Design a Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

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
541 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
541 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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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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86
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
1060 tasting notes

I’ve taken to drinking bright, fruity, and floral teas in the afternoon as my way of combating the blahs I feel from it getting dark so early. It lifts my mood every time. I should probably add my green and oolong teas to the rotation, too. The rest of the day I’m all about heavy winter or dessert-y holiday teas, but four o’clock is reserved for lighter teas!

I haven’t had this tea in quite a while, but it doesn’t seem to have suffered any loss of flavor. The pear flavor is still really good with the floral notes following. I actually forgot what a nice pear tea this is. It also does an excellent job of bringing an iced wine flavor to tea.

TeaNecromancer

Ooh, a nice pear tea! I should try it, I get so frustrated with pear teas tasting nasty

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86
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
1060 tasting notes

I needed a bit of sunshine this morning, so I chose this tea. It’s light, floral, and fruity which is helping me combat the crazy cold weather we’re having. Every time I have this tea I tell myself to hunt down other good pear teas. I like the juicy feel the pear lends to the tea. Yum.

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86
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
1060 tasting notes

Taking a quick break from the family to say Happy Thanksgiving, Steepster! I hope where ever you are that your day has totally rocked and that you’ve had some amazing tea to drink.

I had a cup of this earlier today while I was trying to simultaneously cook and clean (it turns out that’s really hard to do!). Every time I drink this I’m impressed with how good it is. It’s a great take on iced wine. I’m still loving the pear flavor and the light floral note. Also, this tea smells great. I want my whole house to smell like that all the time.

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86
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
1060 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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86
drank Ice Wine Tea by Design a Tea
1060 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

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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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

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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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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75

This sample came today – peach and zabaglione. The packaging was really cute :)
The scent is a little artificial, but not bad. I ended up adding milk to this. I don’t really taste “zabaglione” but to be fair, I’ve never actually tried zabaglione! The peach flavor was nice.
My blend was just peach and zabaglione without the extras Azzrian’s had.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Hummm that is odd. Nothing more under the ingredients list? Next time (if there is a next time) ask Brian at Design a Tea to whip up some the way he did mine.

LiberTEAS

With the teas from Design a Tea … I highly recommend waiting to try them for at least 2 or 3 weeks after you receive them. They flavor them to your order, which means the flavors have not had time to absorb into the teas and cure. A tea that is flavored today will not taste the same as it will three weeks from today is one of the most important lessons that I learned as a tea artist.

BlueKittyMeow

Hmm thanks LiberTEAS, that’s a really interesting point. I wish I had known that! I was so excited that I tried them the day they came. I’ll keep that in mind.

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85
drank Dingo Love Tea by Design a Tea
807 tasting notes

I have not been feeling the best lately and have had a week from H E double hockey sticks.
I have noticed that most of my teas other than matcha have been falling flat in flavor – and these are some really stellar teas so I know it is me and not the tea.
My taster is just off lately but this one is hitting the spot!
I can taste the apple and the pecan! YAY some flavor!
It mixes very nicely but is still a little less than potent but I know that is due to not feeling the best and being utterly worn down.
I am sure once I am feeling better this tea will rock my socks off!
No bitterness – no astringency – just a nice nutty apple flavor to soothe my poor aching bones and splitting head!
Thank you Brian for the sample!

Kittenna

:( Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad week. Hopefully things start looking up soon! It really drives me crazy too when I know I’m drinking a good tea, but my mouth is displeased in general for some reason. Usually things taste watery and weak, which kind of grosses me out. Sigh!

Azzrian

Exactly!!

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87

I got a VERY generous free sample of this from Brian at Design a Tea when I ordered more of my much loved Peach Zabaglione! Thank you Brian
I must say I am very surprised and pleased with this tea!
This has almost a Lapsang Souchong flavor to it yet very mellow. So fresh, ripe, juicy, yet that subtle smoky flavor behind it! I don’t know if this is a different blend than the other ladies tired or what but I do love it!

Sil

Design a tea? Oh no… here we go again…. Lol

Azzrian

UGGG I accidently deleted when I wanted to edit
Anyway
I said LOL you can blend two of your own for free (sample sized)
but my favorites are
Marzipan Sunset SO SO SO GOOD
Plum Lovin
Peach Zabaglione which you blend by picking Peach and Zabaglione flavors (he adds more stuff to it though)
and then this one.

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96
drank Peach Zabaglione by Design a Tea
807 tasting notes

Just enjoying an amazing hot cup of this with a little bit of all natural vanilla creamer added – just a touch – soooooo good – SO peachy, and creamy and heavenly!

Sil

I may need to get you to tell me what’s in this one/how to get it made when I’m on my next trip to the US (like next year..ugh)Since it doesn’t appear they ship outside the US.

Daniel Scott

DESIGN A TEA?! Good thing I don’t have a credit card, because that’s so dangerous.

tattooed_tea

Sil, they do ship to Canada. I received two free samples from them in the spring.

Sil

tattoed tea….oh no! you had to tell me that lol i’ll have to go back and figure out why i couldn’t see that…

tattooed_tea

haha I know. We are terrible enablers!

Sil

Seriously…my bank account begs you to stop lol

Azzrian

Mine is begging me to stop too! LOL

tattooed_tea

lol mine took that beating in June, it has had a rest & it will take another beating in a month for my fall teas.

Sil

oh no…. fall teas! AAAHHHHH!

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96
drank Peach Zabaglione by Design a Tea
807 tasting notes

Sometimes we just do something on the spur of the moment, on a whim, and it turns out AMAZING and thank you to Brian of Design a Tea for making this blend A MAZE ING!

I asked for a blend of peach and zabaglione but Brian went all out and added so many extras to make this THE BOMB!

I did a cold steep – just added room temp bottled water to the container with my strainer in it and within an hour it was ready, delicious, refreshing, and OMG good!
I JUST got this in the mail today and I already ordered more of it yes although I am on an order stand off I HAD to get more as this is now my DAILY iced tea for on the go in this mid west summer heat!

WOWZA and YUM!

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82

Ya know, I never liked marzipan until I met my husband. My only experience with marzipan was with those ones shaped like fruit that people give you around Christmas time. It was so mushy and awful. bleh. I avoided marzipan ever since.

In Germany, where my dear husband is from, marzipan is well loved. My husband simply adores the stuff. I didn’t understand why. Then, he took me to Germany with him and bought me a chocolate bar with marzipan in the middle. And then I understood. Mmmm…marzipan. Such a unique and heavenly scent. This tea captures marzipan very well. It also makes me think of cherries. Almonds and cherries are relatives after all. The cold brewed rooibos is soft and well behaved here. Very tasty and relaxing night time tea.

I can imagine that this would make a tasty alcohol free Amaretto Sour with a squeeze of lemon/lime and some simple syrup. Gotta get more of this and try making a pitcher for my next party! :)

Thank you so much for this lovely sample, Azzrian!

Azzrian

Yay she likes it! :) I love this one I am so happy you enjoyed it! :) Okay back to loafing on the sofa. SIGH Im soooo tired.

Mercuryhime

And I’m happy you shared with me! Why not go to sleep?

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