Design a Tea

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39
drank Plum Lov'en by Design a Tea
2831 tasting notes

I swear I’m going to bed after I write this…

Continuing on the trend of drinking tea from my latest box of samples and ignoring all others…. this is another sample from Azzrian! I haven’t really tried a plum-flavoured tea, and thought it could be interesting.

The steeped tea smells a bit like a winey/grape-juicy rooibos. Yes, definitely smelling the rooibos. Boooo!! Surprisingly, it doesn’t really carry into the flavour… but neither does the fruity plummy taste. Oh wait, there’s a bit in the aftertaste… maybe. Ok yes. But there is really not a lot of flavour here, especially given how much tea I used and the length of the infusion. And… I’m suddenly tasting flavours reminiscent of Fisherman’s Friend cough drops…. blech!!! Not sure if that’s a medicinal-rooibos thing, or what… eek, not a big fan!!! Definitely a miss for me…. but that’s ok!! Had three hits tonight, two of which were new flavours for me, so three outta five ain’t bad! (And I think the tea from Kally Teas has potential, so it might be 4/5!)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
ScottTeaMan

You haven’t been to bed yet?!?

Kittenna

Errrr… well I had a 3-hour nap in the middle of the day, and then ended up going to work from midnight to 3am… now it’s 6am… I have bad sleep habits. Going to sleep now :)

ScottTeaMan

Goodnight…….

:))

Azzrian

LOL you night owl! Worse than me even! Wow I really love this tea – it taste like wine to me. Its cool though can’t win em all lol

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83

I wasn’t going to bother with the hot tea tonight because it is about 40 degrees (Celsius) outside and the last thing I wanted was a hot beverage… BUT then I saw what came in the mail, my free custom samples from Design a Tea! So I changed my mind and brewed up my first one. Their samples are so cute, they come already in some sort of tea sac (so you only get one bag of each) and they enclose a note with a $2 off your next order coupon.

I haven’t been a fan of many vanilla teas I have tried but the vanilla in this one comes out to play! It is the overwhelming flavour of the tea, and I find it a very nice full vanilla flavour. The chai is really rather muted, which is slightly disappointing, I was expecting more of a kick. Overall, the two flavours work well together and well with rooibos, and I will definitely be trying vanilla in future design a tea blends!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

The ~40C humidex really puts a damper on the brewing up of hot tea, doesn’t it! I made a couple today in the earlier morning, but only now am I back to wanting something warm, since my house has A/C and it’s a little chilly in the dining room! I think it’s still ridiculously hot outside here too, probably still a humidex in the 30s.

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86
drank Plum Lov'en by Design a Tea
807 tasting notes

Yup I still stand by my earlier note about this tasting like a wine. In fact my husband was standing at the counter as I poured a cup and he made this face as if he had suddenly become alert. I asked him what that expression was about and he said – that smells familiar. I looked at him and asked him “wine perhaps?” and he said “yes! That’s what it is!”
Now what you need to know is that I used to drink wine often. He didn’t just me, he never cared for wine. It has been about 3 years since we have had any wine in the home. So for him to pick that aroma out of thin air (literally) was pretty amazing and just an testament to how winey this tea is! Oh and a testament to my hubby’s good nose! :)

SimpliciTEA

I really like that play-by-play at the counter with your husband.

Azzrian

Thank you! :)

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86
drank Plum Lov'en by Design a Tea
807 tasting notes

Got this in today – SUPER fast shipping from Design a Tea! WOOT! Thanks!
I got this free actually with a code when I bought another tea (Marzipan Sunset which is YUMMMMM)
I had a hard time deciding which tea to get next as I have sampled quite a few good ones from them.
I am glad I got this.
Funny I have been seeking the perfect “wine” flavored tea for a long time and while I love Iced Wine – Design a Tea’s being the best I have found thus far ironically, this is more of what I was desiring!
This is a lovely plum and vanilla flavored tea but what resonates more with me is the wine flavor!
Letting it cool some to get more of a room temp to it and I am sure it will be stellar!
Would absolutely order again!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Sounds tasty :) I don’t think I’ve tried a plum tea (although Alphakitty sent me a plum oolong, I think).

Azzrian

Its really odd how I won’t have tried (did that sound right?) anyway find I have NOT tried a specific flavor then all of a sudden I have several of that flavor! This one is really nice! I ended up giving the rest of my cup (about half of it) to my mother who dropped by and loved it lol so I put it in a to go cup for her.
She said she didn’t get the wine notes but then she is only just learning about good tea – she grew up on that instant stuff from the green canister with screw top. :p

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75

I invented this with Design A Tea’s awesome concept of adding two flavors to a base tea of black, oolong, rooibos or green. You can create two teabags that they send you for $2 shipping. I don’t know if I just made a not-so-great flavor combination or what. It’s okay, but nothing spectacular. The steep color is almost like an apple juice, which is fitting I guess. I can’t really taste an oolong flavor, which means it is probably very light. The apple flavor is subtle. And I can’t tell if there is much of a pecan flavor. The second steep is just as flavorful as the first. Do apple and pecan really go well together anyway? I don’t know what I was thinking, but I’ve been on the lookout for a really good apple tea if anyone has any ideas.

teataku

I would think it might be difficult for apple flavoring to be detectable when paired with a traditional tea base, like black tea or oolong. The tea itself, even if not strong, would probably cover it up. Maybe try an herbal blend?

tea-sipper

Yeah, that sounds like it would make sense!

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87
drank Maple Zabaglione by Design a Tea
4825 tasting notes

Decided to finally try my second custom sample. I am glad that I held off and waited a little while, because the flavor this time is perfect. Delicious maple, delicious creamy, custard-y taste. YUM! The black tea is pleasant, strong, but not overwhelming.

I like this one quite a bit, I might end up ordering a batch!

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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
267 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
267 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
267 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
1645 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)

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
267 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
1645 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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