Design a Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

93
drank PeacaMint by Design a Tea
6770 tasting notes

Also Known As PecaMint

Thanks for this LiberTeas!

I will be doing a FULL review mid-week over at Sororitea Sisters so look for it there! But I’m totally LOVING this one! YUMMO!

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87
drank Marzipan Sunset by Design a Tea
807 tasting notes

Really yummy! Daughter and I shared a sample of this last night and she wants me to order her some right away! Very good, perfect level of sweetness, slight after taste maybe from stevia – not sure. Excellent almond and cream flavor.

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80
drank China Seduction by Design a Tea
252 tasting notes

I’ve had this one for quite a while and decided to cold brew it. Cold brewed, it tasted quite similar to a Davids Tea I have, I believe it was Love Tea #7? I got both the rose and chocolate flavors, though nothing that made me think of pu-erh. When I cold brewed another pu-erh, it actually made the pu-erh flavors come out MORE. Overall, I think I actually like this one better cold, but I’m not sure if I prefer this or the DT one.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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80
drank China Seduction by Design a Tea
252 tasting notes

Mmm I’m liking this one a lot more this time. The rose scent seems a lot stronger than I remember. All the flavors seem stronger. I guess this one just needed a while to sit around and get awesome or something.

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80
drank China Seduction by Design a Tea
252 tasting notes

This was one of my samples from Design a Tea. It came in a small tea bag. I think there may not have been quite enough, because the flavor I got was quite weak. I definitely could taste a bit of the chocolate but I didn’t get much rose taste. I think this tea could be quite yummy, but I would like to give it a proper try before I buy a whole bag.

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51

This sample was much better than the Maple Pecan. I used even less water and dumped all the tea from the T-sac into my strainer. This revealed there was indeed very little tea in the sample. And some tea dust as well, which resulted in a gritty last sip.

Both the dry leaves and the brewed tea smelled like blueberry. The taste was blueberry, an essence of creaminess, and still a little watery (but much less so than the first sample). I enjoyed this, but again I probably won’t be buying a full bag. Honestly, I’m just really disappointed in how small these samples were. I mean, they only cost $1 for both. But does that mean I should get only about 1-2 grams of tea?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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50

This is my first of two samples from Design a Tea. Ever since my fiancé bought this delicious maple pecan granola, I’ve had my mind fixed on the idea that it would make a fantastic flavored tea! I submitted the idea to 52teas and then came across Design a Tea’s custom blends. The closest I could get was subtracting the granola.

The dry tea definitely smelled like maple. The sample is only enough for one infusion and came in a T-sac. I hate T-sacs. They don’t let the tea leaves float around enough to let the flavor release. Of course, I didn’t come to this realization until it was too late.

The brewed tea still smelled like maple, but the taste was pretty lackluster. It was watery. I anticipated this when I saw how little leaf was in the sample, so I used about half as much water as I normally would. But I guess it was still too much.

As for the pecan, there might have been traces of it in there. But not enough that made me 100% sure I could actually taste it and that I wasn’t just imagining it. Needless to say, I won’t be buying a full bag of this. But at least I know maple and pecan is a good combo, so I’ll hold out hope that 52teas will blend it. Now, on to the next!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Dylan Oxford

Depending on what you’re looking for, you should check out Ovation Teas custom blending. It is definitely a different approach than Design A Tea, but it’s got a lot more options. Unfortunately, Maple doesn’t appear to be one of their flavorings… but it might be worth emailing them to ask.

CHAroma

Cool, thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely check it out. :)

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73
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
1533 tasting notes

I got this as a bonus free sample from Design A Tea. With designatea.comyou pick a base tea (black,oolong,green or rooibos) and then add two flavors. I’m no wine expert, but this smells like a wine. Almost like a non-alcohol wine, where it just has the grape. The taste is actually a little perfumey, but that could be the pear flavor or the black tea itself. There is a lot of tea in this tea bag, and the second steep was just as good. The black is a nice base for the wine flavor but I liked the vanilla almond sample I liked better (obviously, as I created that one.) Go to designatea.com to create your own sample for $1 shipping and get a $2 coupon with the sample. It’s fun to try!

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I finally decided to create a couple of samples from Design a Tea. This is a green tea flavored with apple and hazelnut essences, and it is really good. The apple is like a green apple taste, a little tart, but also sweet and juicy. The hazelnut is a bit subtle but I think it would have gotten stronger had I allowed the tea to mingle a while, I was just so excited to try it that I forgot to allow it time to cure.

It’s yummy as it is though!

