Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Art of Tea: Hot Sweet Cinnamon, A Tea Review

Remember about a week ago I mentioned a little project I was working on, cataloging all the teas of the world. I foolishly thought I would be finished by now, but thirty pages later and I am still finding little nuggets of information to add...and I am loving every minute of it! I love when a new subject comes up for me to obsessively research, learning new things is my passion and when it pertains to one of my other passions than the results are even sweeter.

Today's tea is a spicy kick and possibly a little sweet if the name Hot Sweet Cinnamon by Art of Tea is to be believed. It is a blend of (all organic) Black tea, Cinnamon bits, Orange Peel, Cloves, and Natural flavors, it is a tea that I usually label as a pomander or potpourri tea because the aroma (and ingredients) were always used in pomanders and potpourri around my house growing up. The aroma is very spicy, lots of cinnamon and clove and a hint of rum or liqueur just sneaking in.

The brewed leaves are very spicy and loaded with cinnamon, it smells like Christmas and a hint of a typical 'black tea' aroma at the end. I can detect a very mild hint of oranges, but it is barely there hiding behind the muscled arms of the cinnamon and cloves. Think of the oranges as a wilting ingenue and the spices are her buff body guards. The liquid without its leaves is fairly sweet and cinnamon and immediately reminds me of Red Hots, those obnoxiously addictive candies that I have eaten far too many of in my life.

The taste is surprisingly bitter, though not in a way you would usually expect in a black tea (which is good because it would mean I failed at brewing it correctly) it is the bitterness of too much spice. I find my mouth going numb and my stomach growing annoyed almost immediately. Turns out there can be a thing as too much spice, tragic as that sounds. The taste after the initial clove kick in the face (at least I didn't feel it) is fairly sweet and cinnamony, again a lot like Red Hots. The base Black tea is pretty weak, I barely tasted it around the spices. It was not my cup of tea, sadly.

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