Design a Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

91

Backlogging. I made this last night, but I was folding laundry and forgot about it. It ended up steeping for about 10 minutes, so I was expecting a bitter mess. What I ended up with was an ah-mazing cuppa. The oolong gave a peachy flavor at the beginning of the sip and was followed by the blueberry and nutmeg. So good. I’m really enjoying nutmeg in my tea at the moment, and Design a Tea does a nice job blending it into several of their signature blends.

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91

As a lover of blueberry teas I give this a big thumbs up. Lots of juicy blueberry taste with the nutmeg adding some warmth. The nutmeg isn’t noticeable in the first few sips, but it slowly makes its presence known and works well with the blueberry flavor. I do wish the base tea had a bit more oomph. I think having more oolong flavor could send this tea over the top. But overall this is a really nice tea.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Interesting! I’ve never seen that combo of flavors in a tea!

gmathis

Love nutmeg. Have to remember that as a sprinkle-in with fall stuff.

Veronica

I hadn’t either which is why I initially picked it up. Design A Tea had several interesting signature blends. The next one I want to try is Proper Toppler which is vanilla and nutmeg. Yum!

Veronica

Gmathis – I was thinking the same thing. When I used to drink a lot of coffee I’d often sprinkle nutmeg or cinnamon over my lattes. I should do the same with my tea.

gmathis

C’mon, fall! (We’re getting a teaser dose of it this week.)

Terri HarpLady

Personally, I’m pretty happy with our current weather. My garden is VERY happy with this weather! My only complaint is for all the rain the the rest of the state got, we got practically nothing here in St. Louis, so I’ve had to actually water my plants. Otherwise, this weather is perfect! :)

gmathis

I wish the weather had a “pause” button: I’d hit it today and leave it there indefinitely!

Veronica

We’ve had great weather here, too. I hate that summer is almost over. I’m not one for cold weather.

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90
drank Pirate Tea by Design a Tea
879 tasting notes

I am barely staying awake, and today is going to be a long, long day, so bring on the Yerba Mate and black tea. If those two things just happens to be flavored with pineapple and chai spices so much the better.

I will do all the things!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

good luck :)

Veronica

Lol. Thanks, I’m going to need it! :)

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90
drank Pirate Tea by Design a Tea
879 tasting notes

This was not at all what I was expecting. It was better. I was expecting a spicy chai with a kicky mate taste and a hint of pineapple. The tea turned out to be a sweet chai with the lingering taste of pineapple where all the flavors – the roasted mate, chai spices, pineapple, and vanilla – are so well balanced that I kept sipping it and just savoring the mix of flavors. If you like pineapple flavored teas in any form or fashion I highly recommend this one. It’s excellent.

gmathis

Ooh, interesting! (I do like pineapple tea additives.)

Veronica

I’m really surprised more people haven’t tried this one yet. I looked at the tasting notes, and the last entry was three years ago. This tea needs more love. :)

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78

Sipdown

I really liked this tea. Sadly I didn’t get to have it as a hot toddy.

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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
2604 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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drank Peach Spice by Design a Tea
3069 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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drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
166 tasting notes

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I didn’t even realize I did the Design a Tea thing until they came in the mail. Way to be on the ball, Amanda.

I put maple syrup and some milk in here and it really brought out the flavors. Before the rooibos was just too strong, as it easily tends to be, but now it isn’t bad. I probably wouldn’t actually buy any of this because there are so many other combinations I’d like to try.

But it’s decent, it’s a nice dessert tea with no caffeine. Definitely best while it’s still hot, I got distracted once again dropping and adding classes. But now I am done with that. I think.

Alphakitty

If you want a really strong maple tea, the Tea Guys’ Maple Sugar is amaaaazing.

momo

When I pare down the current collection, I really want to order from them!

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Thank you Azzrian for adding this as a bonus in the swap!

I like this! It’s cream and almonds in a caffeine-free tea. Added a little rock sugar to sweeten the deal, but it really didn’t need it. :)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Azzrian

This is my late night comfort craving tea! :)

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drank Earl Grey by Design a Tea
563 tasting notes

I got some samples from Design a Tea today! I thought I should try a staple first, though. All Earl Greys are different. On this blend, the bergamot definitely comes through strongly. It’s almost like a blend I have from another company (now out of business) called Grand Earl Grey. The bergamot and citrus notes are very strong. It smells heavenly. When cool, the astringency comes out a bit more, but still a less dry mouth feel than many black teas. This seems to be a good blend of Assam and Ceylon. This is a very nice blend.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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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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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
539 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
539 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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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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