Design a Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

67

This is a perfectly fine tea, but it doesn’t stand out in flavor. I can taste the blueberry, but there are other blueberry teas I like more.

(Sample from silentrequiem. Thanks!)

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drank Pear Green by Design a Tea
374 tasting notes

Brewed this tea smells much stronger than the dry leaf in this sample that Dexter3657 so thoughtfully provided me. It smells sweet heading towards bosc pear and a little bit spicy. There is something in it that reminds me of juicy fruit gum. The only other pear green I’ve had is Earth Teaze’ which cleverly uses the interaction between the base tea and fennel to create the flavour but unfortunately uses a rather bitter base. The base is present and is sweet and a little grassy but is pleasant and light. The flavouring is a light slightly spicy pear. Like Dexter3657 suggested it would be nice if the flavouring was slightly more present, but this is a nice slightly sweet and spicy tea. Thanks!

__Morgana__

Yay pear!

Yvonne

Wow, sounds awesome!

TheTeaFairy

Mmmm.Pear.

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68
drank Caramel Cinnamon by Design a Tea
52 tasting notes

I really liked this. It made for a really good cuppa. Until I got to the bottom of the cup. I dunno if I let it steep too long or what but it was very tannic and dried my mouth out. Still, worth it. Worth noting, it didn’t resteep well. Like, at all, you guys. My first cup was dark and smelled terrific. My aborted second cup was only slightly brown and smelled of nothing. So that was pretty disappointing.
Also, I think this finishes up my backlog from yesterday where Steepster went haywire. I drank countless cups because I was home and I could, gosh darn it!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

Oooh, what a combination! Sounds yummy – sorry to hear about the resteep.

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76

Lemme guess… Another from the GCTTB? Yep! :D So when I was sorting through the box I found this curiously labeled tea; blackberry, lemon, basil white. Now I love basil, it’s one of my most favorite herbs and I like to use it everywhere (especially sprinkled over vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries… Top with a bit of reduced balsamic vinegar and you’ve got a dessert to die for! Anyways…) but I’ve never thought of basil in tea, so to see it listed as an ingredient just blew me away. I had to try it!

The dry tea smelled of sharp lemon citrus notes mixed in with the darker basil. The blackberry added just a touch of sweetness with a bit of berry tartness, but I didn’t get much from the white tea (granted I’ve not had many white teas at this point so take that with a grain of salt.)

The infusion came out a deep yellow and smelled of lemon (almost camomile like but a bit sharper) with undertones from the basil and blackberry though nothing particularly distinct. There was a bit of a floral note there as well that might have been coming from the white tea base. Taste wise the lemon definitely came though (again almost like camomile but there were some grass tones in there that I’ve seen from lemon grass as well), as was the basil which helped to tone down the high citrus notes. I got the odd hint of the blackberry every once and a while but overall I didn’t find it very often. The tea itself was very smooth and had a slight astringent bite at the end.

An interesting, subtle tea with a decent flavor profile despite the slight lack of blackberry flavor. I really liked the addition of the basil, it gave a nice depth to the flavor and intrigued me enough to keep coming back for more.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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61

Maple and Plum with a base of Oolong tea. The aroma is kinda boozy, like mulled wine with aftertones of maple sweetness. There is a slight hint of plum that is so faint it took several sniffs before I noticed it hiding. Once brewed I can certainly tell it is an Oolong, it has a slightly nutty and toasted aroma that fades to maple sweetness and a touch of plum. There is still an underlying note of mulled wine as well.

The aroma of the liquid is warm, mild, and sweet. It is a very welcoming aroma. The first thing you notice when sipping the tea is the sweetness of maple with a hint of nuttiness. There is an aftertaste of plum that becomes more of a midtaste as the tea cools. Not bad, but not outstanding.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/01/design-tea-tea-review.html

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36

Zabaglione and Amaretto with a base of Black tea, the aroma is very mild with notes of sugar, almonds, citrus, and a tiny hint of liqueur aroma as an after thought. Once brewed you can really smell the bright quality of the Ceylon black tea base, it takes center stage. There are also notes of pepper and vanilla cake with a slight hint of almond.

