Design a Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

92
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
649 tasting notes

I had this tea last summer and really enjoyed it. In fact, I liked it so much that I wrote a note on my calendar to order more this summer. Now that summer is almost over (sob!) I am rushing to do all the summery fun things I’ve been putting off. This is definitely a fun tea.

I decided to ice this one. Once brewed it has the grape-y floral scent of wine. The taste is true to its name – a cold, sweet iced wine. The pear flavor is a nice touch because it keeps the tea from having a slight edge that might otherwise be there. Also, the flavors are very mellow which I like in this tea. A lot of times when I choose to drink a flavored tea I want flavor, but this tea is subtle and I find it a delightful change of pace.

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78

Momo box tea!

The dry leaf smells like plum and rooibos. I didn’t smell much vanilla off the dryleaf.

The liquor smells so divinely fruity. yum! And it tastes slightly like this stuff that I get on Amorgos (Greek Island) that’s made of fermented figs- All it’s missing is the alcohol content! This is the second plum tea I’ve had recently that would make an excellent hot toddy! I really need to try this out in the winter with some rum! :-)

As I continue to sip it, I pick up more on the subtle vanilla which sweetens the plum. It could have been too tart. The rooibos is a creamy kind, not a lot of menthol action going on here like I get with some of the more potent varieties. Like the vanilla, it works to mellow out the tartness of the plum, but also lends a darkness which rounds out the flavor so that the plum is really juicy and full.

The mouth-feel kind of reminds me of a hard candy- it’s that full and juicy.

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73
drank Peach Zabaglione by Design a Tea
2229 tasting notes

Thank you for sending some of this my way, Azzrian!

This is actually pretty tasty! Definitely peachy, and perhaps a bit creamy. I’ll have to pay a bit more attention next time I drink it, but I was quite impressed with this! Regretting having waited so long to try it, but at least I have enough left for another couple cups before it’s gone.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

Sounds delicious!

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73

I bought this from momo as another rooibos blend to try. Sometimes there is nothing better than a pot of rooibos tea, especially something sweet and almondy like marzipan. :)

This raw blend has large almond slices and what looks like apple chunks? The rooibos is fine as you would expect and it also has a few sunflower petals among the mixture.

It has a sweet, dry and nutty fragrance. Not quite marzipan yet but it has promise.

Once steeped this tea is golden brown in colour and has a thick, marzipan fragrance. There would be no mistaking it, it’s definitely pure marzipan.

Flavour is sweet and the rooibos is present but toned down. It smells more like marzipan than it tastes but if you take a large sniff before you sip it’s almost like your drinking liquidized marzipan. Almost.

Overall it’s a nice achievement, not too thick or too sweet, not too much rooibos and nothing offensive flavoured (sharp, bitter etc). Glad I gave this one a try.

KittyLovesTea

Side Note – This tastes much better as it cools. The rooibos lightens with the temperature and the almond is stronger.

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81
drank Zabaglione by Design a Tea
252 tasting notes

I’ve had this sample from Design A Tea for a while, and finally got to it. I don’t know exactly what zabaglione is, but I have had strawberry zabaglione from 52teas. This smells a lot like a marzipan tea, and that’s basically the flavor. The roobios medicine taste is hidden pretty well under the marzipany flavor. I’m not sure if it actually tastes like zabaglione, but I do like the flavor! I accidentally let this steep for probably something like seven minutes and it’s still very good.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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drank Peach Spice by Design a Tea
2859 tasting notes

Another tea from Azzrian!
This is a nice dessert tea!
I have cold brews of the remainder of Angels Dreams, Fruit d’Alsace, & Maracuja going in the frig. I’m kind of new to cold brewing, so not quite sure how long to leave them.
So I only have one tea left, & then it will be a total SipDown of all the samples in the box! Thanks again, Azz, for being one of my first tea trades!

And speaking of trades, I know I’ve spoken to a few people here about trading, & I want you to know (if you’re reading this) that I haven’t forgotten you. I’ll get my act together shortly…

BoxerMama

I’m totally in the same boat. Life gets crazy WAY too fast. Also, I have some tea packaged to mail to you, I just haven’t been to the post office! I suck sometimes.

Terri HarpLady

Naw, you’re awesome!
Cool, you’re sending me tea? Yay!
And I haven’t forgotten that I’m saving some Sichuan caravan for you :)

BoxerMama

lol, yes.

