Review: Stash Christmas Eve Herbal Tea

Cinnamon Tea, Herbal Tea, Mint Tea, Orange Peel Tea, Orange Spice Tea, Orange Tea, Stash Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The sweet vanilla weaves a great mix, most of leafy spearmint with orange zest and grated cinnamon that hits cool, bright and cozy in each spirited sip. "
Raven’s Teaview: 7.8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.3/10
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I love holidays. So maxing the merriment of them is a righteous activity as much as it builds the anticipation and bides time until the actual day. So the kitsch doesn’t bother me and I bring on the bling but I don’t drain the block with my Christmas lights or quite roll around in shamrocks on St. Patrick’s day. But indulging in holiday inspired blends is a fun addition to any holiday. Plus, after dreamy stints of Christmas baking, there’s really no better tantalizing visions than Christmas treats. While Stash has several yuletide inspired blends to fill one’s sleigh with teas throughout the holiday, as a non-caffeinated tisane, I had not yet tried their Christmas Eve blend which seems to embody lots of Christmas spirit with cinnamon, spearmint and orange peel along with natural flavours of orange, vanilla and cloves. Plus, as a tisane, without caffeine, it seemed appropriate since it’s hard enough getting to sleep on Christmas eve with thoughts of Santa. Not to mention, there are other ordinary days when adding a little Christmas before bed would be nice dreaming material.

Since the tea is bagged, there is a present to unwrap, without much fanfare to see but surprise still awaits from the medium strong bouquet. There’s no dancing sugarplums but the aroma does conjure the Christmas vibe with its sweet spearmintiness. The candied fresh, green sweetness with white vanilla is enough to get the candy canes rocking with its pleasing zeal. Closer up though, dry reedy notes make the mint seems a bit more herbal and reedier to seems less than fresh but it is sweet with a spearmint’s green warmth. The bouquet is definitely most minty, yet you can tell that it’s not mint alone as the orange tinsels the mint tree with a light punch of store bought orange juice which mingles nicely. The spices on the other hand are faint, with just a rumble of spiciness. It’s not quite the balance I expected but there may be more to unwrap as festivities ensue.

Since Stash includes brewing instructions as a gift tag on the package for a five minute steep with boiling water, there’s just enough time to sing carols ‘round the kettle as it brews. After the five minute infusion, the brew is a cheery sunflower yellowish orange that could top any tree proudly except for a slight haze while it also seems aptly imbued with orange’s nativity. The dark, brilliant hue isn’t the only attention getter though as the tea’s bouquet happily rings Nöel. While the mint is the first to register, glazed with the vanilla, the cinnamon rounds out the bouquet, adding its sweetness which seems to be where they find a jolly harmony. The vanilla has a white, ice cream like purity which goes so well with the other ingredients to string them together so nicely with its sweetness. The mint has a dried leaf quality with just a bit of a waxy stemmy aroma, seeming almost like a mix of spearmint and peppermint with a sprinkle of chamomile in its herbal merriment. The mint also jingles better than anticipated with the cinnamon which has a good intensity and natural tiding without being too weak or sharp. Emerging from the minty notes, a twinkle of cooked orange rind brightens the bouquet, drawing in the cinnamon and accenting its warm soft spiciness. The cloves don’t really stand out on their own but likely add to the cinnamon’s glow.

Once into the light body, the tea decks the halls with a surprising scope of flavour to satisfy despite being a tisane. Just as spirited as milk and cookies for Santa but dancing with snowflakes as each sip rings in a joyous combination of mint, citrus and spice. The mint is the most prominent, falalalalala’ing along with a cooked herbal spearmint flavour. Like the aroma, the mintiness also seems touched with chamomile but seems fresher tasting with enough leafiness not to resemble extract without seeming dry. The orange is just as lively as it shines out of the mint with a perky citrus chime that blends nicely with the mint through the vanilla’s sweetness that wraps up them both. From the minty orange, the sip grounds on the warm, natural spiciness of the cinnamon. With a dusting of cloves, the cinnamon has a cinnamon bread kind of comfort, backed with a bread-like quality to the flavour to have a pleasing wholesomeness to end in a medium finish. With a light aftertaste, the spearmint and orange briefly dance in one’s mouth, leaving their fresh cheer. What else that is left behind as the festivities of the brew settle is an odd kind of white particles at the bottom of one’s cup, just like a snow globe.

As the joy of the first cup dwindles, it’s back to the chimney to re-light the kettle. A second four minute steeping still looks like a candle all a glow from the lighter tigery yellow brew that is a bit hazier than the first. With a medium bouquet, the tea is still full of mirth brimming with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on a dried spearmint leaf with a splash of cooked orange juice, although drier, reedy notes slightly dampen the vitality of the scent. The flavour also maintains a pleasing balance of cinnamon bark, bright orange and dry mintiness that is almost nicer than the first cup, despite lightening. From the pleasing cinnamon finish, the mintiness lingers in one’s mouth long enough to leave a fresh feel. Continuing to third infusion seems a bit like boxing day, as the flavour diminishes more than the scent with more reed-like boxy flavours emerging in the cup.

Waiting for Santa is hard. But Stash’s Christmas Eve tisane is lively enough to match the anticipation for Jolly Saint Nick with its sweet harmony of festive flavours and scents. Plus, it comes at a relatively cozy price with an after Christmas shopping budget. So whether it’s during Yuletide or to conjure the same elfish charm, the tea makes for a spirited caffeine-free sip.

— To purchase Stash Christmas Eve Herbal Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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