Tea Journals: I Can Safely Say This is One of the Worst Teas I’ve Ever Tried

Here’s another entry in our collective Tea Journal, where readers of the site can submit their own thoughts and musings about different types of tea, or tea in general and whatever’s on their mind. These are more casual reads and less info-dense compared to some of our reviews or guides, and we’ve had a lot of requests from people to share their content here, so we figured this was a great way to do it!

Here’s a submission from a reader who shares their thoughts on one of the worst teas they’ve ever tried… 


Kroger Private Selection Passion Fruit and Papaya Black Tea

I can safely say this is one of the worst teas I’ve ever tried. I’ve thrown the entire box out since no one in the house will drink it. We tried hot, cold, and blending it but it’s so unpalatable it had to go. I like fruity teas generally, but when you think of fruit you also think of sweetness and that’s what’s missing here. I love Kroger’s private selection (especially their ice cream), and I wanted something that wasn’t as heavy as chai but more flavourful than plain tea and hoped this would be in the middle. It’s close, but it’s a shame about the taste.

I didn’t open any of the bags, I simply assume that they’re not great quality being that it’s a store brand tea bag not from the natural foods selection. That and after my experience I imagine there are a lot of chemicals and artificial stuff in there; I’m a tea snob, so sue me. I wasn’t impressed this time. There was no scent from the tea before brewing at all, not even a bit of citrusy warmth was coaxed out but you could smell a little of the black tea. I got more warm and fuzzies thinking about papaya and passion fruit than I got from the unbrewed bag.

The directions for this are 190f for up to 5 minutes, which I can assure you is too strong even for someone who likes strong tea like me. I tried it briefly after a minute or so to see what I was getting in to and even then it was awful. The color is weak, especially for a black tea I expect dark while this was more like a weak red rooibos. For a blend that screams fruity by name I couldn’t even smell any while brewing, it was just this overpowering bitterness. The smell rather evoked what I’d expect tea in a demon dimension would smell like.

Once brewed the taste didn’t get any better. That little sip while it was still weak was as palatable as it got. Very bitter, very chemically, and almost like drinking hot oven cleaner. I could not for the life of me imagine how this was supposed to taste like fruit of any sort. To me papaya and passion fruit are sweet evoking, even when rotten the fruits are sweet, and this tea was anything but. I couldn’t finish the cup, and actually couldn’t even finish more than a few sips before tipping it out. It made me feel like I’d tried rotten food and I had to rinse my mouth out. The after taste was definitely reminiscent of industrial toilet cleaner.

When we tried blending this tea to make it more palatable I thought adding stevia (to remove the bitterness) would be a great cure. Even adding the stevia, adding sugar, and mixing it with a ginger citrus tea bag didn’t help get rid of the bitter taste. It’s unsalvageable as far as I’m concerned which is why it was thrown out.


Tell us how you really feel! Yikes, sounds like they really didn’t like this tea! Has anyone else tried it? What did you think of it?

If you’re not inspired to start running to Kroger immediately in order to pick up this stuff, maybe a subscription to a high-quality tea subscription box is more up your alley? We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular and best ones our there, and are always looking to expand our list.