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drank Cinnamon by Kusmi Tea
939 tasting notes

Not sure what possessed me to buy this one. I do like cinnamon but it’s a sort of a second or even third tier flavor for me behind chocolate, nuts, fruits and vanilla. I think I probably thought it would be interesting to taste a tea where the primary flavor was cinnamon (without any others in the mix) and also to see how Kusmi managed this one.

Since I originally put this into my shopping cart, though, I’ve had two cinnamon black teas, so curiosity 1 has been satisfied. That leaves me with curiosity 2.

In the tin, the cinnamon smell is rather subdued. It isn’t red hot strong like the H&S, and it isn’t cinnamon stick strong like the Adagio. It’s really just a hint, but a nice one. The tea’s aroma is a similar, subdued cinnamon.

Interestingly, this seems to me to be one flavored black tea where less really is more. Though I found the various Kusmi chocolates and the bourbon vanilla too quiet and disappointing, I prefer the less in-your-face cinnamon flavor of this to the Adagio by quite a margin.

Like the Adagio, it’s a more herbal version of a cinnamon than the H&S, and it doesn’t have a candy sweetness. Unlike the Adagio, the tea seems to be steeped in a cinnamon fragrance, rather than to be a base to which cinnamon has been glommed on heavy handedly. It works.

It may even work, for some purposes, as well or better than the H&S (a much stronger flavor, a much sweeter flavor, a much candier flavor). It really depends, I suppose, on what you are looking for in a cinnamon black tea and since I tend to like stronger flavors I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this.

Still not sure I’d buy more than one cinnamon tea for the permanent collection, but if I did, this would be a contender.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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