I consider the artificial cinnamon taste a big negative along with the dustiness. It really lacked depth. The spices were there, yes, but they didn't really enhance this tea in any way. A straight cinnamon tea would've been better, like this one /t/ me and the Tea_Pain had at Macha Teahouse last year. A tea with spices other than cinnamon would've been better too, provided the spices were in the right quantities, proportions, etc. When you have so many spices, you spread out the flavor. Sometimes it's best to go with a larger quantity of fewer spices. Stash, you need to go deeper.

What: Chai Spice Black Tea (Stash) aka redundant tea is redundant
How much: $5.45 per box (30 bags)
What kind: Black - Spiced
Taste: Like a tea within a tea.  Probably would be better as a tea within a tea within a tea.
Repeat Drinkability: 6/10 (I expected more. More of what? Exactly.)
Manliness: 7/10 (men love Big Red gum and spices)

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