Name: Raspberry & White Decaf
Brand: Stash Tea
Type: White tea, decaffeinated, flavored
Form: Paper tea bags, individually wrapped in foil
Review: Subtlety can be a good thing. Many flavored white teas are a joke. The “manufacturers” simply blend a cheap, flavorless white tea with a whole lot of artificial flavorings. The result is something that tastes like the flavorings, but not like the tea. The tea is a marketing gimmick, added to create the illusion of a “healthy” beverage with all those wondrous antioxidants.
But sometimes, a bagged-tea blender gets it right: Stash’s Raspberry & White Decaf is a nifty blend of a decaf white tea and a light touch of raspberry flavoring. Does it compare to a delicious, whole-leaf white tea prepared in a gaiwan? Certainly not. But it is delicious, with clean, crisp, yet gentle flavors. The raspberry isn’t overdone, and the tea has a nice sweetness and gives the cup some balance and body.
About the decaf bit: You may have heard that white tea has less caffeine than other types of tea. This isn’t true, so if you’ve been drinking white tea in hopes of avoiding caffeine, you’ve been getting a lot more caffeine than you bargained for. Decaf tea itself does have some caffeine, so if you avoid caffeine for health reasons, talk to your doctor before drinking even decaffeinated teas and coffees.
Recommendation: Weirdly enough, I sometimes like a white tea first thing in the morning. I know this is decaf and all that, but when you want to wake up slowly, this tea does the trick. The hint of fruit flavoring perks up the tastebuds, which is just enough to get me going on a day when there is nothing pressing in my schedule. Lovely on ice, very refreshing. Try making a tea spritzer with it: Pour some soda water over ice, and then some cold Raspberry & White Decaf over it. Add a slice of fresh lemon to liven it up a bit. Tasty and refreshing.
Preparation Tips: Bring the water temperature down to 180F or so, and only let this tea infuse for about a minute.
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