Product Review: Create Your Own Tea from Design a Tea

designatealogoTea Information:

Leaf Type:  You Choose

Where to Buy: Design a Tea

Tea Description:

It’s time to order the best tea you’ve ever tasted. Why? Because you choose the flavors! The concept is simple, choose a base and one or two flavors to blend your own unique tasting tea. Top it off with a personalized name and brag to your friends about your gourmet style or give it away as a gift. Not sure what flavors to mix? Try our samples!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Have you ever craved a tea before so badly that you searched and searched for hours determined that this tea had to exist and that you would find it? That has been my mission as of late.  To find a flavored green tea that was flavored with. . . banana.  Yep.  I have been craving a green banana flavored tea.  Or really any banana flavored tea that wasn’t black or red roobios based.  But that’s harder to find than you think. The majority of banana flavored teas also have chocolate in them and I’m not a huge fan of chocolate teas.  I just don’t think I’ve found the right ones yet.

designateaA couple years ago, I discovered Design A Tea.  They have a great promotion where you can customize a few different blends pretty inexpensively and try out some of your creations before committing to a larger size, which is a fantastic option.  So after the hours of searching it dawns on me, I should create myself a green banana tea and that is how my Morning Sunrise blend was born.  The blending process is very simple.  You choose your tea base.  You can pick black, green, oolong, or rooibos. (There is a separate page that you can customize and design your own earl grey teas, whites, Darjeelings, and a slew of other teas.)   Pick up to 2 flavors and  pick one herb.  There are a ton of different options for flavors.  Pretty much the sky is the limit on what you can create.  Adding the herb is a nice  touch for the tea.  Finish picking out your packaging options, name your tea, and viola . . .Your creation is born!

With this particular order, I went banana crazy and made three different banana teas.  And I have to say, they are amazing! The bases that they use at Design A Tea are fantastic! I created a banana-orange green tea with chamomile  and it tastes just like that! The orange flavor is stronger than the banana (which seems to be a common occurrence with this company.  One flavor profile outweighs the other)  but I am a happy camper. It reminds me of a yogurt that I loved when I was a kid.  Sweet and citrusy all at the same time.   The green tea mixes in nicely and gives the tea almost a weightless property.  It feels like a tea you would drink in the springtime or on a summer day, maybe iced.  After the third infusion, the flavors were still going strong and I was very impressed.

I haven’t had a chance to try them all yet, but I am enjoying the Banana Caramel Oolong with Cinnamon (it tastes very similar to Banana Fosters. . . .yum) as I am typing this review up. This tea is a desert within itself.   Another home run.  I am incredibly impressed with this company and my brain is already concocting different ideas for future teas. . . . .

Chocolate Marshmallow Spicy Chai from 52Teas


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Zoomdweebies

Tea Description:

Following the success of our Spicier Chai, one of our faithful customers requested a version with chocolate and marshmallow.  How could we not do that?

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  I’m loving this Chocolate Marshmallow Spicy Chai from 52Teas.  It’s the perfect tea to enjoy on a cold, wet afternoon!

If you read this blog regularly, you’re probably well aware by this point that I’m trying to raise funds so that I can take over 52Teas.  And if you aren’t yet aware of this, please check out my Kickstarter campaign by clicking right here.  (Remember, every little bit helps!)

Anyway, after taking my first sip of this tea, my immediate thought was, “oh yeah, I have to reblend this one!”  In fact, I just finished posting a comment on the campaign, stating that I nominate this for a reblend for the next vote!

Every time we reach another $2,000 in pledges, we vote on a new reblend.  So far, we’ve reached on $2000 in pledges and the winner of that vote was the Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Honeybush.  If you want to get in on the next vote, you need to contribute and help me reach my goal!

So, yes, I guess you could say that I like this tea.  I like it a lot!

The black tea base is rich and flavorful.  That in itself is quite an accomplishment because the spices are spicy and the chocolate and marshmallow are both strong components to this cup too.  To be able to be tasted beyond the bold spices and the strong flavors, that’s impressive to me.

I also appreciate that the black tea isn’t astringent or bitter.  It’s smooth and robust, but not aggressively so.  It stands strong amid the other strong flavor profiles in this cup without having to be too harsh tasting.