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62

Sipdown from the Azzi-box! Thanks again Azzrian!
I worked on the tasty cup while practicing the aforementioned orch piece. Got a busy day tomorrow, so that’s all the caffeine I get today!
Now for some food!

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67

Continuing my sipdown from the Magical Tea Box Azzrian send me! Thanks!

I’ve never had a Zabaglione, but little Terri is convinced that this tea would require stevia & french vanilla coconut creamer. I reserve those for dessert-like teas, & this one hits the spot! We’re taking our tea in the car to pay little Terri’s traffic ticket (Ms Theresa will be driving, while little Terri drinks the tea).

Kittenna

Haha, I only just now caught the ‘Ms Theresa’ bit. I knew about little Terri, but was all confused as to why you’d be taking along some other woman to go pay your traffic ticket… :P

Terri HarpLady

Ms Theresa is the adult who gets things done. Most of the time we keep her locked away, because nobody really likes her much. All she talks about is taxes, paperwork, & the other things we don’t really like to do. She is, however, really good at that stuff, & she is also the one who designed & maintains our website. www.harpsinger.net ;D

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72
drank Peach Spice by Design a Tea
318 tasting notes

This came as a gift from Azzrian, I’m reasonably certain! (I hope?)

Anyway, in my sample sipdown, I tossed this into my pot. The peach is beautifully sweet, and there’s also a nice hint of the spice – not overwhelming, but a good base for it.

Subsequent steeps lose the peachy flavor, but I’ve had three steeps and the oolong is nice and roasty! Thanks Azz!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Honey Hazelnut by Design a Tea
35 tasting notes

This was my creation for one of the Design a Tea sample. This tea was so drinkable, sweet and aromatic. The combination smelled to my like the jasmine flower – although neither the honey nor the hazenut where necessarily distinguishable. While personally I might look for a little bit more of identifiable flavors, the combination was very pleasant.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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65

Sipdown!

I liked the idea of creating my own blend. I thought pear and mint might make for an interesting oolong, so here we are.

It seems a little weak, but it’s not too shabby. The pear is the strongest flavour, with hints of oolong at the end of the sip. I’m not really tasting much wintergreen.

I like it,but it needs some tweaking before I would buy any.

Ozli

OOOH, is this that little sample place? I so want to try some combos.

Cavocorax

Yeah. It’s a neat idea. You can create a blend and for $1-2 for shipping, they send you a tea bag to try out.

Ozli

I like that you can name your tea for the label, too XD

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45

The teabag smells sweet and citrusy. After steeping for about 2 minutes at 175 the liquor is pale and yellow green and smells like the dry leaves. Citrus, very light cranberry flavor. Light mouth feel with a dry bite afterwards. Kinda tastes like a flavored Lipton green teabag. Just meh.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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45

This was one of my Design a Tea samples I received in the mail today. The teabag has a strong vanilla scent to it, I don’t smell much wintergreen.

I followed Design a Tea’s direction and brewed this oolong for about three and a half minutes in boiling water. Result was a golden-orange liquor that smelled like vanilla.

I think I may have steeped this for too short of a time. Was kinda week tasting. From what I could taste I got hints of cocoa and vanilla. No wintergreen despite it being wintergreen vanilla. ;P It was decent for a $1 sample I guess.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Rum and Spice Black by Design a Tea
536 tasting notes

So this was my second sample and it smells pretty dang good! Mostly it seems that “spice” is cinnamon. There seems to be something baked or buttery about this one judging by the smell. The black tea also seems to be a really heavy player in this blend when compared to my other one. This turned out to be a kind of whisky brown/amber color.
This tea was pretty good! It kind of reminded me of very subtle oatmeal raisin type baked goods. It had a small touch of rum, but nothing too in your face or artificial. Like the other tea that I sampled today I’d say that I’d probably add more leaf to my steeps if I wanted more flavor.
Overall I’d say that the Design a Tea idea was really, really fun. I think just for novelty alone it was a good experience and it resulted in pretty good teas. I really loved the $1 sample and I think that making your own blends is just something that is enjoyable. Great concept!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Maple Nutmeg Black by Design a Tea
536 tasting notes

This arrived pretty quickly if I’m thinking correctly. I got a sample of this because it sounded like it’d be an interesting creation. The dry leaf smells a bit like the Adagio gingerbread black. The taste of the tea itself is also vaguely similar. I think that if I had more control of the amount of tea I would have added a bit more to get a bit more of a punch of flavor. It isn’t the maple I was really looking for, but it isn’t a bad tea at all. It may be a little off the mark from what I wanted it to taste like, but the nutty notes are there with a slight amount of spice. It is very subtle though. I thought that the base was also pretty complimentary to the flavors that I picked and wouldn’t change that at all.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
163 tasting notes

