1
drank Karkadé by Pompadour
300 tasting notes

Oh, holy horror.

So my friend K is a sweetheart in every possible way. We were talking about tea at some point in December and she said she had this amazing tea I had to try, which, in fact, was Italian. And I was delighted, because hey – some Italian looseleaf company I had yet to hear of, awesome.

And then she brought me a bag of this.

I obviously felt like the biggest tea snob, but it was like someone telling you you had to taste the most delicious meat dish on earth, and then they drop an unskinned, smelly polecat in your lap.

So.

Hibiscus tea.

Bagged hibiscus tea.

All accompanied by this ‘Oh, this is the best thing ever!’ bounciness. It was hilarious.

But of course I decided to try it! K is awesome, if she loved it, it couldn’t be all that bad, I figured.

First of all, this is the most potent tea dye I have ever seen. I don’t know if I’ll dare look in the mirror after my first sip, for I fear my teeth will turn a deep crimson. This tea bag bleeds in the most unsavoury way possible. I swear I could paint a wall with it.

Steeped, it smells of… absolutely nothing. But it’s very, very red.

Oh man.

This is the worst tea I have had in my life. It tastes like sour blood. There’s this vile, metallic tone to it, which is disturbingly meaty, and the sourness is completely out of hand.

I am laughing so hard right now, but I have to take one more sip for science.

Okay.

Yes, still equally bad, if not worse – it tastes like sour, juiceleaky meat wrapped in paper.

What have I learned from this?

a) Tea snobbery can save lives.

b) I love my friends, maybe especially when they’re trying to kill me.

[Assassination attempt by K, Rome 2013.]

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Sil

lmao awesome

Anna

FOR SCIENCE.

JustJames

this is called taking one for the team. tea team. =0)

caile

lol!!!

K S

The very first legitimate argument I have ever read in defense of tea snobbery and so very funny.

gmathis

Thank you for the laugh. I needed that this evening!

cteresa

Poor you. Oh Poor you. The bad taste in tea good people can have is truly astounding.

There is some italian tea (italian blend, not italian grown, though should let you know there is for example portuguese grown tea which is quite good). I never bought it, but some metal, grey containers, cylindrical? There was a chai mix with star anise I wondered about. I have seen those for sale around, always wondered if they were any good.

cteresa

nevermind, google is our friend, found the tea brand name – Blend teas

http://www.blendweb.it/IT/default.aspx

are they any good?

Anna

Oh, cteresa, I missed your comment completely last time around, but we already exchanged messages about Blend – they’re not responding to e-mails about retail locations, but I’ll keep my eyes open.

cteresa

LOL, funny that I can find it more easily in Lisbon than you in Rome!

Anna

It’s SO Italian.

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Comments

Sil

lmao awesome

Anna

FOR SCIENCE.

JustJames

this is called taking one for the team. tea team. =0)

caile

lol!!!

K S

The very first legitimate argument I have ever read in defense of tea snobbery and so very funny.

gmathis

Thank you for the laugh. I needed that this evening!

cteresa

Poor you. Oh Poor you. The bad taste in tea good people can have is truly astounding.

There is some italian tea (italian blend, not italian grown, though should let you know there is for example portuguese grown tea which is quite good). I never bought it, but some metal, grey containers, cylindrical? There was a chai mix with star anise I wondered about. I have seen those for sale around, always wondered if they were any good.

cteresa

nevermind, google is our friend, found the tea brand name – Blend teas

http://www.blendweb.it/IT/default.aspx

are they any good?

Anna

Oh, cteresa, I missed your comment completely last time around, but we already exchanged messages about Blend – they’re not responding to e-mails about retail locations, but I’ll keep my eyes open.

cteresa

LOL, funny that I can find it more easily in Lisbon than you in Rome!

Anna

It’s SO Italian.

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Profile

Bio

I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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