The spices are very reminiscent of the Spicier Chai blend that 52Teas introduced a few weeks back.  And there’s a good reason for that.  It would seem that the Spicier Chai was the inspiration behind the request for a Chocolate Marshmallow version.  Genius.  It sounds like something I’d think of.  I didn’t.  But, whoever did think of it, you’re a genius.

The spices are spicy!  Peppery!  Zesty and invigorating!  It’s a good, strong, BOLDLY spiced chai.  It not only warms you from the inside out but it’ll feel a little like someone started a tiny fire in the back of your throat.  Yeah, it burns, but it burns SO good!

And then you have chocolate and marshmallow!  I’m usually quick to say that more chocolate is better, but I really am enjoying the level of chocolate in this blend.  It’s not SUPER chocolate-y but I think that more chocolate might have interfered with the spices a little bit and I like the balance as it is right now.  Spicy and chocolate-y deliciousness.

And the marshmallow is light and fluffy.

What this tastes a bit like is that someone brewed up a cup of that Spicier Chai, and then added a scoop of hot cocoa powder to it and stirred it up, and then topped it with a marshmallow that is now melted into the beverage, making it creamy and sweet and delicious.

So, yeah … totally yum.  Please help me save 52Teas so that I can reblend this one!!!

Barrel Aged Chai – Silk Road – from Tea of the People

silk-road_largeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea (Chai)

Where to Buy: Tea of the People

Tea Description:

Chai is to many tea drinkers to what The Beatles are to music. Paul sang, “Let it Be”, but we went “Across the Universe” and landed in Silk Road, the once legendary trade route between China, India and beyond. Barrel aged with Szechuan peppers, we made Imperial Keemun, “Come Together” with this Indian Chai. Sweet and spicy flavours will leave you wanting it “8 Days a Week”.


Barrel aging is a new and exciting way to handcraft a sophisticated cup of tea. Our barrel aging process begins by carefully hand-blending the tea and ingredients together and placing the blend into charred white oak wood barrels. Flown in from France, the barrels are then stored in our private tea cellar for five months. The oak keeps the ingredients tightly stored, allowing for the ingredient’s flavours to fuse harmoniously with the tea. 


Awarded both the prestigious designation for being one of China’s Ten Famous Teas and Official Imperial Tea of the Queen of England, Organic Imperial Keemun is one of the best black teas in the world. Great for stress management, studies have shown organic Imperial Keemun also promotes excellent oral, heart and bone health. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Most of the teas I have tasted – I can fully form my opinion about them – by the end of the cup.  This one took a while.  It took me until my 3rd cup to full form my opinion.  Not that it was a bad tasting chai – that couldn’t be further from the truth – it was just more complex than the others I have been sipping on as of late.  Barrel Aged Chai – Silk Road – from Tea of the People was quite the experience.

I read the ingredients label over and over again.  I couldn’t find anything that would make it different than the other chai’s to be honest.  Perhaps it was all of the organic ingredients – but – I have a hunch that the REAL taste difference is because it was barrel aged.  I have to say I haven’t tried many age barrels teas – a few – but not a ton of them – probably because there aren’t that many on the market.

That’s why I think this offering it wonderful!  It gives it that little extra something.  Something you can’t quite put your finger on – or in this case – your tongue on!  The spicy flavor blast of this chai really awakens your senses.  It forces you to taste and pick out each and every ingredients and ponder on it for a bit before completing your sipping adventure.  There seems to be a mysterious semi juicy undertone that is very much appreciated.  This is one chai that I will remember for a long time, that is for sure!  Very nicely done!


24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 23 from Teanzo 1856

It’s day 23 … are you finished with your shopping yet?  (Please don’t ask.)

GwynnOrnieFor today’s artistic inspiration, I am featuring this rustic heart ornament from Gwynn Thoma.  I’m not entirely sure, but it looks as though the panels were felted and then stuffed and hand sewn together.  It’s really lovely and I love the way it looks on my tree.  Since about 95% of the ornaments on my tree are all handmade, I love the way this ornament really seems to define that idea.  It looks simple and rustic, but I love the charm that it brings to my tree.

