|"The smell was all smoke and Amazon woodsy with a tinge of vegetal-sweet pungency."|
I'll give them credit, though. The color palette works perfectly for the blend. The guayusa leaf flakes meld with the forest green color of the green tea source. Speaking of which, that had me curious. Stash didn't note what type of green tea was used for blending. I did a little investigating, holding up other green tea leaves to it to compare. I first thought it could be a Longjing, but the leaves were too dark. Finally, I settled on Chinese sencha, a common blending tea. Stuff I happen to like quite a bit, even compared to its Japanese forebears.
Brewing instructions were nowhere to be found, either on the Stash website or sample bag. This was a predicament because of the disparate steep times both ingredients required. Average temp and time for a Chinese green tea was 170F for two-and-a-half minutes; guayusa was full-boil for up to six. I could middle-ground it and risk a somewhat spinachy brew. I settled on 2 tsp in 16oz 185F water for four minutes. It was a double-brew kind o' mornin'.
The color this brewed to was all guayusa. Sencha - or any green tea for that matter - contributes a pale yellow-to-green liquor. This was all thick, green - bordering on swamp. The smell was all smoke and Amazon woodsy with a tinge of vegetal-sweet pungency. The taste was a wonderful contrast to the initial appearance, yielding a balanced cup that let the green tea aspect shine a little. Notable were the berry-mint notes of the green tea sourcing and some of the natural guayusa sweetness on aftertaste. Throughout there was a tremendous feeling of "LEAF!", but it at least marched single-file down the gullet. As far as light and heavy-handed mixtures go, this is tops.
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