I’m just getting back into the swing of things after a week of playing around town with my mother and stepsister, who were visiting. It was a wonderful, busy, walking-intensive, eating-intensive time, but it completely prevented me from drinking tea, so I am returning to this weird little hobby of mine with glee…and on a crazy note!
This morning, I was SURE that I had found another distributor for Dawn.
I got an order from Tao of Tea a few days ago that I hadn’t been able to tap into. There were teas in there that I was more interested in than this one (I couldn’t even really remember what this one was when I saw the name) but when I opened the package to sniff it and was hit with an intense whiff of dark cocoa, I had to switch things up.
In the interests of full disclosure I should say that I may (and almost definitely have), in my excitement, have screwed this cup up. I was so convinced from the smell that this was a black tea that I dumped 205 degree water on it without hesitation, only to discover in looking it up again that it’s an oolong…180-200 by their recommendations, yerk. An oolong from a spot twenty miles from Darjeeling, or so it would seem.
Once brewed, the notes that I associate with darker oolongs are more present. There’s a muted and slightly earthy cedar smell mixed in with the cocoa, along with the hash-like scent that I remember picking up in such profusion from Dawn. It all blends together to create something like a very good, sweet cup of black coffee — not the Maxwell House stuff, not the Starbucks stuff, but more like the little single-estate South American coffees I remember grabbing at Whole Foods and grinding myself (names sadly forgotten; it has been ages since I had coffee last).
It produces a lighter, brighter cup than Dawn — no surprises there — but the flavors involved are so very similar that I think anybody grieving the disappearance of The Simple Leaf could do worse than to secure themselves a cup of this oolong. To me, it waffles between being very obviously a darker oolong with all of those rich, complex flavors, and my memory of Dawn, with its intense cocoa personality.
Might have to make a cup of Dawn after this to compare.