Dessert by Deb

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Recent Tasting Notes

75

After grumbling about ginger in tea in multiple notes recently, I actually quite enjoyed this tea and its use of ginger – very warm and not spicy; the sweetening probably helped. It really did invoke thoughts of delicious ginger molasses cookies, too, so that’s a win.

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Cold Brew!

The rhubarb is sorely missing in this tea for my own tastes which is a small let down, but there’s certainly no doubt in my mind that this is definitely a really lovely strawberry jam kind of profile. As a cold brew I found it immensely refreshing and i greatly appreciated how it still had a lightness to it from the greener base while not missing that flavour definitely and clarity with the strawberry.

It’s not the first time I’ve found rhubarb to be almost entirely absent in one of Deb’s rhubarb teas, so I’m definitely filing that away for the future to help mitigate some of my expectations if she decides to continue releasing rhubarb teas.

I feel confident that this strawberry flavour is being used in other teas, like the Concord Grape Jelly or Strawberry Cake Roll blends – all of which are jammy and decadent green teas. I can appreciate having a limited supply of ingredients as a smaller company, so the recycling/repurposing of flavours doesn’t bother me – but I would like to see a more differentiated way of using it now that Deb’s put out a couple teas in this style.

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Y’know, I would have really expected this to be something I’d enjoy a lot. However, something about the combination of a dark roasted hojicha with a little bit of a sharpness and minerality to that roast along with the coconut and tart berry really came together in a way where the only thing I could think of was the smell of stinky feet. It’s a harsh comparison and maybe not a fair one given the fact I was sort of in a foul mood due to a headache when I first tried this tea. However, it’s what kept springing to mind and it really muddied the experience.

I want to keep an open mind though, so I’m really gonna try to basically taste this again the next time I make it as if it were my very first time trying it. No feet.

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Another tea that I steeped up for this past weekend’s D&D session.

Unfortunately this is the tea that, more than anything else I prepped, I drank the most subconsciously. I remember the peach flavour really shining in my first couple sips, though it’s very similar if not the same as the other peach teas that Deb has carried. Not a complaint though; I love Deb’s peach blends and it’s a really nice flavour even if it has been repurposed so many times.

I just got so wrapped up in the game though that I remember going to have a sip of my mug about half way through and it being just totally empty. Somehow I’d guzzled down the entire mug without paying any mind past that initial sip…

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82

Another from Tiffany :) Thank you! While looking for this one on Steepster, there is so much coconut (fresh looking) in the blend that I was expecting a name with “coconut”. Such finely chopped ingredients here – it looks like mostly coconut and mostly rooibos. Do you ever do that thing where you go to set the mug down, but then take another sip, go to set the mug down, then go to take another sip…about a dozen times? That was this tea… and the other Dessert By Deb tea I had yesterday. But I guess it’s usually every tea for me! The suggested two teaspoons seems to work for these teas. Plenty of sweet, as wow, it seems like every type of sweetener is here except for stevia. Plenty of buttery coconut flavor. Though I do wish the balance was better here that some of the rooibos would be replaced with more black tea. But I have been drinking this one a lot due to the huge amount of coconut. Inspired by maple snow candy, which I would definitely have at least a couple times, as a child in NY! But with the coconut here representing snow (I would imagine), it’s a bit hard to make that connection between so much coconut and what should be maple. It’s delicious anyway, if you are looking for a sweet coconut tea.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5-6 minute steep

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Another new Spring tea from Deb!

Once again, I’m a little surprised how much I enjoyed this! I think I would be remiss to not point out that it’s a grape tea blend where the only “grape” in the tea is coming from a low percentage of added raisins – no flavouring. Raisins, when steeped, do have a flavour but it’s not one I would call comparable to grape jelly at all.

Despite that this tea does taste kind of like a sweet grape jelly. It’s juicy, it’s ripe, and there’s a kind of coating syrupy quality to it that works with the name. This flavour definitely does not come from the raisins though – it’s very clearly an incredibly smart and strategic combination of strawberry and blueberry flavouring. With the power of suggestion (ie. the name) and a flavour that’s similar enough to what Grape Jelly should taste like, your brain kind of just fills in the gaps! It’s pretty cool, actually!

When I stopped and really drank this tea mindfully I was able to kind of separate out the strawberry and blueberry flavouring, and the elderberry and currant as well. However, sipping more mindlessly all I could think about was grapes! Very fun, and enjoyable – and I like the cleverness behind it.

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I recently got in a massive Dessert By Deb order so I’ve been slowly sampling my way through it! This was actually the first thing I tried since it was a sweltering hot day when I got my tea mail in, and it sounded like it would be very bright and refreshing! Truthfully I’m actually a little bit surprised I liked it as much as I did.

