Somewhat confusingly, Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset appears to be the same tea as Hot Cinnamon Spice. Since my tin reads “Sunset”, I’ll place my tasting note here.
To my palate and nose, this vibrant black-tea blend is basically indistinguishable from the original Good Earth. I was unable to confirm my impression this afternoon, as my bags of Good Earth are no longer any good—must be the cinnamon oil which turned rancid. What I can say is that Hot Cinnamon Sunset evokes all sorts of memories from my afternoons drinking many glasses of this tea at the Good Earth restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. That was a long time ago, and since then the restaurant has changed names a few times and may no longer even exist for all I know.
The key word here is cinnamon, and the key ingredient can only be cinnamon oil. That’s what you get when you squeeze cinnamon until it cannot be squeezed anymore, and it is by far the strongest source of pure cinnamon flavor. The blend also contains orange rind and cloves, but cinnamon definitely dominates, making this tea a cinnamon-lovers dream come true!
One reason why I always liked the original Good Earth was because it is naturally sweet. It is really very sweet, and I cannot imagine adding any sugar to it. Along with Constant Comment (and, now, Harney & Sons Holiday Blend), this is one of the few dark black teas which I prefer to imbibe au naturel. I always drink darjeelings that way, but with very strong Chinese blacks and Assam-style teas, I usually take cream, which compromises the caffeine benefit a bit because milk seems to have a soporific effect upon me. I am not lactose-intolerant (at least I don’t think that I am), but milk products aside from butter and cheese make me sleepy.
Though the steep-off was aborted, Hot Cinnamon Sunset was a good choice for this afternoon as there is no cream around and it was too cold to go out, plus I was too tired anyway. Now I’m feeling the zing of both the caffeine and the cinnamon.
Not a subtle tea, but an effective one!