Design a Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

65
drank Blackberry Spice by Design a Tea
65 tasting notes

The most tolerable of the teas I’ve tried so far. The blackberry flavor’s pretty good, but the “spice” component tastes and smells like Big Red chewing gum. Blackberries and Big Red isn’t terrible, but not something I think I’d ever want more of.

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45
drank Pear Honey by Design a Tea
65 tasting notes

So I decided I’d give Design-a-Tea a shot and get some samples. Couldn’t hurt, right? I was curious to see if their pear flavoring measured up to S&V’s, and pear with honey sounded like a nice combo.

This? This tastes neither like pears nor honey. It’s like drinking perfume. I don’t know if it’s the pear or the honey flavoring that’s so flowery, but it’s incredibly floral. Not even pleasantly floral. Soapy floral. No joke, thanks to the scent I thought that I’d somehow gotten a rose tea when I opened the sample, and Design-a-Tea doesn’t even have rose as a flavor option. Sticking to Simpson & Vail if it’s pear tea I’m after, because this is incredibly far off the mark.

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45
drank Banana Caramel by Design a Tea
65 tasting notes

The second of my Design-a-Tea samples. I don’t know why I keep trying with caramel flavored teas. I feel the same way about them many people do about chocolate teas; they just can’t measure up to the real thing. That said, I like chocolate tea. Anyway.

It smelled like nothing dry and like banana candy when brewing. That was fine with me since I like that taste. Flavor-wise it was very, very mild with only hints of banana and caramel coming through as it cooled. The black base is nonexistent and that’s saying something considering how light the flavoring is.

Two samples down, three to go. Not particularly impressed so far.

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83
drank Plum (Sencha) by Design a Tea
150 tasting notes

This is a Sencha with “natural flavorings” and I rarely drink flavored teas. It does taste natural. :). It’s a juicy, fruity flavor and fragrance, but it tasted more like some other kind of fruit than plum. Maybe black grapes. There’s no hint of tartness at all, which I associate with plums… this has a straight sweet flavor. I can’t pick up much of the Sencha to comment on. The label states that they use natural organic oils, so to avoid if one has “any sensitivity to tree nut oils or any flavor/ingredients.”
I’ve had this tea for quite some time but it’s still quite tasty.

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65

The coconut in this is pretty pleasant (though it’s more a Malibu rum coconut than a flaked coconut flavor) but it gets lost in the raspberry. I guess I should have tried one that was just plain coconut; at the time I was curious whether I could replicate David’s discontinued Fantasy Island, but this doesn’t taste like that at all.

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60

Fruit flavors seem pretty artificial in this one, though they’re not as over-powering as the raspberry. The green base is weak.

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75

This was my safe bet flavor of the five I picked out. I was thinking that whatever method Design a Tea was using to flavor the tea, a caramel vanilla would probably turn out drinkable. In a way, that logic kind of backfired. This cup is perfectly drinkable, but it does taste tame. The base in these teas is pretty mild, and while I can see that being a good thing in some instances — it doesn’t compete as much with the added flavors — caramel and vanilla are also such mild flavors that the combination becomes a bit flat. I can’t help being reminded of Je T’Aime from Nina’s Paris. That was also a caramel vanilla tea, but with such a punchy base that the tea itself took center stage and the caramel and vanilla came off as accents. Ah well, it’s pretty hard to compete with Je T’Aime. Overall this was pleasant enough, just not something I need to keep in the cupboard.

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82

Happily this turned out better than the last one. I’m not really getting chocolate, but the maple is there along with a pleasant nuttiness. If this was a blindfold test, I would say this is maple pecan tea — not what I was expecting, but maple pecan is an awesome flavor, so no complaints from me. This also tastes a lot more natural than the raspberry I got from Design a Tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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50

I recently came across Design A Tea and was curious how they measured up to Adagio (the other custom blender that I’ve purchased from). Since they offer five samples for $5 shipping, I thought, why not?

