The Simple Leaf

Recent Tasting Notes

84
drank Firefly by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Firefly by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

Revisiting this one and how much it smells like a bouquet of flowers. I read somewhere that most Darjeeling “blacks” are actually a mixture of green, oolong and black, hence the multi-colour appearance they commonly possess, but are just labeled as “black”. Odd. But explains a lot.

Light and floral and also strongly walnutty, just as I remember.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Firefly by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

I actually had this yesterday, but when I was steeping it, I completely forgot about and left it for a good twenty minutes. It was bitter, but the bitterness didn’t quite set it until it had cooled a bit.

Having it again today. Properly steeped this time.

I’d like to start by pointing out that I just recently came down with a cold, so my tastebuds may be off. I should be drinking smokey teas instead. That’d clear me right up.

It’s got the usual lighter flavour of the darjeeling. I’m finding it hard to discern much flavour, but I remember it being good and flavourful yesterday, and the bitterness again mixed in pleasantly to give it a walnut taste. However, no bitterness today it seems. But that might just be my tastebuds out of whack. My nose isn’t plugged up at least.

I’m not getting any fruity or wine notes. I am getting something akin to nuttyness but not quite (makes me think of Keemun). It’s enjoyable though. This’ only the second darjeeling I’ve ever tried, after Margaret’s Hope that Jillian sent me.

It got a bit bitter as it cooled down, but not in an unpleasant way. Just like how Margaret’s Hope did. Walnutty.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Walnutty tea sounds good!

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91

Very delicious. A nice surprise of deep, rich flavors. Thank you Jessica for sending me this sample. I regret not tasting this sooner.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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66
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
280 tasting notes

Thanks to LiberTeas for the sample of this.

I’ve never had a green tea from India, so it was fun to try one. This isn’t one I would seek after, but it was pleasant enough.

The leaves looked like I would think of as a small-leaf green phoenix oolong (if there was such a thing). They smelled like Gunpowder green tea, somewhat smokey and pan fried.

The flavor was like dragonwell/long jing, in that it was something like chestnuts, stir fry, but not as good. However, it had a very strong note of honey at the top of the mouth that was quite tasty and interesting. Strange too, to feel like it was a savory flavor on the one hand, and then a sweet one on the other (aftertaste).
As I said, it’s a pleasant cup.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Firefly by The Simple Leaf
6770 tasting notes

Thanks for this MandyB!

This was Darjeeling-reminiscent! But I cannot tell you in which way! I just kind of reminded me of Darjeeling. It tasted like a green tea or a black and green blend tho. This was quite masculine to the nose…wait…that sounded funny…it didn’t smell like a MAN!!!! LOL But I think you know what I mean by that…

In the middle of the sip there was a slight fruitiness that came and went quickly and the beginning and end of the sip was more nutty. This was different and pretty good!

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94
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
237 tasting notes

I squeezed the last little bit I had of this into one final, smooth cup of great tea. It’s got such a nice, rounded flavor to it. The malt, roast, starch, and fruit notes all dance around so well with each other – it’s truly a shame that the supplier is no longer in business.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
237 tasting notes

A strong yet sensitive type, this tea is! It came out malty and a little astringent, with a rich and doughy smell and thick texture. I second the sentiments of those who are looking for an alternative supplier to The Simple Leaf – this is a fantastic example of the bready, malty black tea style.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
237 tasting notes

I promised myself I’d try this again with cream and sugar, so here we are. I steeped it up pretty strong, until I could really smell the yeasty baked goods aroma of the black tea, then added a good dollop of cream and some sugar to boot. How nice! It’s very comforting this way, and doesn’t lose track of the characteristics I like most about this tea. I really think it’s only my imagination, but I keep thinking there may be a hint of cinnamon in there – probably only because I really want to have a gooey sticky bun to go with this and don’t!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
237 tasting notes

I received a sample of this in a swap with Meghann – thanks Meghann! It’s one I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, so it’s very exciting to be able to get my hands on some.

The dry leaves are big and luxurious, and remind me of Samovar’s Hawaii-grown black. The smell is heavy on the malt/bread/yeast side, and immediately brings to mind cookies, rolls, and other fresh baked goods.

It looks like it can take a long steep well – I gave it six minutes and ended up with a medium-dark brown liquor full of roasty aroma. The taste is heavenly; it’s like liquid Grandma’s house, full of warm ovens holding sweet surprises. It follows through on the yeasty/bready promise of the scent and is crying out for me to drink this with something sweet and starchy. I’ll have to try that next time, and see how it works with cream and sugar too. Yum to the nth degree!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Jaime

Love the way you describe it! “Liquid Grandma’s house”…yum!

Lori

I love this tea and it is shame the company closed its doors…

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90
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

Sipping this, I’m really missing Simple Leaf. There were so many other teas from them I wanted to try. Mountain Malt, Black Frost… I think I repeat myself every time I drink this tea. But they shut down so suddenly; you would think they would need to sell off some of their stock first. Where did all of that tea go, I wonder?

