The Simple Leaf
Popular Teas from The Simple LeafSee All 14 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
One farewell cuppa before this goes in the Junkyard Tea jar. Even as old as it is, the dry cocoa vibe is still there.
Perfect as I watched the ridge of sunlight outlining the last of a renegade bunch of storm clouds that sneaked through early this morning.
I am tasting this tea thanks to the amazing JacquelineM who miraculously produced a sample of this long unavailable tea. When I first joined Steepster, this tea was all the rage. I put it on my wish list, but the company that sold it – sob! – closed before I could buy any. I think losing the opportunity to try this legendary tea bothered me more than any other that “got away.”
And here I am with a generous sample. She could have sold this on the black market to some tea head for lots of money, but instead she sent it to ME! And I saved it for my birthday, which is today! This is my evening cuppa, a treat for myself in the quiet now that the day is winding down.
This is beautiful, beautiful leaf. Dark, long, twisted leaf that is highly aromatic, especially when you scent your cup first. (Thank you, Garret, at Mandala Tea for teaching us to do that. It adds so much to the experience. Pour your hot water in your empty pot, let it warm a moment, then pour out the water and add the leaf. Put the lid on for a moment. Now, lift the lid and take a long, deep sniff of the pot and leaves. Once you have experienced the aromas, add your hot water and steep.)
This is an extremely complicated tea. I am so glad I tried the hojicha first because my thoughts went something like this: Cocoa! Rough cocoa! Roasted cocoa! Roasted….something….coffee, caramel, smoke like hojicha, and…was that a hint of cinnamon? Chicory, yes, it is there also.
No wonder everyone loved it. Thank you so much, JacquelineM, for blessing my birthday with “the one that got away.”
On another note, when I looked up the plantation on google I saw an article that said a tea garden manager of that area was abducted in fall of 2012 and held in the jungle by some group – I forget now exactly who – but had been rescued. Oh my! Glad to read that he was rescued.
This one is getting old, but it’s still juicy, not too acidic, a little cocoa taste at the very bottom of each sip. (Have been doing much troubled philosophical pondering this week on the validity of the “it has to be new to be good” mindset, so this was a good fit.)
I don’t give Darjeelings enough time and consideration. This is good.
Surprise to me! Had a little bit of this left that had woodged down to the bottom of my “loose ends” packet. First sip just after steeping made me wonder if it’d lost its oomph, but it strengthened considerably after driving with me this morning.
Dark, just on the edge of a bitter bite, and a little grapey on the finish. Sticks to your tongue long after you’ve swallowed.
Here’s to “oh, I forgot I had that!” serendipi-tea.
So I’ve been sitting on this one for almost a year thanks to Tamm. I’ve tried some here and there and well…it’s one of those teas that you don’t want advertise that it’s in your cabinet. I also have realized that after being a steepsterite for two years now and that The Simple Leaf ceased to be before I became an avid tea drinker. To my dismay, but I’m also realizing the freshness window might be waning. I’ve been making cups here and there just saving it for special time or when I just really want a good tea(like the Imperial Pu-Erh I keep on hand). Today I felt like I needed a pick me up. It’s been really crazy at work. Which happens every year at this time because we are a station that goes all Christmas music for a month. Oddly enough we are one of three radio stations that goes all Christmas music every year. How Cleveland became a Christmas music battleground…I don’t know. It also means it takes me longer to get music logs done as the music director because I have to look over the logs more with a fine tooth comb. Besides that this is time of the year that things get tight financially in our house(which also means drink what ya got because not too many new purchases are going to be made). This year more so than others since my wife is working part-time instead of full, and there aren’t nearly as many wedding gigs as there are during the summer. The wee man has been battling his first cold the less sleep he gets the less sleep mommy and I get. This seemed like a good idea this morning to make a full pot. So I pulled out the pouch and breathed in the goodness. I breathed in an aroma of cocoa that was just outstanding. I could feel an endorphin rush that brought a smile to my face. I have seen this one compared to a black oolong, beans, raisins, chocolaty. Yes it’s all the above. Like Assam and his cousin Ceylon were hanging out a swanky jazz club. Listening to the band do their best rendition of Brubeck’s-Take 5 and throwing back Scotch on the rocks(Macallan not Glenfiddich). So what I needed today. Normally I’ll make a cup of Mate, Pu-Erh, and Coffee in the morning. Today only the coffee and Dawn. I don’t know if there is too much to say but this is just an exceptional tea. After searching the internet high low for other places that carry tea from Arunachal Pradesh sadly there is only one. It is very much like an Assam Oolong. So good.
