I came to tea rather late in life, having discovered its many and varied charms less than a decade ago. But back in the good old days, when I was just beginning to make my acquaintance with this beverage, I experimented with quite a number of varieties from the good people at Stash Tea. Some of the ones I was particularly fond of were their Premium Green and Peppermint varieties. Yes, the latter is technically a tisane rather than a tea, but to this day I still like a peppermint “tea” that’s lively enough to scorch your sinuses, and Stash Peppermint fits the bill.
Like several other well-known purveyors of hot beverages (including one rather well-known household name) Stash Tea got their start in the Pacific Northwest. That was in Portland, Oregon, to be precise, and the company is still headquartered in that region to this day. As the company notes at their Web site, they got their start four decades ago, in 1972, operating “out of an old Portland Victorian style house, supplying loose herbal teas and bulk herbs to natural food stores.”
It was only a few years later that the company branched out and began selling “real” tea, as in that beverage made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. It was a dramatically different landscape for America’s tea merchants than the one we know today, but the company apparently did something right since they survived and thrived to this day. Nowadays they claim to offer more than 250 tea blends in all and call themselves “one of the largest specialty tea companies in the United States.”
Given that they got their start just a few years after the close of the Sixties, it might be tempting to speculate about the origin of the Stash Tea name. But as the company notes, it actually derives from a certain historical aspect of the tea trade. When clipper ships ruled the waves and were the primary means for getting tea to European and American markets from far-flung locations, their captains were often given some of the finest teas from a given shipment for their own use – a selection that became known as their stash.
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