The aroma of the liquid is quite nutty and sweet with an undertone of brightness. The taste is not much of a taste, the Ceylon base is brisk and quite tasty with oaky and slightly citrus quality, but the flavors of the tea are only a ghost. Adding some cream and sugar brings out the nutty and liqueur flavor of the amaretto, but sadly I am not getting much of the creamy sweet Zabaglione taste. Overall I can say this one is just kinda ‘meh’.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/01/design-tea-tea-review.html

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drank Banana coconut by Design a Tea
451 tasting notes

I was really intrigued by this company, because they make designing your own tea really easy to do, especially because when designing a tea, it feels as though the choices are overwhelming and the possibilities endless. and they are, but if you go through it systematically (choosing the base first, and then adding two flavours from a list) it doesn’t seem too daunting. They have five free samples that you can design (only you pay for shipping), and so off I went. This was the one I was most excited to try.

I’m not exactly sure how this is supposed to be brewed. I mean, they suggest four to five minutes, but I didn’t know if I could pop the little sachet it came in into a cup, since there’s a pretty obvious opening where the leaves could fall out (but maybe you’re supposed to close it? there didn’t really seem a way to ensure a good seal, though…but it’s most likely me and not the sachet). Anyway, there wasn’t all that much in the sachet, so although I really enjoyed the flavours of this tea, I think I found the overall product to be weak in flavour.
I definitely tasted more coconut than banana, and i’m guessing this is because banana is a flavour that is easily overwhelmed by other flavours, which is actually quite a shame, as i’m still on the hunt for a really good banana tea. Perhaps the banana featured in the creaminess of the sip, but again, it’s hard to say. I used the pouch (leaves of which dumped into my steeping basket) for an 8 oz cup, and I’m now wondering if I should have used 6 oz of water instead, because I really do think I’d enjoy this tea quite a bit if I could brew it a bit stronger. I have four other samples to try, and think I’ll be doing just that.

VariaTEA

I was playing around on this site the other day trying to decide on the perfect flavor combinations for my five free samples and I ended up buying the teas before I even realized it. It was not until I got the “thank you for your purchase” page that I realized what I did.

keychange

Oh, I had a very similar experience. I think it was partly because it was so cheap!

VariaTEA

Yeah. Thank god for that especially because I was also looking on Mariage Frere and Fauchon sites and managed to fill carts totalling over $100 so it would not have been good had that happened on one of those sites. Luckily, I think I can afford the $10 to ship the 5 samples to Canada.

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88
drank Maple Pecan Black Tea by Design a Tea
1116 tasting notes

Enjoying this just as much as the first time, and I’m really glad Dexter3657 shared some with me. I like it better hot to be frank, however cold it’s still a strongly maple and nut blend, with some creaminess and sweetness in there to boot.

Flavors: Cream, Nuts

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88
drank Maple Pecan Black Tea by Design a Tea
1116 tasting notes

So very glad that I’m having more of this tonight! Holy moly, what a different steep does to this tea.

I’m getting maple, I’m getting creamy, I’m getting pecan, I’m getting sweet. It’s really fantastic – so much so that my 6-year-old took a sip, and asked if he could “have as many sips as I want”. I said no, because it is caffeinated, and made him some of Tea Desire’s Sweet Toffee (rooibos) instead. He says it’s “ahhh.. makes me feel better – tea”.

Anyway. This is delicious! Upping the rating significantly.

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

Sounds delish!

OMGsrsly

That’s so cute!

MissB

OMG I suck! I forgot to thank Dexter3657 for this, as she sent it to me in a swap a while back. Bad me!

Also, it makes me want to peruse Design a Tea more; the concept of creating my own tea blends just plain rocks.

Nxtdoor

As soon as I see “design a tea” I think Dexter. :)

Dexter

I haven’t loved all the teas I got from them, but it’s hard to blame them when you choose what’s in it. Brian is just amazing, helpful, funny – great guy to work with. If you are at all interested in playing “mad scientist” this is a fun company to do it with. (It’s also really inexpensive – bonus!!)

Cavocorax

That’s awesome Dexter – have you ordered full size blends, or just the sample?

Dexter

I’ve ordered from them twice, both times I got full sized blends (and some samples the first time). The first time I stayed pretty conservative – regular base plus two flavors -off the main design page. The second time I dug way deep into the site and choose some of the specialty bases and added all kinds of stuff. Brian is great – just because your “dream” doesn’t fit into the drop down boxes doesn’t mean you can’t get it. I wrote almost a full page of “special instructions” and I got everything I asked for – no problems at all – fun emails from Brian to clarify. Great experience.

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88
drank Maple Pecan Black Tea by Design a Tea
1116 tasting notes

Oddly, I don’t have this in my cupboard, even though Dexter3657 sent some to me a while back.

I’ll say it again, even though I’m repeating myself: I love the concept of this company! Make my own tea blends? This rocks!

