The last of my hoarded Simple Leaf blacks. This one I’d opened and tasted a while back because it got such tremendous love here on Steepster that I couldn’t wait. I probably should have, as it’s the mildest of the lot (it even says “mild” on the packet whereas the others say “bold,” like Starbucks coffee grades).
By comparison, the tea is in fact mild, but that isn’t a bad thing. It’s very smooth, and despite its label, deceptively rich-tasting. The big,twisty leaves are gorgeous.
All the things folks said about the cocoa notes are true, in abundance. I’m also getting a sort of brown sugar sweetness, and a leafy quality I associate with Ceylons sometimes. There’s also a mocha-coffee note, which is very cool for a non-flavored black tea.
You wouldn’t know any of this from the smell of the dry leaf, which is basically that of earth. After steeping that dissipates, and is replaced with the leafiness as well as all of the smells associated with the flavors that open up amazingly. The tea is a reddish brown color and clear.
There’s no denying that this is a very special tea. It’s from Arunachal Pradesh, which I looked up on the map — that’s the northeast corner of India, bordering China. It’s pretty far from what I think of as most of India (i.e., the peninsula part). No doubt location has a lot to do with the flavor.
Anyone tried any other teas from this area? Are they as good as this one?
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Coffee, Earth, Mocha