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Edit tea info Last updated by Jack
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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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106 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This tea courtesy of Doulton! I am very excited because I’ve been wanting to try this tea ever since I read about it. The leaves are absolutely GORGEOUS! Long, dark and handsome! It’s so hard to...” Read full tasting note
  • “My order from The Simple Leaf arrived today and I’m so excited to try this tea! I’ve been reading some really fantastic reviews about this tea on Steepster, so my expectations are high. The aroma...” Read full tasting note
  • “Mmm…Dawn. I’ve missed you. I know you won’t be with me for much longer but I will enjoy each minute we have together. If you’re curious, I have a longer review up on It’s All About the Leaf:...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note

From The Simple Leaf

If you haven’t heard about Arunachal Pradesh or Abali before, prepare to be delighted. When we first received this tea, we just had to stare and wonder at these gorgeous, long, hand-rolled orthodox leaves with prominent tips. Simply smelling the aroma from the leaf had us floored before we had even taken our first sip. When brewed, it produced a wonderful mellow, golden liquor that was pleasantly smooth and refreshing. Tasting this tea brought back visions of a light mist hovering over tea bushes at dawn. Enjoy hot or iced.

About The Simple Leaf View company

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106 Tasting Notes

367 tasting notes

Holy guacamole! I finally got to try this tea courtesy of JacquelineM. Thank you so very much!!!!!

I’m on my third steep (which tastes kind of like a waterier/chocolatier version of Adagio’s Golden Monkey), and had to do a quick peek at others’ notes on this tea. I knew it had great reviews, but I was curious about what others compared this tea to. I think others do a great job of giving full-out notes, so I’ll just add my highlighted impressions:

Yes, these leaves are insane! LOOOONG and a matte black. These might be the coolest leaves that I have yet to see.

I am completely flabbergasted that there are not additives in this tea. I think I want to call this a “black oolong.” Yes, I know that that’s impossible, but what I mean to say is that like an oolong it has a clearly veggie-base that’s not my favorite, but then the magic is what happens all around that base. I could grow to love this tea like I love oolongs. And that’s saying a lot. The only thing holding me back from a higher grade is the chocolate — which here is lovely, but I wouldn’t care to have it too often because of that particular taste in this tea.

I regret not having my first steep at boiling (subsequent ones have been so). My initial response was “Green beans? Yes, green beans.” I wonder how much of that had to do with the lower temp. It was like malty green beans. And there was what another reviewer mentioned: the hint of hash. But then the lightest milk chocolatey notes started to play with my tastebuds as an aftertaste. It was unbelievable. And suddenly, there were about four sips-worth of “MALTED MILKBALLS!” as the green bean taste subsided.

This truly is a remarkable tea. This tea reminds me how amazing tea is and how much I love it. TG

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Watery bad. Chocolatey good.


Yay you got to try Dawn! I totally get “green beans” with it at a lower temp, too. Hope a higher temp will bring out those yummy chocolate notes for you!


Um, I have no idea why I put green beans in quotes. :)


Good to know that I’m not completely goofy when it came to the green beans. And I liked the quotes! ;)


Hehe, it makes it seem like green beans is code for something else. "This tea tastes like marijuana umm, “green beans,” yes, green beans.."




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372 tasting notes

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’m so glad that you loved this one! :D


This one was on my wish list long ago and the company closed before I could get it. It sounds a lot like my beloved Emperor’s Red from Premium Steap. Which reminds me that I really should order another tin of that…

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257 tasting notes

Quite simply excellent. I don’t know how many orthodox teas I actually manage to drink, but this shows its pure pedigree. As Ricky wrote, it is a “complicated” tea in the best sense—each sniff, each sip, offers up a brave new world of taste sensations.

I would call it highly refined, elegant, and pure. It is smooth and sweet. I thought I detected a bit of chestnut, although others have not mentioned that. I think that this will be another tea that must always be here and will always be reordered.

4 min, 30 sec

Funny, I was just contemplating ordering this one.


Chestnut, hmmmm, I can definitely see that.


Kristin – Do it!
Doulton – Yes, I try to always have this in stock in my cupboard! It’s my absolute favorite!


Ha! I just did. And I also grabbed a sample of the Mountain Malt.


Seriously, the mailman cannot get his narrow backside here soon enough with this tea. >.<

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251 tasting notes

This came in the mail yesterday. (Well, I bought it and it was delivered to me.) I tried a cup this afternoon, and it was very enjoyable. It’s a complicated kind of tea. Not flavored, but lots of flavors are there. Sort of a miracle of nature. There are caramel notes and a little cocoa flavor lingering in the wings. It’s interesting, and I think most tea drinkers would enjoy trying it.

I’m going to try this one iced very soon. I live in Florida. It’s March. That means our summer will be starting soon.


The more I read about this one the more and more intriguing it gets! Another pretty awesome tasting note!


A miracle of nature you say? I must try it!! :)


@teaplz I ordered some earlier this week because I too was intrigued! I can’t wait for it to come in and I hope I enjoy it as much as the others.


I think I’m going to have to break down and add this to my shopping list after all the rave reviews it has been getting lately. I think I need to get a side job just to support my tea habit…lol.


Mmmmmmmm! I can’t wait to try this!!


I swear it’s miraculous! I think I’m going to brew up a cup right now…

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328 tasting notes

This is “Nature’s Miracle”. Hard to believe that a tea without any additional flavorings or additives (natural OR artifical) can conjure up the flavors of chocolate and coffee and maybe caramel…. This tea is bold but not bitter or astringent in any way..

Thanks to Doulton for this sample and I will soon be purchasing this one…I definitely agree w/the other Steepster-ites who have been raving and praising this one…..