Out of the bag it definitely smells like a maple syrup pecan black tea, and it vaguely reminds me of a Cabane a Sucre I went to when I was 19 just outside of Montreal. We started the day by learning how to tap maple syrup, then rolling it in ice for maple syrup lollipops, then eating a 12 course meal (where everything had maple syrup in it, including the drinks), and then listening/dancing/singing along to French Canadian music. Yes, this is a fond memory, and this tea evokes it easily.

I did steep this one way too long (again), as I seem to have almost every black during the past few days. What can I say? I was packing up tea for Dexter3657, Sarah, and a colleague in Australia. Still, the flavors are present, even if there’s a bit of dryness to the blend. Maple? Check. Pecan? Only slightly, at the end of the sip, and it seems to be what’s feeling dry. If I could figure out how to bring out the pecan a bit more, this would rank higher. Luckily, I have enough to play with a bit.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Tuscanteal

I didn’t know the Breville could be set to steep for 20 mins… Or are you doing the old fashioned way? Set an alarm on your phone

MissB

I’m only drinking one cup at a time of late, just to try out more teas. The only downfall of the Breville is that I have to brew quite a bit of tea at once, and sometimes I just want to try something out. So I’ve been using the Breville to boil the water to the right temperature, sticking a tea bag of loose tea in my mug, and then… doing something else. :$

OMGsrsly

Isn’t the minimum 500ml? :D That’s a “cup” for me…

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83
drank Egyptian Secret by Design a Tea
1116 tasting notes

Many thanks to Dexter365 for this sample that I completely forgot about in my swap drawer. Time to sipdown!

This is a lovely tea, perfect decaf to help me get back to sleep after only two hours of rest. I’m getting mostly sweet almonds from this, with a little bit of dryness from the chamomile towards the middle and end.

I love this company concept, and need to spend more time on their website playing with new creations. Muahahahahaa…..!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Island Blend by Design a Tea
729 tasting notes

Oh wow, this is good! A nice sencha with creamy vanilla and sweet mango. The sencha is fully present, not hidden by the flavoring. There’s a light grassy note and a vegetable flavor that is nice and clean. The vanilla doesn’t have that wacky artificial flavor. It’s smooth and creamy and blends very well with the green tea. The mango is the lightest note, but it lends a fruity sweetness that definitely takes this tea up a notch.

I only had a three or four sips of the first steeping before my daughter asked for my cup. Mango and vanilla are two of her favorite flavors, so she’s currently in tea heaven. Anyway, I can say that this tea resteeps well. All of the flavors are still there. The vanilla is slightly less, but it’s an equally yummy cup.

Design a Tea has thoroughly impressed me with the blends they keep in stock. It’s great quality, and their customer service is amazing. And yes, I want to spread the word about them! Good companies deserve high praise. :)

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90
drank China Seduction by Design a Tea
729 tasting notes

I’ve never been a big fan of pu’erh, but it works amazingly well with the chocolate/rose flavor combination. Both the tea and the chocolate are dark and thick, but the rose flavor lightens everything and adds a wonderful high note to the tea. I can see myself ordering this the next time I place an order with Design a Tea. Really, really nice.

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My fellow Steepsters, lend me your ears for a moment if you will.
As part of my epic binge last month, I ordered a few teas from Design a Tea. I kept my choices pretty normal. Common flavors that I knew would go together. I just wanted to get a sense of the quality of their bases and flavors. I really enjoyed the experience of choosing flavors, thinking about the possibilities.
Now that I’ve had a chance to try all the teas and spend some time with them, I just wanted to express how much I like this company. I had a bit of a bumpy start. I thought the cranberry, almond black was a little chemically/fake – and I’m not sure if it was the cranberry or the almond that I didn’t like – or if it just wasn’t quite blended correctly. They hand blend to order and this was just a sample so it’s possible it would be better as a “real” batch. All the other teas I’ve really liked, nice bases, well balanced flavors. I’m really impressed. Their prices are really inexpensive, shipping costs were ok. Thumbs up all around. I am planning a new order and want to go outside the box with flavors next time. Anyway, if you want reasonable priced teas, that you can design yourself – I recommend you check them out.

This tea. Nice juicy, fruity strawberry. What is zabaglione? I thought it was an Italian Cheese like mascarpone. I was hoping that it would add some creaminess to the strawberry. I’m not sure what it is suppose to taste like, but this works for me. The rooibos is present but doesn’t dominate. Like the other teas, I like this and will enjoy drinking what I have.

Anna

Zabaglione is an egg-based dessert with marsala wine – it’s much like fluffy, light, whipped custard and works great with strawberries!

