drank Kali Cha by The Tao of Tea
158 tasting notes

Hello, steepsterites!

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.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Eating-intensive trips are the best! Most of my vacations have food as a focal point. Good luck on your quest to find more Dawn. :)

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Eating-intensive trips are the best! Most of my vacations have food as a focal point. Good luck on your quest to find more Dawn. :)

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Ohhh, I dunno. I like tea but I’m kind of a tea newbie. At this point I can say with authority that I may never be anything else, no matter how many teas I try…there is always something new out there.

I write a lot.

I also play way too many video games.

Ratings! (Bout time, wot?) This is a new arrangement, so…subject to change!

1-10: Not potable. First-sip disasters.

11-30: Intensely unpleasant…won’t catch me finishing the cup.

31-50: I really don’t like it…but maybe somebody else out there would.

51-70: Drinkable, but probably not the first thing I’m going to reach for.

71-90: Pretty good tea, and stuff that there’s a good chance I’ll have on-hand. Will do in a pinch at the low end, all the way up to regular visitors to my infuser on the high end.

91-100: Teas I really do not want to be without.





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