Design a Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

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
752 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
324 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
324 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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76

Apparently I never reviewed this again. Hmm.

I just had a cup of this and even with some sugar, the blueberry never popped but it was still a very nice, mellow tea. Smooth and comforting. The nutmeg was definitely there, and even a little bit of blueberry. I think I actually like this without the strong blueberry flavor because the lack turns this tea into less a fruit tea and more a tea I can enjoy in the fall.

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76

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
324 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
5351 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
324 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
752 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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This was the other free sample that I created from Design a Tea.
Way back at the beginning of my tea journey, I fell in love with Creamy Nut Oolong from Teaopia. I miss creamy nut oolong, so when I had the chance to add nuts to oolong, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try and replace that beloved tea.
This is nutty oolong, but it’s not like the one I’m looking for. This actually was pretty good. Roasted nutty oolong, with extra nuts tossed in. I didn’t get the chemical artificial taste that I found in the cranberry almond, so that’s good, but it was still just a little flat for me. If I do this again, I’m going to try and find something “cream” to add to a nut and oolong and keep trying. All in all, it was good. Glad I ordered from them. I have a few more yet to try, will see what they are like.

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I really like the concept of Design a Tea. There are thousands of possibilities, and the further you dig into their website the more possibilities you find.
They offered two free samples of your choice. This was one that I chose. Cranberry Almond is pretty boring considering what you could do with the flavors, but I just wanted to get a sense of the flavors and strength of flavoring.
This one is a miss for me. There is something really artificial tasting here. I think it’s the cranberry, but I’m not sure. It was cranberry and almond, but with a chemical, funny taste to it.
I’ve ordered a few more and will see if the artificial taste is in all the flavors or just some of them. I didn’t really like this.

Sil

i’ll be watching…and reading… heh

Terri HarpLady

booo to artificial flavors

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70
drank Angry Pumpkin Tea by Design a Tea
752 tasting notes

My pumpkin tea quest continues. This is advertised as pumpkin and clove. Strange, but I knew that when I ordered it. Dry it smelled like TONS of clove, so I cracked a couple of cardamom pods and dumped them in with the leaf and steeped in boiling for 5 minutes.
Too much spice, not enough pumpkin. That seems to be a reoccurring theme in my quest. Most pumpkin spice/chai teas are all about the spice and not about the pumpkin. I just want to find one that actually tastes like pumpkin.
This really isn’t that bad. It’s nice and clovey – I really liked the cardamom addition, but the quest continues.

mrmopar

Try Stash decaf pumpkin spice.

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62

I asked for a sample of the black tea with amaretto and Irish cream, and came to enter it into the system and found somebody had beat me to it. Great minds…?

This actually was a bit of a disappointment after I fell head over heels with the rooibos blueberry pina colada sample. I found the flavor weak, even with sugar added to the tea. I think both flavors might be better blended with another, stronger flavor.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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92

A free sample from Design a Tea. I love blueberry. I love pineapple and coconut. Why not combine them? I love the concept of this company! And the sample is so so good! I’ll definitely have to remember them when I have some more tea money to blow, and more space in my tea cupboard.

Preparation
5 min, 30 sec

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80

I received this as one of several samples with my last Design a Tea order. Thank you, Brian, for the generosity!

Yesterday was a near perfect summer day for me. I spent the day at the beach with my kids, my best friend, and her kids. Last night I went to a baseball game (I love baseball) where my team managed to come back in the ninth inning for a spectacular win. Great friends, good food, wonderful weather… it was lovely. So I was surprised by my desire for all things fall today. I find myself daydreaming about apples and cinnamon, cooler weather and sweaters. When I went digging through my tea stash for an autumn inspired tea this one was the easy winner.

The tea is spicy – mostly nutmeg – with the pumpkin being much more subtle. I like that the tea doesn’t scream pumpkin (even though it is called Angry Pumpkin) and that the tea manages to have spice without tasting like a chai. It’s unique and really nice. Definitely something I could enjoy on a cool fall evening. Add a blanket and a good mystery novel and I’d be one happy girl!

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91

This is such a great blend. I like the mix of blueberry and nutmeg with the oolong base. It works so well and is full of flavor. One of my favorites from Design-A-Tea.

Flavors: Blueberry, Nutmeg, Smooth

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

I’ve never even heard of Design a Tea. I’ll have to check it out. Does blueberry and nutmeg work together?

Veronica

Design a Tea is a great company! I’ve created my own blends with them a couple of times, and, while I like some more than others, I’ve never been disappointed in the quality. That said, I tend to buy their custom blends more just because I really enjoy them.

Blueberry and nutmeg work really well together! I wondered the same thing the first time I tried it, but it’s a great combo. :)

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91

I am in need of a comfort cup, and this tea is doing a fine job. The oolong flavor is more pronounced this time, but the blueberry and nutmeg flavors are still present. A few moths ago this would have bothered me, but now I’m really liking that the tea itself takes center stage and the flavors help the oolong shine. I’m sure I’ll resteep this several times over the course of the afternoon.

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

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91

My daughter had this last night, so I decided to resteep the leaves this morning. It’s a really fruity blend between the blueberry and the oolong, but the nutmeg gives it enough warmth that it still feels like a cozy winter tea. Not a bad cup to wake up to!

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91

This tea is delicious in its own right, but with a dark chocolate brownie it’s ah-mazing. One of the best tea/food pairings I’ve ever had. The blueberry and nutmeg in the tea somehow made the chocolate in the brownie that much more decadent. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to fall into a sugar coma. ;)

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91

Having this one again today. The oolong, blueberry, nutmeg combination is equally soothing and delicious. Drinking this also makes me want to make blueberry muffins with a brown sugar crumb topping. Yeah, that needs to happen.

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