Stash's Green Tea versus Tazo's Green Tips

Originally posted to my now gone tea blog. If any formatting fails, that is why. The sentiments largely remain the same.


Shortly after getting back into my tea hobby in 2006, I came across the claim that Tazo's China Green Tips was the most excellent tea (some websites differed or whether this meant tastiest, healthiest or both). I had a lot of trouble finding it around here, though. Most of the Tazo "green" selection was either decaffinated or flavored. Instead, I picked up Stash's Premium Green and drank that.

Well, I eventually found a couple of stores that sold the Tazo and picked up a box. It was about twice as much as the Stash, but that's ok because it was such the better tea, right? Wrong. It suprised me to find that the tastes were so very similar. Not quite the same, mind you, but definitely in the same basic zone. I figured I would take the two and go down a bit by bit comparison, to see which one really came out on top.

Stash Premium Green v. Tazo China Green Tips

(20 ct Boxes)

1 pack, 8oz water, 4 minutes brew

PackagingGreen box with some basic background on tea, green tea, and the company. Brewing instructions. Basic contact information. Very little fluff.Brown/grey box with some green highlights. Declares itself the reincarnation of tea. References Chinese culture, defines Tazo, has basic contact information, brewing instructions. Covered in letters and symbols which look cryptic but are word plays on "full bodied", etc. Too much fluff.Stash
StorageIndividual foil wrapped tea. Not eco-friendly but excellent on freshness. Shelf life of 3-4 years.Wax paper packets. More eco-friendly if you use a compost heap disposal. Shelf life of 1-2 years.Stash, but who buys tea for years of storage?
Tea Inside"[B]lended from high quality green teas."Mao FengTazo
Brewing1-3 minutes or to taste.3-4 minutes, squeeze and remove.Tie, I suppose
AromaSort of a smell of early autumn leaves, pleasant but indistinct.The sweetness normally associated with tea smell, a little bit heavier and distinct.Tazo
TasteSlight bitter with a "high note" aftertaste. Fair amount of green flavor. Sticks to the tongue a few seconds after drinking.Little more of green flavor, but a little bit more bitter as well. Aftertaste is flat, and generally unremarkable but has a "in the nose" pleasantness.Tie, slightly towards Tazo for fullness.
Price (at standard market)$2.79$4.79Stash

The end result? I am going to award it to Stash, and here is why. The flavor, the primary factor, slightly falls under Tazo's point, and Tazo pretty clearly wins base tea and aroma, but it is $2 more for the same amount of tea. What's more, you are paying near $5 for 1.4oz of the Tazo, when you can get Numi's Maofeng for roughly the same price (even from the Numi website, cheaper still if you get it through a place like that sales it at wholesale-esque prices), and you will get fuller cuts of tea with a better taste. Of course, if you need specifically bagged tea, and don't mind the extra dollar or two, then Tazo it is. The only places I have found it regularly around here are Target and Starbucks, though, so keep that in mind. Stash's tea is pretty much everywhere I have seen tea sold.

My other complaint against Tazo is that it is one of the worst companies as far as pushing tea as a mystic culture down one's throat, which seems kind of ironic how it is a subsidiary of Starbucks and is firmly rooted in the late 90's United States. At least Stash tends to be upfront about its origins and seems to respect its place as mid-quality tea with a decent number of choices. Tazo's marketing choice as some sort of newfound soul of tea is just about the most annoying thing I have seen outside of the overabundance of tea-as-health trends.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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