A very palpable shift happens to me around the end of August. Whereas starting in early spring, I’m drinking iced teas like they’re literal manna from heaven, suddenly when autumn starts to peek its head around the corner, I abandon all my cold beverages. Jars upon jars of iced tea sit in the fridge, un-sipped (the horror!)– I’m just not FEELING it anymore, friends.
Alternatively, suddenly, all of my spiciest chais, warmest and more comforting flavors of black tea are suddenly getting all the air time. I’ve been blowing through my current stash of black teas like they’re going out of style, doctoring them up into tasty lattes, sipped as I drive to work in that brisk, summer’s-almost-gone morning air. So you can imagine, when sifting through my tea samples to find more autumnal, latte-ify-able teas, this one was just begging to be brewed. So potent is the scent that I’ve literally had to stash this one away from any other teas lest it impart its warm, spicy flavor on my delicate greens, it’s a perfect fall cuppa. The robust black tea is balanced well by the cinnamon spice– and it’s spice, indeed. Think Red Hots candy, minus the chemically, fake candy flavor. This tea packs a PUNCH, and it is not only incredible sniff-able, but takes milk and sweet quite well, making for the perfect latte to sip while you watch the leaves begin to change and fill your home with cinnamon-y candles and adorable pumpkin décor. This tea is for fall, for sure. And autumn is indeed right around the corner– I’ll drink to that!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Harney & Sons
Our most popular flavored tea worldwide, Hot Cinnamon Spice is an assertive blend of black teas, three types of cinnamon, orange peel, and sweet cloves. No sugar added. Kosher. (n.b. Hot Cinnamon Spice & Hot Cinnamon Sunset are the same tea; the name varies only in certain packaging).
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
I steeped 1 tsp of this tea for 5 minutes in one cup of 212 degree water.
First of all, this tea isn’t kidding when it says “hot.” (Currently I’m able to smell the cinnamon flavor through the bag even though I double-bagged it, which means it has about the same strength as lapsang souchong). You can clearly see, when measuring it out, that there’s tons of cinnamon in the tea leaves. The ingredients list says it has natural and artificial flavorings too in addition to the three types of cinnamon–I didn’t know three types of cinnamon existed, did you? But apparently they do.
I don’t expect the black tea flavor to come through much at all at this point (it’s probably mainly there for caffeination purposes.)
It smells very spicy and strong as it steeps, too. After steeping I note that it has a very dark brown, fittingly cinnamon-ish color. It’s nearly opaque and has bits of dissolved cinnamon in it. Kind of like spiced cider. It also has a faintly sweet cider-ish smell, but of coursewithout the apple factor. (It does have clove and orange peel though, so that’s probably why it’s reminding me of cider.)
First sip: yes, it’s quite sweet and quite spicy. And no, I don’t really taste the black tea at all. There is a slight bit of astringency, but I’m not sure if it’s from the black tea or from the cinnamon. There’s a depth to the cinnamon flavor, which is probably caused by the blending of several types of cinnamon and cinnamon flavorings to create a more complex cinnamon blend rather than one that hits you all in a wave. It’s very effective, too. It’s like a tour of cinnamon.
With milk (no sugar needed as it’s already sweet): it’s creamier, of course, but the milk doesn’t really bring out the tea flavor the way it usually does with spicy teas (though maybe there’s a hint). The excellently warming, invigorating cinnamon flavor isn’t quelled by the milk either, though perhaps a bit tamed.
Overall I like this tea very much both with milk and without. I’d recommend trying it both ways to see which strikes your fancy the most.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: New Mexico Tea Company
.This blend brews very sweet even though no sugar is added. A cinnamon lover’s dream come true. A combination of hearty Chinese and Indian black tea and invigorating cinnamon.
Many cinnamon teas have a watery aftertaste due to the use of low grade teas. The black tea here has the stamina to last through the whole tasting process