Kittenna

Hmm, do you think inadequate ‘curing’ time might be an issue with their custom teas not tasting all that great? I hadn’t thought of that, but have read more than once about flavoured teas needing some time, and given then the turnaround time from sample ordering to arrival is less than 2 weeks…

LiberTEAS

It can be. Before I started reviewing teas, I flavored and blended my own line of teas, and I found that a tea that I would flavor “today” would not taste the same today as it would three weeks from today. That’s why I would never just flavor a tea and sell it immediately, I would allow it to cure for three weeks, and then do a tasting to make sure the flavor was correct.

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83

Another sample from Emilie! Has a strong aroma of almond extract (which is intoxicatingly good to me) and I was happy to see slices of almond in the mix. First taste is something like those almond cookies you get in Chinese restaurants. And then, if you hold it in your mouth a bit, there it is! Marzipan! Really enjoying this one.

Scott B

Oh, haven’t had marzipan in a very long time-this sounds good.

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67

(copied from yesterday)
Design a Tea offers 2 samples of your choosing on their site (designed by you) for $1. You choose between black, oolong or green and then 2 flavors. Reading the site closer, the flavorings are said to be natural and organic. You get one teabag of each choice. Sent very quickly (I’m not as quick to review however).

This is an oolong tea, which according to their site is their Formosa Oolong (they also sell Ti Kuan Yin, but not for these purposes). I opted to add Almond and Coconut as my two flavor choices. Brewed according to teabag instructions, adding 1/2 tbs. of sugar (1/2 of what I used yesterday on the other sample) << still too sweet.

First sip is a little disappointing (after liking yesterday’s). Something is tasting artificial in this mix, or the tea is throwing things out of kilter (can’t really distinquish it on it’s own). Both flavors are equally represented and strong. As it cools, the artifical feel is less. Since I liked yesterday’s sample more and the black tea base seems better, that might be a possibility for the future. Yep, I think it’s the tea’s fault (not the flavorings).

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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83

Design a Tea offers 2 samples of your choosing on their site (designed by you) for $1. You choose between black, oolong or green and then 2 flavors. Reading the site closer, the flavorings are said to be natural and organic. You get one teabag of each choice. Sent very quickly (I’m not as quick to review however).

This is a black tea, which is Ceylon blend. I added chocolate and caramel as flavor choices. Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting much. Well, I was wrong. I was very careful to brew properly, added a tbs. of (crystal) sugar. I actually did not need to add so much sugar (too sweet). The black tea is not bashful, but behaves (not bitter). The chocolate and caramel add a dessert yummy character to it that I like a lot. As is cools, the caramel is overpowering the chocolate (boo), but it’s still good.

If I didn’t already have a tin of Upton Chocolate Earl Grey and Creme Caramel (which I have combined with good results), this would be on my order list. Think I’ll add it though, just so I don’t forget about it. With only one teabag to test, all reminders are gone : )

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Marzipan Sunset by Design a Tea
252 tasting notes

First, I want to think Design A Tea for their wonderful customer service and generous samples!

WOW! This tea is delicious. It smells good all throughout and tastes wonderful. They’ve somehow managed to make it feel like I’m actually eating marzipan as I drink this. This is the first marzipan tea I’ve had and I’m really happy it went well. I plan on buying more of this!

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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75

Alright, so here goes tea #2!!

I have to say, this tea smelled MUCH more promising when I opened up the bag! Tart blueberry was the main scent, and I definitely recognized it as blueberry! The tartness made me think of candy though, perhaps sour Warheads, or whatever those were called? Either way, it made my mouth water. Didn’t smell any hazelnut, but that’s ok.

This time, I did look into the teabag, and there was clearly some green tea (sencha??) in there, not too terribly broken up, and a bit of powderiness, which I’m going to attribute to lyophilized (hee) blueberry. And possibly hazelnut, but I’d think that might be added as an extract?

Steeped tea smells like tart, mouthwatering blueberry candy. Nom nom nom. Frankly, I don’t care if I can smell/taste hazelnut right now, cuz this smells good!

Unfortunately, drinking it is a bit of a letdown. I am greeted by a bit of a perfumey blueberry taste which makes me think… blueberry Jelly Belly, I think. There’s a nice green tea finish, which is enjoyable, but I’m just not digging the artificial fruit flavours. :( No hazelnut, either.

This one’s definitely better than my ‘Coconut Banana Oolong’, but again, after tasting DavidsTea’s White Tiger, where the blueberry flavour is just SO authentic (even if they did something to enhance it, I don’t really care), I am looking for that sort of flavour in blueberry teas. Tartness optional, but perfumey candy is not going to cut it anymore.