Gunpowder is a pretty coarse and astringent green tea so I didn’t have high hopes for it as the base here, and though I do think other green teas would have been nicer it still tasted pretty good! The lemon is natural and bright, though I am highly skeptical that this isn’t flavoured because it doesn’t taste the way lemon pieces or lime pieces do when steeped out; it’s too lively/naturally sweet.

Most impressively, however, is the balance of lavender! We all know that Deb loves her lavender teas – often times to a detriment because the lavender can come off aggressively soapy/perfume-y or sometimes a little savory and brothy. This is a strong lavender but it doesn’t eclipse the other flavours in the blend and it’s neither like drinking perfume or stock. So, a win in my books!

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68

I’m having some issues with insomnia at night – really not ideal when I’m already sleep deprived – so I’m trying to drink non-caffeinated teas in the evening. It’s not like I don’t have a giant stash of them to use up or anything.

Picked this one out, as I couldn’t even remember what I’d previously thought of it. Turns out, it’s fairly unremarkable and not pear-y at all, at least to me, but it’s also not objectionable – there isn’t too much turmeric in here. Not exactly high praise, but it wasn’t a bad choice for the evening.

ashmanra

Same thing happening here. We switched to mostly decaf in the evenings nit too long ago and I think it is helping.

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82

Steepster seems slow on new tasting notes today, so here is another one. (I am now 11 days behind on catching up on reading tasting notes!)

From Tiffany :) Thank you very much! This tea IS delicious and it’s the right sort of sweetener… not artificial. However, if a tea is mostly just sweet, I feel like naming a tea, it can really be any name that is sweet. I’m not sure what a Maple Butter Shortbread would taste like other than sweet. So it works! The rooibos really doesn’t seem to get through my basket infuser which is great – though the second steep seems like mostly vanilla and rooibos. (I usually use a T-Sac for rooibos but with the other ingredients, I just threw it in the basket infuser.) I guess most of the sweetness went into the first steep. It’s a tasty dessert tea, for sure, when you are looking for a SWEET TEA just not sure how much the name of the tea matters here. Very glad there isn’t any stevia anyway! Also grateful that I get to try these Dessert By Deb teas. :D
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4-5 min

Flavors: Rooibos, Sugar, Sweet

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Was craving blueberry tea earlier today and this was the first one in my stash that I came across. The black tea used here is a little more tannic and astringent, but I think it works well since the blueberry has that round, deep sort of jammy sweetness that’s a little more like blueberry pie filling versus actual blueberry. Having something to cut through that is actually pretty beneficial. The almond is present, though more raw and almost a little pasty tasting. All of that is accompanied by a really distinct homebaked bread flavour. Hot out of the oven bread, too! It’s warm and inviting with a surprising level of nuance and depth to the different flavours. I could do with a bit less of that “raw” almond taste, but overall I like this blend a fair bit!

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58

Made this as a latte and if not for coconut whipped cream and caramel drizzle, I don’t think I would have loved this. I blame the rooibos, which is so unnecessary and really takes away from the flavour.

tea-sipper

I just read your tasting note from two weeks ago mentioning you had Covid – I hope you’re doing okay!

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47

I should probably just avoid buying blends I’m unlikely to enjoy. This would fall into that category – it’s a rooibos with peppermint. Why did I think I should buy this?? (or, maybe it’s a subscription box tea?)

Anyhow, I didn’t like this. Shocking. Nothing wrong with it aside from the aforementioned ingredients that I do not like.

gmathis

Yeah, I’ve never had a minty rooibos I liked very much.

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70

Sipped this tea during a zoom meeting that required a little emotional support! This had a large chunk of star anise in it, so it was very chai-y and tasty. It does make me worry that other cups will be quite variable though.

It definitely has a sweet buttercream flavor. I can’t say I get much caramel specifically, so I would consider this more of a Buttercream Chai. Overall, it’s not bad, I just wish I got more caramel flavor

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70

Sipdown!
Preparation: Latte
Tasting Note: Still a solid latte but not jaw dropping. I think with the full fat oatly it tastes more buttery but there isn’t much maple.

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70

Preparation: Western (no additional additives)
Tasting note: The first time I tried this tea, I had it as a latte and it did not have very distinct flavors. This time I decided to forego the addition of oatmilk. The black and rooibos tea base goes well here, I think that both balance each other out. I can taste a maple-y sweetness that isn’t overpowering. Without milk this tea is more focused on the caramel-maple-vanilla notes which is nice. I do get the sense that it is a cookie but more of caramel-maple cookie than I would say short bread. I enjoy this tea much more straight than I did with oatmilk which is good.

I think that ever since I had Nadeshiko by Camellia-Sinensis I am not as excited by many flavored vanilla teas that I have encountered since and I don’t think that this tea has changed that. So in short, I like this tea but it doesn’t amaze me, so I don’t think I would buy it again for that reason.