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83
drank Angry Pumpkin Tea by Design a Tea
807 tasting notes

Brian from Desgin a Tea sent me a few sample bags today.
This was one of them.
Thank you Brian of Design a Tea for this nice surprise!
This is a nice nutmeg and pumpkin blend.
The nutmeg does take the lead role in this tea (don’t let the angry pumpkin know this!!) but the pumpkin does come through nicely.
I especially love Brian’s fun descriptions for his teas!
I could totally sip on this on any cold evening cuddled up on the sofa.

Kittenna

Love the name! :P

Azzrian

Haha me too :)

Helena

hehe I love that name! I especially like the “Don’t let the angry pumpkin know this” made me laugh :D

Nik

Well obviously that’s why pumpkin’s angry! Silly nutmeg, stealing the spotlight… :D

Lady 0f Spaydes

I love love love the name of this tea!

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43

I recently received my 2 free samples from Design a Tea and have been eager to brew them up. Custom tea is a pretty cool concept in itself, you pick a base, add your flavours, and then have your own monster creation to deal with, good or bad.

I decided to keep things simple, I like vanilla, so I opted for a black tea base with vanilla flavouring added. Doing so could potentially allow me to comment more accurately on the grade of the tea base, which is an added benefit to my choice.

Anyway, today was a long day of being tired so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to give this tea a shot. After opening the package I was immediately greeted with a kind of jungly smelling vanilla mixed with something reminiscent of black cherry. I brewed up the tea satchel in a warmed cup with boiling water, an amber maple colour immediately began to dance out.

Once the tea was brewed I picked up a more smooth vanilla scent from my cup, reminding me of rice crispy squares (yum). So I lifted the cup to my lips, expecting to taste delicious vanilla, instead receiving a root-like flavour. A few sips later and I could finally pick out a very light taste of vanilla. I kept tasting a familiar flavour that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, later realizing that it was the taste of pistachios. As I got further through the tea it seemed to become progressively more bitter, which eventually had me clenching my face, dissapointing me more.

This tea brings forth the image of a quirky friend who enjoys dressing up in fun outfits/costumes. They can be kind of bitter as they wear out but they are fun to talk to.

Overall I was dissapointed with the lack of vanilla, the quality of the black tea, and the increasing bitterness. This may have been masked if I had combined more flavours, but in my case I was not pleased. I enjoyed the process of designing my own tea, and hey it was free. I would reccommend you be more risky with the flavours than me if you are going custom and enjoy the process and anticipation of trying your “Cthulhu’s blood” or what have you.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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29

This one is really weak. I brewed as instructed, one bag per cup, 4 minutes on. I can’t really taste anything, maybe a sweet tobacco taste, but definitely not rum OR spices. Or even tea. It has a sickly sweet smell, and this is definitely not one I’ll be ordering again. Yuck.

ETA: Added some sugar, and now I can barely taste the tea. It’s just a hint of an aftertaste.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
649 tasting notes

This is so good! I received it as a sample from Design a Tea, and while I was wary of it (Iced wine? Tea? Really?) I am so glad I tried it. It’s delicious! The tea is mellow with the pear flavor moving around as you sip. It’s sweet and relaxing. I think this would be perfect to serve at a tea party. Today I had it hot, but I’m going to have to pick up some more so that I can try it iced.

Thank you Design a Tea for the sample!

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70

-Small tea leaves with yellow petals and a clumpy white/brown sugary mixture.
-Dry leaves smell fruity and very sweet-spicy, like a tobacco. Tea liquor smells like sweet cream.
-Tea liquor is a medium orangey-brown color.
-Fresh pear flavor with a sweet, creamy finish.
-Best with sweetener.
-Good tea. Delicately flavored. Light taste of fresh pear. Milk overshadows flavors.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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62

Tony & I are having a laid back pajama morning. We just finished breakfast, & we’re thinking of visiting the London Tea Room this afternoon. Yeah!

Thanks to Azzrian for sending me this tea. You Rock!

I was particularly excited about this sample (& there are so many!), because I have a thing for peaches, & I absolutely LOVE Chai too. It smells like heaven dry, though while steeping I detected a bitter underlying scent rising (& I actually identified it, but now I can’t remember what it was…& that was only a few minutes ago…did I mention I have CRS?). Brewed it smells sweet & peachy, & kind of like marshmallow.