Sipping this very hot and savouring it. I have a calculus test to take in a little under two hours. I can never bring myself to worry over these things, and sipping tea only calms me more. I hope I pass.

Dirty, dry malt, raw cocoa, this is such a wonderfully confusing tea. I’m no chocolate fan, but I can understand what people mean by ‘raw cocoa’. That dusty, astringent, dirt taste, with hints of very bitter chocolate. I’m so glad I still have a few good scoops left. This is not a tea I want to finish off. We’re still getting acquainted.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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90
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

Rather enjoying this this morning. Warm and cocoay-earthy. Good for book-reading, I think. Even though I never quite know whether or not I TRULY like this tea, I think I’ll be rather sad when I run out. Especially since the Simple Leaf shut down. There were so many other teas from them I wanted to try! I should have bought an ounce of each one the first time around, instead of just planning to do it in batches of three. If only I’d known.

I don’t think there will ever be a Single Estate tea company as wonderful as them. It’s all the awesome companies that go under, sadly. I’m almost out of the ti guan yin I got from the Jade Teapot too.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Erin

I was very sad to hear of The Simple Leaf’s demise…

Stephanie

Me too! I wish we could buy Dawn direct from the tea farm.

AJ

That would be awesome.

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90
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
372 tasting notes

The dry leaves smelt of earth and chocolate, surprising me because I hadn’t thought I’d get any actual chocolatyness until I tasted it. The leaves are HUGE and wiry, and difficult to measure for me, because I do everything by volume, since I lack a fine enough scale. But the leaves are so huge that attempting to scoop out a teaspoon is impossible, because you can SEE the gaps.

The brewed tea smells merely of earth, no chocolate. A dark, dusty, maybe toasty sort of smell.

It’s a very unique tea taste. Earthy again, sort of toasty I guess. I want to say ash-like. There is a dry bitterness to the earthyness that makes me think of cocoa powder. Overall, the tea is very odd. I’m not sure how much I love this at this point, luckily I have a lot to experiment with. Gimme some time, I can’t give this a rating yet.

I just realized when now that there is a deep, rich cocoa after-taste in the back of my mouth, made even more evident when I breathe out. Overall the taste is just full bodied. Dark. So odd.

Truthfully, I’ve never been a chocolate person, but I’ve never DISLIKED it, so I had to try this tea anyways.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
1700 tasting notes

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75
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
1700 tasting notes

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75
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
1700 tasting notes

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75
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
1700 tasting notes

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75
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
1700 tasting notes

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75
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
1700 tasting notes

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Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Shanti by The Simple Leaf
1700 tasting notes

I had not had a green tea in a long time and thought that this might be a pleasant change in my normal drinking habits. The first thing I was struct with was the balance of sweetness and grassiness in the dry leaves. They had the vegetal aroma of gunpowder green tea mixed with a sharp sweetness that did not overwhelm, but rather blended well.

I was surprised to find that this green tea comes from India, specifically Arunachal Pradesh. Having never tried any green tea from India before, I figured I was in for a treat.
The aroma of the brewed tea matches the dry leaves perfectly with an excellent balance of vegetal and sweet. My first sip is surprising, as the cup is really quite bold. Right when the taste is almost too much on the vegetal side, it lapses into soft sweetness, before I even swallow. A pleasant surprise indeed, as most teas this bold are merely full of grassiness and vegetal flavours.
The cup continues to develop, leaving me with slightly smoky aftertastes, yet smooth finishes throughout.
As I sip my way through the cup, I enjoy this tea more and more. It has complexities in the aroma and flavour that put it a step above other greens that I have tried. I would definitely recommend giving this tea a try. I rate it a 75 out of 100 on my personal enjoyment scale.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
104 tasting notes

Many heartfelt thank yous go out to Dan for his generous gift of this fascinating tea! I have been waiting for enough money to be able to order it for months now only to find out last week that the company had closed up shop. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed but then Dan stepped up with his generous offer of a sample of this tea and I must say I was over the moon.

But of course Murphy had to have a good joke on my behalf this morning. As I was waiting for my tea to steep my son needed to use the bathroom. Being just under four he still needs someone in there to make sure he washes his hands. Just as he was turning on the faucet I caught a glimpse of the time on my watch and I let out an expletive. MY TEA! Rushing to the kitchen I hurriedly removed the leaves from the pot and looked at my watch again. 8 1/4 minutes! I had oversteeped it! This tea I had been waiting so long to try and would never be able to buy more of. Not one to waste tea and being much more hopefully optimistic than most (or just plain mule-stubborn!) I poured a cup, added sugar and waited for the liquid to cool a bit.

Oh my goodness! I was overjoyed to find that this is one of those rare teas that do not go bitter when mildly oversteeped. The toasty, nutty notes hit my tongue first. It wasn’t until about halfway through the cup that I picked up the vaunted cocoa flavor that had hit me full in the face when I opened the sample package. I certainly tasted it through the rest of the pot though!

Currently working on my second pot (9 minute infusion) and the flavor is just as lovely as the first steeping.

Again, many many thanks to Dan! I’m looking forward to trying the other teas he sent as well :)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Dan

I’m glad you liked it.

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