I know, I know, it’s way past its prime now, but I hoarded my last 1/3 packet of this for cold weather sipping; even when it’s elderly, it’s heavy and luscious and cocoa-y.
When (ha!) I get time to be scientific about it, I’d love to put this side-by-side with my new favorite Fujian Congou from Nature’s Tea Leaf. I think in previous notes I whinged a little about not having an equivalent once my Dawn was Done, but I’m thinking that there may be some strong similarities. (Which would explain why I am so crazy about the FC.)
I’m drinking the very last of this, and trying to make it count.
This is still my favourite black to date. Made it slightly strong (using up the last of the tea leaves/fannings at the bottom of the bag), but still delicious.
I think I can taste the age creeping into this one. I really shouldn’t put off finishing off my Simple Leaf teas. I love them to bits, but it’s best to enjoy them while they’re still good.
I always need the right mood for tea types. I need to be in the mood for a Darjeeling, or I don’t like it. I definitely can’t have them in the mornings. I enjoy them best in the afternoon, I think, after I’ve already had a cup or two of something else.
Still nutty—walnut—although less sharp than I remember it being. It’s still got a wine-like quality, but I’m obviously not the best person to be describing anything to do with wine, being a teetotaller.
As always, going more bitter as it cools, but not a dislikable astringency. Reminds me of the taste of the ‘skins’ on cracked walnuts. Clings a bit to the mouth afterwards.
Thanks so much to Jillian for this one who answered my swap request for some more green darjeelings to try! I’m sorry abut the now defunct Simple Leaf because I never got to order anything from them but at least I get to try this one.
This reminds me a lot of a Chinese green tea and I don’t think there’s terribly much about it which would cause me to suspect it’s from darjeeling. It is nutty and slightly vegetal, very mild in flavor with some astringency in the finish. I think I am picking up a few delicate spicy notes – or is that just wishful thinking? In any case I was just sitting here reading JacquelineM ‘s note thinking I might try cold brewing some of this as well. I generally prefer my green teas to be slightly more flavorful but this wasn’t bad at all.
I’ve not had this tea in awhile, since it’s not for sale anymore, and I am not very good about coming to terms with that fact. Still. After all this time.
My husband requested something “different” for our afternoon tea and since I had been thinking about this one a lot lately I thought it was time to have some. I have perhaps an ounce left? Whimper.
It’s just as wonderful as I remember it. I still can’t get over how much chocolate and caramel flavor is in this single estate, pure tea. As we drank our cups, I and my husband kept repeating, “I can’t believe how good this is.” like a broken record.
It’s really a tragedy that the Simple Leaf is no longer in business. Has anyone heard anything?
Honey-like sweetness, mild and smooth. Faint notes of honeysuckle and toast.
A pleasure to drink!
I miss you The Simple Leaf!
We all have our reasons for morning tea selections, some sensible, some a little less so—today, I had a wicked sore in my mouth and needed something that would be compatible with a jawful of Orajel.
Don’t know why this seemed to be the one, but it’s been gentle and non-acidic and a little fruit-juicy this morning. (My previous note called it “cereally;” either the goop has really flipped out my taste buds or it’s just an all-purpose breakfast Darjeeling.)
Finished this off. I’m sad to see it go. It was great in my Libre.
A vintage treat—this one has been stored well and sealed until this morning. First taste after a 5 minute steep was a surprise. Much sweeter than I expected for a Darjeeling, even a little cereally.
After cooling, the sweet backs off a little, but still good.
Drinking this tea makes me so happy and so sad at the same time. I don’t ever want to run out of it, but I’ve only a few teaspoons left. Every time I drink it while in front of the computer, I have to run a search on google for sites that sell black tea grown in Arunachai Pradesh, India.
I never have any luck.
I was d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g today after my restless night. An afternoon tea with some power was required. The crisp weather had me craving one of my milk and sugar favorites, Mountain Malt! So hefty, malty, and flavorful. I taste a slight…lemony character to it, too. I don’t think I noticed that before. Truly delicious, and truly fortifying. I was able to do all of my homework after my cup!
Golden cocoa. Doesn’t need more of a descriptor than that, unless you want to put “heavenly, light, ethereal, chocolately” in front of it. Even when I inadvertently skimped on the leaf.
Dawn, don’t ever leave me again. Even though I know the hard water of Up North would have reeked havoc on you. And I’ve only a few teaspoons of your deliciousness left.