Lovely, lovely Carolyn sent me some of this to try and I can see right off the bat why she likes it. It is a really delicious tea. The aroma is heavy and rich. The flavor profile evokes things that would make most dessert lovers drool – cocoa, caramel, honey.
It is smooth, and the flavors blend seamlessly. It is a tea that benefitted for me from sticking to the tip of the tongue and the back of the mouth, where the sweeter flavors came out to play. Sucking in air over it intensified the sweetness, but inhaling through my nose with a closed mouth evoked a kind of honeyed perfume taste that was extremely pleasant.
Dawn is a decadent tea, and yet it doesn’t leave you with a weighty feeling. Some teas are so luxurious that I feel like I should be in a food coma afterwards [tea coma?]. This certainly has that heavy, silky feeling in the mouth that I love, but something about the finish doesn’t feel heavy. The aftertaste is nice and light.
When I first saw the name of this tea, I didn’t really “get” it. I mean, it was a pretty name and all, but it seemed abstract to me. Now, I completely get it. From the dark leaves to the light amber liquid, to the heavy flavors lifting into airy sweetness. I don’t think I’ve ever had a tea that was a metaphor before [though the fact that I can find one in this may partially be because I have a tendency to overanalyze things]. However, it makes complete sense to me, as someone who has already seen more than a few sunrises in her quarter of a century already.
It reminds me distinctly of one of my last days before winter break at UVA, when a bunch of us trekked up a big hill to the nearby-ish observatory around midnight. We had no real agenda other than spending some time with each other before the semester ended and we all went to our respective corners of the country. Boys tackling one another and girls huddling in the chill. Climbing trees and drinking beer out of a pony-necked bottle. Telling stories and laughing, and waiting for the sun to rise together. We grew quieter as morning approached and eventually settled down in a section where the trees cleared enough to see part of the campus. All you could here was us breathing, and our breath streaked the air around us. The darkness began to lighten as the sun started to warm the horizon as the blushing, yellowed, amber tones bled across the sky. The almost heavy feeling in the atmosphere that seemed to settle in as the typical waking hour approached started to lift, and within a span of time that seemed to pass far too quickly we’d witnessed a natural phenomenon. It’s an act that’s occurred more times than I can count, practiced and perfected over the eons, but I hope that it never gets old.
For a tea to mimic such a simple, beautiful thing that is strongly tied into the memories of so many people is pretty powerful, and I can see why this would be a true delight to wake up with. So I must say thank you to Carolyn, and make sure that I order some more of this. And soon.