Before I begin my review I would like to mention that I did not have any particularly high expectations for this tea, though I somewhat assumed I would be presented with a richer, somewhat dark, passion fruit flavour. I have tried this tea in other forms previously, such as the ever popular passion tea lemonade which may have biased my assumption somewhat. Regardless my intention with this tasting was to simply pickup and drink this tea in its most raw and unbiased format to get a feel for the quality of the product and to find out what story the leaves can tell me if any.
Unbrewed: The packaged concauction has a nice deep, sweet, almost candy like scent to it. I was immediately seduced by varying tendrils of citrus, with a sort of darker, more crimson, fruity scent lingering underneath. I feel like I was almost picking up the slightest waft of cinnamon, though cinnamon is no where to be found within this tea so it is likely a combination of that which is involved. Looking at the assortment I immediately visualized autumn, with fresh fallen leaves and the comfort of a nice warm home, surrounded by family. The mix itself reminds me of the pot-pourri that my mother used to have placed in key locations around the house. I spotted random golden cubes within the tea, which I could only assume were the mango/papaya that was hinted at by the tin in which it was packaged. It is a pleasing tea to look at, and just as pleasing a tea to smell.
Brewed: I brought my water to a boil, and gently drizzled the water about the leaves, letting the satchel steep for the designated 5 minutes. I was greeted by a chalice of dark crimson-purple liquid. Lifting the cup I was immediately comforted by the scent of deep, rich passion fruit. Intrigued and at ease I lifted to the cup to my lips and sipped at the warm liquid. I felt rigid, almost as if a jolt of electricity had struck my tongue. My tongue was hammered with a very powerful shot of a tangy citrus type flavour. This sensation was very overpowering, which was interesting as I generally take comfort in the flavour of citrus. At this point I could scarcely pick out any other flavours amid the intoxicating brew. I feel like I could ever so slightly taste a hint of lemongrass attempting to peek through, but aside from that all I could get was the overpowering hodge podge of liquid. What happened to the deep seductive passion fruit, after which the tea is named? It has somehow become almost non-existent! Sure a minute note of passion fruit could be assumed at the initial bite of the flavour, but this is in no way reminiscent of the passion fruit flavours I have previously been involved with.
I attempted a second brew, decreasing steep time, thinking that maybe the reduced time would bring out less of the citrusy-doom and allow me to catch some of the other flavours, but doing so creates a liquid that has a subtle hint of watered down passion fruit, followed briefly after by light citrus. However, near the end of the cup I had a few nicer sips in which I could almost taste the passion fruit for which I longed, meaning that it is hiding in there somewhere, it just needs to be brought out by something else.
I feel as though this tea, although the rare individual may enjoy, is designed simply to be sweetened or used to produced the signature passion tea lemonade. This tea is just them taking an ingredient that they use for one of their popular drinks, packaging it in a pleasing fashion, in order to obtain more money from the customer (was even priced on the high side).
Outside of this you just get some sort of swamp water concoction. The story that this tea has to tell is one reminiscent of an old mystery/detective flick. A seductive young mistress coated in her signature perfume, easy on the eyes, slinks into your life. She wants to make you the happiest man in the world. Over time she seems perfect, and so you decide to marry her. One day she is no where to be found, you search the house from top to bottom, and she just is not there. You head out back, maybe she is working in the garden, still no sight of her so you turn around to retrace your steps only to be met with a blunt object to the face. Wanted: PT Lemmon for the murder of her husband by blunt trauma to the skull.
Verdict/tl;dr: Only purchase if you are planning to save some change by brewing your own passion tea lemonade/sweetened tea, or if you are a big fan of overly tart (not tangy or sour) flavours.