Design a Tea sound very cool – as an added bonus, they ship internationally.

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84
drank Pear Green by Design a Tea
729 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking pu’erh all evening, and while I’ve really enjoyed it, I’m now looking for something a bit lighter.
I’m fussy about green teas. A lot of fruity greens don’t really work for me. I chose this from Design a Tea with the hopes that it would be TONS of pear with a delicate green base.
The green base is subtle and not bitter at all. I do really like this, the pear is nice – not chemically or artificial. I just wish that the pear was stronger. If I could get twice this much pear it would be perfect.
All in all I am enjoying this tea, it’s nice light and refreshing. I’ve been pleased so far with the teas I bought from Design a Tea.

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38
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
274 tasting notes

I brewed a pitcher of this last night and stuck it in the fridge over night. Despite the below freezing temperatures (thanks, Polar Vortex!) I’ve been hankering for some iced tea. I used up the last of my stash of this and I don’t think I’ll be reordering.

This tea still doesn’t taste quite right to me. I like it better chilled, but not by much. I do like that the predominant flavor is black tea. I don’t like that I get a perfumy taste in my mouth when drinking this.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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38
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
274 tasting notes

There are packs of preserved plums I used to beg my mother to buy for me at the Asian market when I was a child. This tea reminds me of those plums, which is kind of odd and makes my brain hurt a bit.

This tea is pleasantly sweet, but I’m not really enjoying it hot. I think it would be much better chilled, and will have to try it iced at some point. No rating for now. To be continued…

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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First trying this unsweetened. It’s pleasant but the flavors are more subtle than I like. I’ll be trying this again sweetened and hoping that really makes the blueberry pop.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Marzipan Sunset by Design a Tea
274 tasting notes

I haven’t had much marzipan, or I hadn’t had it often enough that the taste of it stayed with me. I just feel like it is something delicious and yummy, but I honestly didn’t know what I was expecting when I ordered this tea.

I did like it. The taste is subtle, and sweet but not overly so, and it a nice cuppa to sip while watching Supernatural on Netflix. I have let my mug sit her for a bit and it’s cooled down, and it still tastes nice cold.

I wish there was another flavor in here, though. Something fruity, maybe. I may have to play around with some flavors in my next order.

Preparation
6 min, 30 sec

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76
drank Mocha Pecan Black by Design a Tea
4927 tasting notes

thanks for sharing dexter! I quite like this one, though it’s not quite as rich as i want it to be. I do like that it really does come across as a mocha pecan tea rather than some other blends that are more coffee bean than mocha. Overall not a bad first experience with design a tea!

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87

Yummy. I got inspired by baked pear tarts. Mmmmm.

This isn’t quite as good as the tarts, but passable. The pear flavor is perfect. The almond is subtle but blends nicely with the pear. A bit of sugar really brings out the flavors.

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec

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87
drank Angry Pumpkin Tea by Design a Tea
274 tasting notes

I admit, I’m jealous of the coffee drinkers who go to Starbucks for Pumpkin Spiced Lattes as soon as they are available. I wanted a pumpkin tea equivalent, but hadn’t had any luck… until now.

I think I have found my fall pumpkin tea. I’d gone through several and this is the tastiest yet. Unlike some of the others, it actually tastes like pumpkin! And it tastes like spiced pumpkin.

It is delicious and the flavor comes through nicely without being overwhelming or artificial tasting.

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec

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80

Backlog:

This one is best served iced. I didn’t really care too much for it when it was served hot, but the chill really improves the flavor.

A tasty apricot and blueberry tea. These are two flavors that I wouldn’t normally think to bring together, but they work together nicely.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/06/03/apr-i-berry-love-child-from-design-a-tea/

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Oh man! I’ve made peach blueberry pies and this sounds amazing!

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88
drank Mocha Pecan Black by Design a Tea
729 tasting notes

We have a winner. This is so good!!! This is almost as good as Florance Harney & Sons.
Yum, chocolate, mocha, nutty goodness.
I don’t really have much to say other that, I like it. Might be just a tiny bit thin on the tongue. I’m going to add a bit more leaf and little longer steep next time, try and make it richer than add some milk and hope to get that nice creamy mouth feel that I like. All in all though, this is really good!!

Sil

oooh this sounds delicious…

Dexter

It’s in your box…. I packaged up a few (?) for you will mail them off tomorrow. Am going to stop, have several others I thought about putting in, but will save some for next time… :))

Sil

haha yes! wait! there will be a next time :)

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