Mint Detox Tulsi Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tulsi

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

With rosehips and mint, this loose leaf detox tea supports hydration and detoxification.  You can sip this detox tea hot or gulp it down as an iced tea  guilt-free since it has virtually no calories!  Makes a fantastic and unique gift.  This is a herbal tea that you can take with you in your water bottle and sip all day long to stay refreshed.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:MintTulsi

There have been quite a few caffeine free tisanes in this Advent Calendar box from Teanzo.  Some have been hits and others misses.  Fortunately, this one is a hit!

I really like the combination of spearmint and tulsi.  The warmth of the tulsi and the cool, crisp notes of the spearmint offers a nice contrast.  The spearmint is refreshing without tasting toothpaste-y as the spicier notes of the tulsi help to reduce the impact of the mint.

Also nice is the light, lemony note from the lemon myrtle.  It’s a really uplifting flavor that brightens the whole cup.

It’s a pleasant combination of flavors that I found very enjoyable.  I don’t know if it works as a “detox” or not, but, I will say that this is one of the tastier “detox” teas I’ve tried.  It’s thirst-quenching and tastes good served hot or cold and it has a nice, natural sweetness to it that requires no additional sweetener.  Another bonus for the detox!

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 13 from Teanzo 1856

side 1 of the ornament

It’s day 13 with this wonderful Holiday Countdown with tea from Teanzo – I have enjoyed trying the different teas that they offer through their Advent Calendar!  (All of which is also available – separately – on their website!)

For today’s bit of holiday art, I chose a really nifty ornament made by Regina Zyry!  One of the things that I love MOST about this ornament is that its crafted using an upcycled ribbon spool!  You know, when you go to the craft store and you buy the spools of decorative ribbon for your projects?  She kept her empty spools and turned them into creative ornaments!

side 2 of the ornament

I love the color scheme of these too!  It really stands out on my tree.  And while this first side offers a ‘modern’ appearance, the reverse side has more of an ‘old fashioned’ look to it.

See what I mean?  Clever, right?

This ornament was a gift in one of the 12 Days of Christmas mail art swaps that I was involved in a few years ago.  It was a very inspiring thing to be working with such artistic ladies.

And speaking of creative, I find today’s tea from Teanzo to be rather creative!  It’s one of the teas that is offered in their Spa Trio collection along with two other Spa tea blends, including one that I’ve already reviewed as part of this countdown:  The Dream Spa Blend.

Bliss Spa Blend

Bliss-Spa-BlendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tulsi

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

Ingredients:  Ginger Root, rose hips, tulsi, orange peel, lemon peel, lemon myrtle, lemon grass, with ginger and citrus flavors. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yay!  Another tisane without hibiscus!  And this one is a Tulsi tisane – extra bonus points!  It’s been a while since I’ve had a Tulsi blend!

This blend is actually quite lovely!  I love the citrus-y flavors!  The notes of lemon and orange are strong in this blend and it adds a bright, vibrant flavor that is energizing and yes … blissful!

To brew this tisane, I poured the contents of the sampler pouch into the basket of my Kati Tumbler and added 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F and I let it steep for 10 minutes.  Remember, with no camellia sinensis leaves in the tisane, I don’t have to worry about the brew becoming bitter (no tannins!) and with no hibiscus in the blend, I don’t have to worry about the brew becoming too syrupy, thick or tart.

The ginger and the tulsi add a sort of warm, spicy note to the cup that contrasts nicely with the bright, juicy flavors of citrus.  This isn’t overly spicy, though, it’s a gentle, cozy warmth.  I like the undertone of spice that comes from these two ingredients.

But the real ‘star’ of this cup is the invigorating flavor of the citrus notes!  The orange is juicy and sweet, and the lemon isn’t too sour.  I’m not puckering when I drink this.

I really enjoyed this.  The last two tisanes that I’ve consumed from Teanzo (this and the aforementioned Dream Spa Blend) have been so delightful that they are renewing my faith in tisanes!  I have become so … blasé when it comes to nearly all tisanes that I’ve encountered as of late.  Sure, I might find the flavor agreeable, but truly exciting?  Not a lot of them have interested me to the point where I felt I was excited about what I was drinking.  These two blends are excitingly different!