Might give another couple teas a shot, or order their Ice Wine tea (as someone, perhaps Azzrian? thought it was pretty good), but as of now, no plans to order larger quantities of any of “my own” blends.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

really loved the ice wine from Design a Tea – more so than the other samples by far and more than another culinary’s.

Kittenna

I think, sometime in the distant future when I make it through all the teas currently headed my way, that I will order some from them. But right now I should be swamped! Once Canada Post starts being good.

Azzrian

Really wish it would get there NOW!

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58

I’m so excited to try some of “my own” blends! Let’s see how this one turns out…

The teas came in an envelope, which is fair enough given I paid $1 for shipping, but I was a bit worried that the tea had been crushed. Looking in the teabag, I didn’t check too closely to see if it was, but I did see a white powder on top of the tea… do they just plunk tea in a bag, plop on some powdered flavouring, and go?? I didn’t see any banana, but perhaps it was powderized freeze-dried banana.

I can’t really place the smell of the steeped tea. There’s a touch of fruitiness, but I wouldn’t say banana, and maybe an artificial coconut flavour, on top of a darker oolong base. Not particularly grabbing. Also, it smells…. musty. Not that I think this has been sitting somewhere for a really long while, it’s just a scent I’m picking up.

So here goes… Man, I wish I better knew what a darker oolong tasted like, because then I could better separate the flavours. I would have preferred a greener oolong (e.g. like in DavidsTea’s Banana Oolong), but knew that wasn’t what I was going to get. Anyways, I’m definitely tasting coconut, but it is kind of fakey tasting, and what I can taste of the banana is very subtle; there’s a bit more of it at the end of the sip. Likewise with the coconut. The tea is there in the background rounding out the flavour.

Overall, it’s not bad, but the white powder bothered me to begin with, and I wish the flavours were more authentic. The banana also isn’t strong enough for me (after knowing how delicious banana can be in tea). Might try a re-steep, but I highly doubt it will re-steep well.

Think I’ll try the other one tonight as well. Sleep? Psh…

(And guys, if you don’t ever hear from me again, please let someone know that this tea was the last thing I consumed! Particularly those of you that know my address :D:D)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Ninavampi

I can’t believe you are still awake! I just woke up!

Kittenna

sob I shouldn’t be. My sleep schedule is awful. AWFUL. I’m contemplating not going to bed tonight (yeah, cuz that always works well). Oh sorry, did I say tonight??? I guess 7:30am no longer counts as “night”…

Azzrian

LOL I cracked up but then again one never knows!

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53

One of the samples from Design a Tea. I thought this would be an interesting blend, as I like both flavors. Perhaps they can go well together?
The dry smell is mainly peppermint. If I try, I can get something possibly vanilla-ish, but it’s mainly peppermint. It keeps pretty much the same smell all throughout steeping. At first, the flavor is ALL peppermint. While I’ve yet to meet a peppermint tea that I didn’t like, I was really wanting to get the two flavors together. Once it cools a bit, the Irish Creme seems to come out. I can’t taste it so much as it seems to be mellowing out the peppermint. I really wish the irish creme flavor would have made a strong appearance. While good for a peppermint tea, that’s not what I was looking for with this.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
Dylan Oxford

I evidently missed the boat on the free samples, but yesterday I was very excited to discover Ovation Teas (ovationteas.com) has a stellar-looking custom tea creating thingy on their website. I could not resist trying it out! Though they don’t have irish creme flavoring, you might be able to send them an email and see!

Emilie

Design a Tea still has the samples here http://designatea.com/freesamples.php if you’re looking for them. They seem really hit or miss, but I’ve heard the stuff they already have blended is pretty good.
Thanks for the info, I’ll definitely check it out tomorrow once I’m more awake!

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94
drank Vanilla Almond by Design a Tea
1533 tasting notes

For $4.75 you can “design a tea” over at designatea.com and choose which base you want (black, oolong, green or rooibos) along with two flavors. Sounds like a good idea! Especially when you get two free samples of your own custom blend. (And I received a third they made as well!) The samples consist of one tea bag of each flavor. I love trying teas, so I could try all their flavor combos possible, but I went with a vanilla almond black tea. I really wanted to try all three elements here, because they are usually hit or miss. Black teas with vanilla flavor is my favorite usually. The black tea is a great base, with a medium flavor. The flavor is a bit dry to me, like one I’d attribute to a white tea, but still delicious. The vanilla flavor is mild yet present. I could have used more, since I can never have enough vanilla flavor. The almond flavor is great too, a genuine almond, definitely present with a toastiness to it. The second steep was just as good as the first. All three flavors go perfect together. It’s a great idea to send out free samples. Give it a try! (designatea.com) I won’t forget about trying this one, and I’ll keep it in mind in the future. Such an interesting concept!

