Friday, August 17, 2007

Black Passionfruit from Dragonwater

Scent in package: mango-y, fruity with that normal “all around black tea” scent
Brewed in: filter bags
Steeped: 4-5min.@ 212 degrees
Cup: Café mug at work

I think one of the biggest challenges I face tasting black flavored teas is that I don’t care much for Ceylon black tea, which is the base tea for the majority of flavorings (I prefer keemum or assam – rich, malty flavors). With a good flavored tea, I don’t really taste the thinner, more bitter Ceylon background, but the flavoring becomes the focus and distracts from the base tea. But mango and passion fruit are two flavors that just don’t seem to work at all with Ceylon tea when brewed hot. This particular tea is no exception.

The tea is thin and almost watery, with a heavy dose of sweet passion fruit flavoring (that always seems to remind me of mangos) running through the mainly bitter brew. There’s nothing complex about it really – it’s just there, a two-note tea. Even the scent is “thin”, rather than rich and inviting. It’s spectacularly unspectacular in my book, and hardly worthy of a review, except that it may well work just fine as an iced tea, which I haven’t tried yet. I don’t care for this tea much even when it’s cooled to room temp though, so perhaps not.

In any case, the flavor isn’t particularly “fruity” – more of a hint of flavor and the tea is more drying than I normally prefer as well. I’ll skip this next time – you might want to try it as an iced tea, but honestly, I think there are far better teas out there to spend money on.


  1. The two or three Ceylons I've tried (unflavored) have left me scratching my head and wondering what the point is. A least a couple of the more popular British blends seem to rely heavily on this sort of clean and somewhat bland taste I think of as characteristizing Ceylons. I include our US Lipton in this watery, lager-like group, although I wonder to what extent it includes Argentine tea, as I understand their RTD teas do.

    I would be very interested to hear from people with zippier experience with Ceylons, if such a thing is possible.

    Well, not to disparage excessively (after all I am generalizing from very limited experience) but I found it reinforcing to my developing prejudice to read your comments about Ceylon teas. As for adding fruit flavors (exotic or otherwise) into any tea, no matter how humble, I exercise tolerance, good will toward my fellows, and shudder ...

    Thanks for the review.

  2. Well I appreciate the tolerance. :-) I started out with flavored teas, and while I'll heartily admit that most good quality tea/tea blends do not need or want flavor, occasionally it's just *fun* to drink something flavored. But that tends to be something more common with the female gender, in any case.

    I'm glad the review reinforced your own views...I try and try, but I just can't like ceylon teas.

  3. I have trouble agreeing with your sexist generalization, but I suppose it is correct! Any idea why, Dr. Freud?

  4. I disagree about the
    mango flavored black tea
    . I had a mango
    loose tea
    (linked) that I absolutely adored and it was a Ceylon based black tea. I tried it both iced and hot and found the flavors to be great.

  5. I'm not sure, salsero...your guess is as good as mine. It's just been my experience that men tend to like to leave "tastes" as they are, rather than embellish them with other flavors. Women seem more willing to attempt to "improve" upon the original. I have no idea why, though. If I gain any more insights into that, I'll be sure to mention it... :-)

    kaydee, you may have noticed that the tea you linked to also is based on a Ceylon I stated before, it's not really the mango that bothers me, but the tea from Ceylon used as a base that seems to be the trouble. I'm glad you like it - to each his or her own tastes, but I'm not optimistic about Ceylon based teas being my "cup of tea" anytime soon.

  6. Kaydee, I meant to ask, can you let us know what it was about that particular mango/Ceylon tea you liked? Certain flavors, textures, scent...anything that might make it stand out from other Ceylon tea? That might help me (and anyone else) pinpoint what's been bugging us about certain Ceylons...


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