When I opened the shipping envelope, I was struck with an artificial scent, like cherry Nyquil, so not feeling high hopes.

Yep, it tastes pretty artificial too, sort of like those syrups in the coffee shops that they pump in for flavoring.

The base is inoffensive, so maybe some of the other samples will work out better. So far I’m definitely leaning toward Adagio though.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Aww, that’s too bad!

Tamarindel

Yeah, if I’d read the steepster reviews more closely I might have saved myself some trouble — the few people who went with raspberry don’t sound enthusiastic about it, but some of the other flavors got more positive reviews. I still have 4 flavors to go, so keeping my fingers crossed :)

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Drank this yesterday at work because my first day had to be teabag day since I had no pot.
^ That sentence sounds whack…
Anyways, this was done quite well and I enjoyed it. I didn’t get to sip it slow, rather I just drank this down :)

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Yum! A great way to start the morning off. I’m really digging this and it is really hard to find banana flavored teas that hit the flavor I have been looking for. This is the closet one that I’ve found and I got to create it myself. So very good. A heaping of citrus flavoring with a kick of banana. Yum!

Here is the full review:
http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/04/07/create-tea-design-tea/

Flavors: banana, Citrus, Green, Orange, Sweet

rosebudmelissa

That sounds like a very appealing flavor combination. I don’t think I’ve seen a banana citrus tea before.

Nichole/CuppaGeek

I really enjoyed it. I’ll throw some in the next box I’ve got working for you.

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75

This was a pretty good flavored green tea from Design A Tea. When I ordered from them, I opted for single flavor teas and I like pomegranate. I thought the green tea flavor didn’t overpower the pomegranate taste. It tasted very natural, unlike some other flavored teas I’ve tried where the whole thing comes across as artificial.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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40

I ordered this as a sample from Design A Tea. I almost didn’t brew it because of the smell, but sometimes tea smells differently when brewed. It brings back memories of going to the dentist as a child and getting bubblegum fluoride. It smells like that… and makes me want to gag. The smell persisted even after brewing. While the taste wasn’t bad, I just can’t get over the scent.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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50

It has not taken me long to realize that flavored teas are not for me. This is perfume-y and flowery. I can’t really judge the quality — the tea leaves are okay, and this might suit you if you like tea with flavoring, I mainly taste the perfume, which is disappointing since so many oolongs have a natural apricot flavor with no need for the chemicals. Extremely perfume-y tea tends to give me headaches and nausea, so l probably won’t finish this. I detect some vague spices, but in a taste test, I don’t think I’d know this was meant to be chai.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Perfume, Spices

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

I got a little sample of this in a past traveling tea box, and finally tried it. It was lovely. Delicately sweet, though I wish the fruit flavors were a bit more distinctive rather than just “fruit.” I wish I had more so I could brew up a jug of iced tea.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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I received this sample from Veronica. It smells lovely, though right now I’m still waiting or it to cool. I don’t have much experience with wine. At first I thought it smelled lemony, but now I smell the grape. It does kind of smell like grape juice (scuppernong, not niagara).
I did brew it a bit too long, I think. It’s kind of bitter. I’ll probably brew it again later so that I can leave a rating. I used too much water and steeped it too long this time.

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This was the last of my Design a Tea samples. It smelled really awful – like cough medicine. Luckily it didn’t taste like it smelled. It was merely bland with a faint chemical aftertaste. Blech. This was not a winner. I think in the end, while I love the idea of Design a Tea, I’m not very impressed with the samples I tried, so I probably won’t put in an order with them anytime soon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I wouldn’t have picked this tea for myself, since I haven’t liked any of the almond flavored teas I’ve tried before, and I’m not a big fan of red rooibos. But Design a Tea added it to my order, so I gave it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. The almond was much less cloying than others I’ve tried, and wasn’t paired with a bitter black base, so I could taste it on its own. I actually rather liked it. It was nutty and faintly sweet. I couldn’t taste the rooibos or chamomile at all, but I don’t mind that since the almond flavor is quite appealing on it’s own.

