drank Cinnamon by Kusmi Tea
1283 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 got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became less appealing to me — but I still enjoy nicely done blends where the base doesn’t taste like hamster cage chips. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. These days, I’ve been drinking primarily green tea during weekdays after my first cup of coffee. On weekends, I’ve been drinking only tea.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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