Flavors: Caramel, Maple, Sweet, Woody

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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63

Made this as an iced latte and it tastes like a less delicious version of ginger creme brulee. The ginger is real strong and burnet but then I don’t get much else. The weird heavy sweet note a lot of Deb’s teas have that stop the flavour from being rounded out properly. Overall, not a favourite in the least.

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70

So I had made a really fun tournament bracket for all my chai teas to face off and then I woke up having an upset stomach today. :p Basically I will be going through some non-caffeinated stuff for the next few days, I think.

Preparation: Western + oatmilk
Tasting note: Plain the tea what pretty powerfully rooibos flavored, it had a sweetness and some vanilla notes. Like usual, I added oatmilk pretty quickly. This helped mellow out the rooibos and made it much more creamy like a flan. There was a slight caramel note, not in a candy like way just in a richness from the rooibos that I sort of get the feeling of this creamy, caramel custard. I think I would try it was a latte to see if it felt close to the caramel taste.

I think this was a nice herbal tea, the rooibos on it’s own was pretty potent but I could scale back on how much I use and the steeping time.

Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
tea-sipper

okay, I’m two weeks behind on reading tasting notes but now I’m really looking forward to reading your chai tournament notes!

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76

In a “pie” mode this weekend, last night for dinner I had a cornish pasty and an apple meringue pie. This morning when I looked over my sipdown themes from the discussion forum, I saw “pie flavored tea.” So here I am, more pie.

Preparation: Latte
Tasting Note: So I added a little amount of honey and oatmilk (oatly) to this tea. I am not an avid chai drinker but I wanted to try some different blends to see what spices I like which ones I am not so keen on. So with this blend the cardamom is the strongest flavor which is really nice. Cinnamom is more in the background here and the coconut provides a creamy sweetness that I can still slightly detect. Overall, I really like this blend it is simple and slightly sweet and warming. I think this could be a contender in a chai-off tournament for my cupboard.

Total side note, I wish Deb had her personal preferences in preparation on the package like she has on the website. (For example, sometimes she recommends having it as a latte or with milk and sugar or just straight.) It would be nice to have that point of use instead of having to pull up the website.

Flavors: Cardamom, Coconut, Cream, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
ashmanra

And I wish every company had their recommended steeping parameters on packaging, too! I have greens that say 175 and others that say 212 on the website but if it isn’t on the package I usually go with my default of 185 for green. Keemuns, etc. like 190 instead of 212 usually. I get really annoyed at having to stop and look things up just as I am ready to make my tea!

Mastress Alita

I have found I typically always prefer my own “default steeping parameters” over whatever is printed on packaging, and so I always ignore it. I find they always recommend water warmer than I’d use, way more leaf than I prefer, and steep times way longer than I can handle. Maybe everyone else likes bitter tea, but not me. If the cup is abysmal, then I may try with their directions later.

AJRimmer

Ha I always make nice green teas at work because the hot water that comes out of the water cooler thing makes the perfect green tea. I wish I knew its temperature so I could use those parameters at home too!

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85

So I just started watching some episodes of the The Great Canadian Baking Show on youtube this past week. Which to my delight, I found out Dan Levy is one of the hosts. Hoping to find a way to watch more soon. :)

Preparation: Western (unsweetened)

Tasting notes: This is pretty much tastes like a Strawberry-Raspberry Genmaicha which is really good. There is some candied/jammy strawberry notes and some tart raspberry notes from the fruit pieces. The toasty rice comes through nicely for me after steeping three minutes, not immensely so but it’s there. It’s been awhile since I have had a flavored green tea so it’s not unwelcome. I know that I could steep for 4 minutes to get stronger rice notes and raspberry, but I am concerned I would be pushing the green a little past it’s prime. I like that I can have this tea plain without any additives, it’s a nice change of pace.

Flavors: Grain, Strawberry, Tart, Toast

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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62

Sipdown 8/33

Made the last of this as a cold brew. Surprisingly, I prefer it hot. Cold brewed, the lychee flavor becomes lost.

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60

Sipdown 7/32

Made an intensely strong cup of this so that I could sip it down. It’s fine. As with all of Deb’s lavender blends- the lavender here is strong.

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85

First Tasting note on Steepster:

I had about 2-3 Dessert by Deb teas before trying this one and think that this is one of the stronger ones. I started out having this one straight and the puffed rice note- toasty and sweet- was the first thing I got. I looked on Deb’s website and she recommended having it as a latte and I agree that this is much better that way. I added a tiny bit of honey and a tiny bit of brown sugar to the tea before adding warmed full fat oatly. I think that now it tastes like caramel covered popcorn, which is absolutely ok with me.

Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Popcorn, Wheat

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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