I have this coming next week, I can’t wait to try it.


I hope you enjoy it. As I only have a sample from Doulton, I plan to order it this week…


Lol, I totally get what you mean but I couldn’t help but laugh reading nature’s miracle. It’s the name of the product we use to get the smell out of pet stains. Tee hee!


Morgana- I thought the same thing when I saw Nature’s Miracle on her post too!

Dan- It’s a good tea. I can’t wait to read your tasting notes.

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714 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 1 tsp
Additives: none
Water: 6 oz filtered, boiling, 190°
Tool: Mesh basket strainer in cup
Steep Time: a little over 5 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: not much
Steeped Tea Smell: vegetal
Flavor: buttery smooth, vegetal, then black tea, complex, a little sweet
Body: Full
Aftertaste: black tea, slightly astringent, perhaps a touch bitter
Liquor: Dark translucent brown

A generous gift from SoccerMom, since I was drooling over everyone’s posts.

The dry leaves are amazing, they are long thin rolls and just neat to look at.

The smell surprised me, I don’t associate vegetal with black tea.

Sadly I am not getting the chocolate, caramel or honey others were picking up.

I must echo takgoti that it is a rich tea, yet leaves you lightly. Some teas feel as though you have drank a thick shake, and although delicious fill you up. The flavors and scent are rich with Dawn, but leave you with room for more of the re-steeps.

This is not a flavored black, yet it is rich and complex and very enjoyable! quite a contrast to this morning’s PG tips.

Although I can’t jump on the ‘favorite tea’ bandwagon, I am extremely grateful to SoccerMom for letting me try some. I am enjoying my tea and it’s re-steeps and I think if I ever place an order from the simple leaf Dawn will be included. Right now I am not going to rush and place an order just for Dawn.

Post-Steep Additives: none

Resteep: 5 min, much the same as the first, very impressive re-steep really. One leaf fully unfurled, hopefully you can see it in the picture.

MilitiaJim took a sip and made an awful face and declared it tasted like mud.

I decided everyone else found chocolate, and I was defective and had a glass with some chocolate cake. Still no chocolate found.

images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/04/simple-leaf-loose-leaf-black-tea-dawn.html

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

steep 3, 5 min, touch of german rock sugar, still a strong cup of tea…and maybe a bit of caramel brought out by the sugar?


Try a drop of milk too – that might help w the chocolate :)


JacquelineM for the WIN! +pinch of sugar + splash of lactose-free milk = caramel chocolate on steep…i lost count, 5? at 9 minutes yummy, still not so yummy it needs it’s own order, but would be a “i am placing an order here, i must get dawn too!”


Glad you like it! I am going to have to try the german rock sugar and milk (even though I don’t normally do this with any tea).


I have found blacks sometimes need sugar and milk to be their best (and they always try to be their best, dollhouse anyone?) then again i have quite the sweet tooth


The few times I’ve added milk to tea I didn’t like it because it seemed watery. Now having said that I had a BF once who drank one teabag of lipton in a cup of milk and added sugar and I found that to be lovely with toast for breakfast. I don’t do that anymore because well I don’t know why I don’t do that hmmm I guess when we called it quits so did me and his tea habits. ;)


I like it better with a dash of milk and also a couple of sugar crystals. I think they certainly bring out the range of possible flavors. I like Dawn a lot, but I would not drink it first thing in the morning. The Simple Leaf calls it a “mild” tea on their packaging.


Doulton, Agreed Dawn is not really strong enough for my morning cup. I like something stronger to get me up and going.

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161 tasting notes

What an odd black tea.

Here’s my immediate tasting note…all taking place in my head:

“Oooh, this smells sweet like baking chocolate or dark coco powder…and sort of barnyard-y. sips Hmm? Interesting. This is black tea, right? Umm, I did not put honey in this. Why does it taste like I put honey in it? What the heck? Chocolate honey?!?”

The taste of honey creeps in until it is oh so sweet. The chocolate note lingers slightly bitter but pleasant in the aftertaste. I taste a light smoky taste that is apparent in some sips and not in others. This tea is complex and confusing. I must drink more in attempt to figure it out. What a terrible, terrible thing. :)

Thanks for another fascinating sample, Doulton.

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368 tasting notes

This is another sample from Kristin.

The dry leaf almost smells like dark chocolate. At first I assumed it was a flavored tea sample for Liz. But when I looked it up, it was clear that it was not. So, that’s a pretty neat trick for dry leaves.

The wet leaves have that sharp, roasted, almost citrus-y aroma too them that many darker oolongs have, in spite of this being a black tea on the listing.

It tastes more like an oolong than a black tea, as well. No astringency at all and the kind of roasted notes that have a sweetness to them. The way sugars caramelize in roasted garlic or grilled vegetables. Not that this tastes like either garlic or vegetables! It just has that same kind of sweetness to the roasted flavor.

It reminds me of Barley tea, is what it does. Except not that subtle.

At any rate, this is a good, soft black tea if you prefer to ease into your morning, rather than yesterday’s one-two punch with the mountain malt.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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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 :)

Boiling 8 min or more

I’m glad you liked it.

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132 tasting notes

I tried this earlier today thanks to Meghann M and even though I am not a big black tea fan I decided to give some “finer” black teas a try and I must say this is pretty good and I can taste a cocoa taste to it which is pretty cool! I personally couldn’t drink this every day or even often but, that’s just me who doesn’t care for black teas that much. But I can tell that is a black tea that is of great quality and for that I will mark it high, because it is good…it’s just not for me… the non-black tea lover hehe.

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