Part of me thinks this tea is misnamed. It’s called “hot lips”, which I associate with a slightly spicy gummy candy. Lip-shaped, bright red. However, this reminds me more of the cinnamon hearts from valentines day than that particular dime store candy.
However, a tea by any other name should still taste as…. …tea-ish, right?
Steeped: 1.25tsp in tea ball. A splash of cold water in the bottom of the cup, then boiled water poured in.
First Cup: Steeped 3 minutes. Clear.
Without taking a sip, already I can really smell the cinnamon. Wow!
The spiciness is the most obvious thing about the flavour. The first few sips seemed hot in both senses of the word. As it cools, I’m noticing the slight sweetness to the tea itself, though the spiciness is still quite strongly coming through. I’d probably like a bit more of the cinnamon sweet, actually, to balance the spiciness, like in a cinnamon heart.
Second cup: Resteep. 4 minutes. Clear, then sugar added.
Again, the heat of both kinds is the first thing I notice about the tea, outside of the cinnamon scent. There is a bit of a dry taste, I think it’s from the cinnamon.
I tried adding a bit of sugar, and it brightens up the flavour for me. The spiciness isn’t really as strong as it was in the first steep, though it’s still there. The sugar adds a nice balance to the cinnamon flavour though, I quite enjoy it.
Third cup: Re-resteep. Approx 5 minutes. Clear, then sugar added.
The flavour seemed rather dull (mainly the cinnamon) until I added a bit of sugar. Again, it really brightened the steep up. Still, starting to fall a little flat. This will probably be my last cup.
Overall impression: I never really got a taste of the tea at all. I’m not sure if I consider this a good thing or not, as it’s the first ingredient. Still, the flavours that did come through were fairly enjoyable. I still would have liked a hint more sweetness in the tea itself to brighten up the spiciness.
My rating: 78. B+. Certainly not bad, but (again), the ideal tea, in my opinion, should need nothing added to be its best. By that standard, this needs to be a bit more sweet to get an A from me.