April 7, 2015

Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups Review

 

IMGP6249 stash tea single cups

Stash is a brand of tea we’ve seen slowly yet steadily expand with its retail presence over the past few years. It seems that every few weeks when we do a grocery run, we notice a new Stash flavor or packaging redesign. A quick look on their website shows that Stash got their start in Tigard, Oregon (a suburb of Portland) back in 1972 and were even operated out of a Portland Victorian style house supplying loose herbals teas and bulk herbs to local natural food stores in their early years. 

This privately-held company then broadened their offerings in 1975 to include bagged teas as well as a full offering of traditional, specialty blend and herbal teas directly to restaurants and through mail order catalogues to consumers. We’ll allow anyone 20 or younger to Google the term mail order catalog for a minute. Stash tea products can now be found in many countries around the world and they’ve entered the single serve market recently with the introduction of Keurig-compatible (1.0 only, not 2.0) single cups.  Today we take a look at 1 of their newer flavors to pop up on store shelves… Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups.

Brewing these Single Cups resulted in a rich aroma of pomegranates & raspberries quickly filling the room. We got a bit of the earthy/grassy notes from the green tea underneath, but the main stars were the 2 namesake ingredients as there was no doubt whatsoever this was a pomegranate raspberry tea with the raspberry notes being slightly more dominant of the 2. Flavor was an interesting mix of sweet & sour as we got a sharp tangy hit of pomegranate up front quickly followed by a less tart and slightly sweet note of raspberries afterwards. We also detected some faint almost lemon-like notes in the background. We however have to note that we got such a barely perceptible hint of green tea that had we not read the words green tea on the packaging, we’d have guessed this was an herbal tea instead. As a result, this tea is obviously more of a strong fruit-flavored tisane vs. a mildly-flavored green tea. Matcha is advertised as being included on the packaging and although this is supposed to be a form of natural stimulant and caffeine substitute, we didn’t really notice much of a kick so to speak after we had consumed a few cups. Who knows? Maybe we’re immune after years and years of coffee drinking?

Some tea aficionados may find this off-putting, but we on the other hand actually appreciated that the namesake items were so strongly pronounced since there’s nothing we find more annoying than a tea which tastes nothing like the main flavors advertised on the box. Acidity was on the medium side with most of the sour notes coming from the pomegranate & raspberry flavors from what we could detect. A benefit of this was that things were abundantly vibrant and popping yet the natural astringency of the green tea was completely covered-up. Body yielded bright vibrant ruby reds during brewing yet this turned an orangish hue when held to a light source. The initial colors during brewing more than matched the namesake flavors. Mouth feel was on the lighter side being a tea, but we wouldn’t call this one too watery as the flavors were strong enough to give things a slightly substantial balance. Finish was dry with some slightly sweet raspberry notes in the aftertaste.

IMGP6251 stash tea single cups

  • Aroma – 10 – Strong, rich aroma of pomegranate & raspberry quickly fills the room with a very slight earthy/grassy note of the green tea hidden underneath. The primary ingredients were definitely well represented without any doubt.  
  • Acidity – 9 – On the medium side with most of the sour notes coming from the pomegranate & raspberry flavors. Things were so vibrant & popping that it covered-up the astringency of the green tea itself.  
  • Body – 10 – Bright & lively shades of ruby reds were present throughout the cup yet were difficult to photograph due to them taking on an orangish hue when held in front of a light source. You get a better sense of the final color & how it matches the namesake flavors in the photo of the brewing process.
  • Flavor – 9 – A mix of sweet & sour with tart notes of pomegranates up front quickly followed by mildly tart & sweet notes of raspberries afterwards. We also detected some faint lemon notes in the background but however couldn’t detect much of the green tea components. Matcha was advertised as being included but we didn’t notice that much of a kick overall compared to regular green tea. 
  • Mouth Feel – 7 – On the lighter side of things and some may find it a tad watery, but keep in mind this is tea after all. We still found the flavors were strong enough to give things a substantial balance.
  • Coffee Drinker – This obviously isn’t a coffee, but if you like sweet & sour as well as strong flavored teas rather than weak teas with only a hint of flavoring, then this one’s for you. The flavor is so strong in fact that we can foresee these Single Cups being used for iced tea during the summer months should those ever decide to get here (we say as we stare at frost-covered windshields & 2 feet of snow outside our window in April)

Overall Rating: 95– Excellent

One thing’s for sure lately, we’ve been noticing almost as many tea companies pop up on the single serve scene as there are coffee companies. Sure, the big names such as Tetley, Red Rose, Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings and Twinings have been mainstays in the licensed Keurig Brewed repertoire for the past several years, but the ones which have been seeing a boom lately are the smaller, lesser known companies like Higgins & Burke, Prospect, Numi and now Stash. They’ve all gone the unlicensed route in an effort to lower costs for consumers and most brands taste just as good, and in some cases, even better than their licensed counterparts.

IMGP6253 stash tea single cups

Stash is just one of the latest in an ever-growing line-up of unlicensed brands which just go to show, just because something isn’t licensed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. As for this tea, we can definitely see it being used in a variety of ways, hot or iced. If you like sweet & tart flavors, this one’s definitely worth checking out when you get a chance.   

Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea Single Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers BUT NOT Keurig 2.0 and are available at various retail & grocery locations across USA & Canada. You can also order these Single Cups online in USA directly via the company at StashTea.com, Amazon.com, and in Canada online via ECSCoffee.com. Please also note that Single Cups will NOT work without using adapters in Keurig Vue brewers.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to thank ECS Coffee for sending us some samples of these Single Cups for the purpose of this review.

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews

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Posted by Jay Brewer at April 7, 2015 7:37 AM
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