Flavors: Almond, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79
drank Mocha Pecan Black by Design a Tea
3132 tasting notes

Sipdown!

Not very much of this was left, though it still tasted ok. Not as tasty as I recall, but I did also have a Cappuccino tea today, so am not quite as impressed with similar flavours (palate boredom or something).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Mocha Pecan Black by Design a Tea
3132 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for a sample of this blend (and it looks like some thanking applies to Dexter as well, who appears to have been the original source of this deliciousness).

Anyhow, brewing this up as one of only a couple flavoured teas I have on the go tonight, ALL I could smell was its delicious aroma. OM NOM. If I had to guess, I’d guess Hazelnut Mocha, I think, by the aroma. Flavourwise, it is pretty impressive too. Quite decadent and lovely, very nutty (again, I’d guess hazelnut), and a bit chocolatey. Not really picking up coffee, but that’s not a problem whatsoever. Also not really tasting too much in the way of the base tea – I wish it was a bit more solid, because it does come off slightly watery in that sense, but the flavourings are nearly good enough to overcome that. I think, though, that for me to really love this tea, it would need a base change. I might try infusing the last bit of the tea that I have a bit longer (I’m always very cautious with black blends since I hate astringency) to see if it helps the base at all. Flavouring-wise, though, this is a solid 90 tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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This has a pleasant scent, but is rather bland. Just a faint, artificial peach flavor. I can’t taste the blueberry at all.

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

Sipdown (115)!

Thanks Marizipan for the sample! I saved this one to drink on Halloween ‘cause it seemed so perfectly suited to the holiday! When I made it, I added just a bit of milk ’cause I expected it to be rather spicy and I thought that’s help tone things down a notch.

I was quite happy, ‘cause when I took my first sips I was flooded with this beautiful, thick clove flavour! Man, I love cloves and this was so heavy on that! Best surprise ever. And then, that milk added a nice richness and thickness to this so even though I mostly was only getting that one flavour it still felt like a very “full” tea. I’m curious though; why is the pumpkin is angry? If I tasted like cloves, I’d be a very happy pumpkin…

Flavors: Clove

Daddyselephant

I loooooove cloves. I always buy that clove gum whenever I find it and when I smoked, clove cigarettes were my favorite.

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This was a bonus sample I got when I ordered 5 samples for $5 from Design a Tea. I think it was because I put in Steepster as a referral? Anyway.

I am really confused by this one… It says “Strawberry Caramel” on the front. For some reason, my sample has lavender in it. And lavender isn’t even on the list of ingredients… Not to mention, it doesn’t fit with these flavors and makes this cup taste like I’m sucking on a medicated strawberry-flavored lozenge…

So confused… And unhappy. I guess I won’t rate this since apparently I got some weird crazy lavender batch?

Flavors: Candy, Lavender, Medicinal, Soap, Strawberry, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

that doesn’t sound strawberry caramel at all. :(

carol who

Yikes! That doesn’t sound good.

Cameron B.

It was a twilight zone moment… The strawberry and caramel were there, too bad that lavender was soaping it up all over them. :(

Mikumofu

I didn’t get lavender in my sample of this…must be some kind of mix-up. I also got a mislabeled tea when I ordered last time…

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I’ve decided to brew Rooibos teas for 3 rather than 5 minutes to avoid the smokey/medicinal flavor they are prone to. It was definitely a success with this tea. The coconut flavor was prominent and relatively natural tasting, with a secondary sweet flavor that seemed to be a blend of pineapple and honey. I was drinking this while making dinner, and I did notice that as it cooled, the coconut flavor began tasting more buttery, and the pineapple/honey flavor began tasting rather artificial, so this is definitely one to drink hot. Overall, a very pleasant tea, though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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