Sunday, January 04, 2009

Design Your Own Tea

My husband found this tea site through his high tech searching.  Design a Tea, caught his eye and it ended up in our share folder.  A few weeks ago I took a look at their site and was surprised to see that you can order samples to try, before you buy.

I love tea and have a box full of interesting flavours and hard core black teas.  I even use Lapsang Souchong as a barbeque smoke, and I flavour salmon dishes with a Lapsang marinade.  I use lavender tea 
to enhance hot apple cider, and I use black tea to make my own foaming Chai.  

I grew up with a British
 grandfather, whose detailed tea preparation rivaled Japanese tea ceremonies.  No bag in a cup with hot tap water for him...or me.

Design a Tea lets you choose a tea base, add flavourings, and create your own unique tea.  Who doesn't love choice.  You can choose your base from black, green, Rooibos and Oolong.  The flavours are too numerous to list but here is what I designed:Rooibos with Margarita and ginger; and black tea with tangerine and cranberry.

I tried the Rooibos this morning, and the aroma that wafted out of the sample was amazing.  Lime, orange, salty, spicy, earthy- WOW.  The delicate sweetness of the Rooibos isn't overshadowed by the flavourings; the taste is refreshing and the ginger lingers on the palate. Rooibos is caffeine-free, so it can be enjoyed all day or even before bed.

I favour using loose tea rather than bagged, but I know I find the grungy tea ball a hassle at times.  About a year ago I found fill-your-own tea bags, made by Cha Cult, which are large enough to let the tea expand.  Brian Pfeiffer, the owner of Design a Tea, calls this expansion "letting the tea dance".  It's cheaper to order loose tea from them, but I ordered my samples with tea bags.  The teaspoon of tea was enough for a whole pot.

Another great suggestion I found on Design a Tea's site was to use the brewed tea leaves in your garden.  I have been adding the tea to my indoor plants, and they seem to love it.  

As I have been writing, the Rooibos Margarita Ginger has cooled, and you know, it still tastes good.  Hmmm, iced tea for summer.  Design a Tea's logo is "where tea leaves dream".  When you can design your own blend, and get two samples for one dollar, let's start dreaming.  Green tea with honey and chestnut, Oolong with Anise, Rooibos with mango and maple, black tea with caramel.......

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