Taste-wise: Plain, it’s just ok. Typical of flavored teas, it requires the addition of sweetness to bring out the flavors, so I added a little stevia & vanilla almond milk. The taste of peach blooms in my cup, but I’m not really getting the Chai, at least not much. It’s a pleasant dessert-like cup, for an after-breakfast tea, but probably not something I’d buy.

Tony’s not a big peach fan. His favorite teas are Plum Oolong & Jubilee (both from the London Tea Room…that’s why we’re going, he’s out of Jubilee), & Twinings Lady Grey. I gave him a sip & he said: “It’s ok. I thought you said there was chai in this?”

We are of one mind.

Terri HarpLady

I’d like to add that I still don’t have this tea rating thing worked out, so don’t take my numbers too seriously…

Nik

You ‘n’ me, both. My numbers are completely unreliable. Heck, my approach is completely unreliable: I just drag the little circle back and forth until it feels right. The left-brained part of me disapproves and is twitchy.

Azzrian

OMG I thought I was the only one who knew about the CRS condition! ha I have that too! :) Yeah this was one of several attempts I made with a good peach tea … I prefer the zabaglione one I think I also sent you. Its fun to try things though. :)

Azzrian

Oh and I am SO JEALOUS your going to LTR!!!
:) have a blast!

Terri HarpLady

@Nik, usually I don’t even rat theme, unless I really love them.

@Azz, I drank the zabaglione a few days ago, & it was tasty.
Not sure what I’m going to have a pot of at the LTR today, but whatever I have, I’ll take a sip in your name!

Terri HarpLady

We’re going to buy Tony some more Jubilee, but we’ll also each have a little pot of tea, & share both pots. I told him he had to try something other than the Jubilee (since he can drink that at home anytime), & he looked at me like I was crazy. LOL!

LiberTEAS

My numeric rating is not at all logical… it really depends upon my feelings at the moment of drinking the tea. I’ve tried to sort of work out a formula, but then I realized it was a bit too much like Math and there should not be math in tea. Math = bad, Tea = good… they do not belong together. So my numbers are totally arbitrary.

Terri HarpLady

Well put, LiberTEAS!

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67

When I opened my care package from Azzrian, this one quickly swam to the surface of the wonderful collection of samples she sent me! I love peaches, & this sounds awesome. I’ve never had a Zabaglione, but according to Wiki, it’s basically a whipped egg yolk pudding with other yummy stuff in it too. I don’t get to eat desserts because my body freaks out over sugar (even small amounts, dammit), so my tea is my dessert. And this is the dessert I want now!

It smells like a dream, like peaches, caramel, pudding, & heavy cream (I’m also allergic to milk…). Creamy, dreamy, smells so yummy, I can’t wait for it to cool down. Where is my spoon?

Unsweetened…it’s ok…I think I’d like it over ice.
Add some stevia & a little unsweetened vanilla almond milk & yum! The flavors come to life, transforming my cup into a bowl of peaches & cream, a nice treat in between gigs!

Now I have to go put my black dress back & go play a wedding. I love my job!

Terri HarpLady

Thank you Azzrian, for this lovely tea!

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50
drank Pear Pecan by Design a Tea
124 tasting notes

This was the second of the two tea samples I requested.
I’m debating something here – is this tea just intrinsically not so great? I don’t know. Should pear, pecans, and oolong not be put together in a tea? Very likely.
I thought the pecan might play well with the occasional butteriness of oolong and that the pear might be nice with floral notes.
I don’t know… this tastes burnt… like burnt coffee. I think the pecans overwhelm things. If I were to try again, I would probably brew the oolong at a lower temp. The package said boiling, but 195 might have been better.
I think the oolong might not have been that great. My sister hated it and I ended up pouring it out :(

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

I have had some REALLY wonderful teas from Design A Tea such as Marzipan Sunset SO SO GOOD, their Plum Lovin is great, and I have made several of my own I love. Sometimes though there is a miss as well. I think when a company is willing to try many different things that can happen. Their prices however and their coupons they send with orders seem to help a lot to balance out that risk for me.

BlueKittyMeow

I was pretty happy with the other blend from them and loved how fast and nice they were. I felt really bad about disliking this one so much – thanks for the recommendation about Marzipan Sunset – I love almond. I’m definitely willing to give things another shot!

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