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85
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
807 tasting notes

Yummy!
This is my first experience with any Iced Wine tea and I love it!
Makes me want to order some right away but also makes me want to explore other brands as well. However based on the tea logs here it looks like this company has it down pat!
I would not mind it a bit stronger but this is really enjoyable!
I have not drank alcohol for over three years now for health reasons (type 1 diabetic for 40 years) but I have missed a really good wine now and then!
This is very accurate to a merlot flavor with no bitterness, the right amount of sweetness and a cooling feeling even served hot!
I definitely want to explore ice wine more!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Dianne

I just ordered the blueberry merlot from Tea forte For the same reason I miss a glass of wine once in awhile ( Not diabetic ) supporting husband. Thanks

Azzrian

That is excellent that you are supporting your husband in his non-drinking! My hubby also stopped with me and it makes it so much easier! I hope you enjoy it! I will have to check out the blueberry merlot too! :)

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77

This was one that I “designed” on their site. I don’t recall why now but for some reason I ended up speaking to the man at design a tea. He was extremely nice, helpful, and made good suggestions. I liked his positive energy. The tea itself was good. I am always concerned about flavor additives in anything, especially teas. While I am not sure how one gets a “natural” amaretto flavor this tea was very good. Neither of the flavors seemed to take over each other nor did they take over the oolong itself.
I suppose I would have liked it even a little more flavorful but I would not say it was lacking in flavor. I did add some sugar in the raw on the second cup and it did bring out the flavors a little more.
The first sip reminded me a bit of a Cherry Mash if you have ever had one of those. Except without the chocolate. The cherry came through nicely without tasting chemical or fake, and the nutty flavor was subtle but present.
While not an “in your face” flavor I appreciate its simplicity and that it was very pure and clean in taste.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

They are SUPER nice at Design A Tea, the few dealings I’ve had with them have always been very positive.

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76
drank China Seduction by Design a Tea
129 tasting notes

i forgot this was a pu’erh! black tea just came to mind when there was mention of rose and chocolate, but i really like it.
the chocolate scent comes through strong, but not so much in the taste. i really get a nice floral from the rose that pairs well with the earthy pu’erh. very nice tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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79
drank PeacaMint by Design a Tea
4641 tasting notes

I’ve had this blend for a while now… it just sounded a little too weird so I held off trying it. But somehow, these flavors all work together quite well. The peppermint and pecan are strong enough to offset that funky rooibos flavor, and the nutty flavor of the rooibos enhances the delicious flavor of the pecan. The cool, crisp flavor of the peppermint is a nice contrast to the sweet, nutty flavor.

I’m liking this much more than I thought I would.

Stephanie

Pecan and Mint? Interesting!

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88
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
6770 tasting notes

Oddly I just found this one in a random place in my desk where I don’t usually store tea! Very strange! So…I decided to drink it! It’s a mellower Ice Wine Tea – perhaps because of the amount of loose leaf in the sample I received…I didn’t do a full cuppa…but this is really nice. I like that it’s different and doesn’t have an intense flavor like the others…I mean…they can’t ALL be the same, right? Sometimes you are looking for a lighter flavor and other times an intense flavor, eh? At least that is how I think!

This is great hot or cold but I do prefer ICED. It’s like a mix of white grapes, pear, and sugar with the freshest mineral/spring water you ever tasted…very clean, crisp! It’s really wonderful!

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38
drank Pumpkin Almond by Design a Tea
1105 tasting notes

This one smells pleasantly spicy dry, and rather almond-y after steeping. But once again, the taste isn’t half as nice as the scent. It’s more flavorful than my other sample, but that flavor seems very fake, even chemical-y.

Two samples from Design a Tea, two failures. It’s a shame; it could have been such a wonderful and unique option for tea shopping.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec

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30
drank Chestnut Hazelnut by Design a Tea
1105 tasting notes

Design a Tea sounded like fun, so I decided to try a few of their samples! This one is the first of two.

This one has a pleasant smell both dry and after steeping; I was happy to be able to pick out the scents of both chestnut and hazelnut. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the taste. It was difficult to taste any flavoring, and as the tea cooled it became impossible. In fact, the cooled tea barely reminded me of tea at all; it seemed more like warm water with a vaguely tea-esque taste.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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