Hot Cinnamon Spice

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Orange Peel
Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Clove, Hot hay, Straw, Cloves, Fireplace, Spicy, Sweet, Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Orange, Toast, Spices, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Candy, Fruity, Honey, Cardamon
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Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet, Tea Bag
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Brandice
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 g 13 oz / 372 ml

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318 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’m not feeling particularly verbose today, but I just wanted to give this tea the shout out it deserves. It didn’t taste nearly as “zippy” to me this morning, although this is one of those teas...” Read full tasting note
  • “Gloomy, rainy … this calls for some Hot Cinnamon Spice! I believe this is my first of the season! What more can I say about a tea I drink at least once a week all fall and winter? The proof is in...” Read full tasting note
  • “Today was a great day for tea! I received a sachet of this to sample with the Cranberry Autumn and it smelled so good that I had to have it tonight. Good thing I don’t have a sensitivity to black...” Read full tasting note
  • “Tea of the morning….. Fall is in the air! Yay! I love Fall. This is my most consumed cool weather tea. Red hots in a cup, no sweetener necessary. It is like magic. Usual teapot method.” Read full tasting note

From Harney & Sons

It’s spicy! It’s sweet! It’s Hot Cinnamon Spice! As delicious as candy, this medium-bodied black tea also known as Hot Cinnamon Sunset is naturally sweetened to perfection by a blend of cinnamons, orange, and sweet cloves. The remarkably assertive tea effuses a hot spicy aroma and sets off miniature fireworks on the tongue that’ll have you exclaim WOW! Our most popular flavored tea will no doubt become a favorite. As you savor each sip, a gathering of spices settles at the bottom of your teacup for a final indulgence in pure cinnamon bliss! This tea is also known as Hot Cinnamon Sunset.

If you are using individually wrapped sachets please note that each sachet brews a 12oz cup of tea.

This is one of our oldest flavored tea blends. John Harney developed it in the beginning of the 1980s.

Over the decades its popularity has only grown, and now it is our most popular tea. People love its combination of strong spices and sweetness. And since there are no sugars (we tested it), it is safe for everyone to enjoy.

China black is the base of this tea so the leaves are dark brown. There are pieces of cinnamon bark and orange peel covered with cinnamon dust. The liquor of this tea is a medium brown with orange hues. This tea has a very strong aroma of spices and citrus.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

318 Tasting Notes

335 tasting notes

Backlog from this morning, since I didn’t have time to write a tasting note.

I’m glad H & S sent me a sample of this; I wound up being sad that I didn’t order it. It was in convenient sachet form. Of course I read the Steepster item descrip that said, “One sachet makes a 12 oz. cup of tea” right as I went to take a sip from my mug that is most definitely not 12 oz…

It’s hot! It’s cinnamon! It’s spice! All in most emphatic terms! It really DOES live up to its name!!!

The cinnamon is a very sweet cinnamon, almost cloyingly so. Unlike a lot of flavored teas (Vaguely Autumnal Rooibos coughImean Pumpkin Spice, I’m looking at you), that “spice” in the title is no joke. The comparisons to red hots are fairly accurate. Still, this is closer to what I really, really had wanted the Holiday Tea to be like: bold, in-your-FACE flavor that simultaneously comforts you, gets you in the holiday spirit, and kicks you in the boofoo.

Very impressed. Has a chance of becoming a restock since it resembles nothing else in my cupboard.


This is exciting to me… I’ve got some on it’s way. I definitely want it spicy!

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169 tasting notes

A friend of mine gave me this tea along with the Autumn Cranberry tea as a thank you for a favor I did for her.
Apparently, my Christmas gift is from H&S too.
She said I could open it as soon as it arrived, I don’t have to wait till Christmas.
Now that is a true friend.
Okay! Now the tea…
This tea smells very holiday-like.
Obviously, Cinnamon is the focus point in both taste and smell in this tea, but I love the fact that the clove and orange are present as well.
Taste is like red-hot candies.
I like this tea…but honestly its mainly for the smell.
One thing that does not thrill me about this tea is that whatever vessel you choose to drink this from will smell like cinnamon red-hots for days to come.
I thought Lapsang Souchong left a taste/smell behind in my go-mug.
But, nothing like this tea!
I have soaked and scrubbed my go mug, but when I first open the lid to add my tea, I still smell a hint of cinnamon.
The other thing about this tea is that it is black tea based, however you are not going to find the black tea anywhere in here.
I was not expecting too, but just wanted to make sure it was known how very pronounced the cinnamon is.
That being said, this tea is perfect for the holidays and to have on hand for company.
I think even a non-tea drinker would like this sweet, cinnamon-y tea.
Overall, a very nice tea to have on a blustery Monday morning.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I have several friends who love this but it is too strong for me. I also don’t like Red Hots, and that is what this tastes like. I liked the green HCS better than the black but it was super sweet and syrupy tasting. It smells exactly like the Penzey’s cinnamon blend.


too strong for me as well. :)

Hesper June

It is pretty potent.
And weirdly enough, when I drink it, I don’t feel like I am drinking tea.
I had two non-tea drinkers drink it and they really liked it.
I enjoy the smell and I keep picturing it as some holiday beverage simmering on the back of the stove at a party.
I have drank it straight twice now (the first time I tried it and again to do this review)I have found that if I mix it with French Vanilla Black by Simpson and Vail I enjoy it much better. It tones it down a lot and makes it taste more like a tea to me.

Ashley Bain

Oh so true and frustrating that it sticks in whatever you put it in..even worse than Lapsangs.
I’m obsessed with cinnamon so naturally I’m in love with this tea, and I like the idea of mixing it too. I don’t think I’ve ever mixed it with anything.

Hesper June

I enjoy mixing it with a vanilla or apple tea (or all three…and then you have a apple pie tea!)
Once you mix this tea with another tea its flavor does not seem to stick so badly as well.

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1283 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 42 for the year 2014. But it’s not forever as this is definitely on my shopping list!

keychange’s note about this earlier today put me in the mood for this. I’m working from home today and the BF wanted some as well, so I think that, in an effort to stretch this to include a cup for him I underleafed a bit.

It was definitely Red Hots I smelled in the packet, even given the age of the sample. Very cinnamony but in a sweet-hot, candy way, not the woody, herby way that cinnamon can sometimes smell.

And that’s what I taste as well. Sweet-hot cinnamon. All the other ingredients—orange, cloves, even the tea—may be there in the flavor somewhere and doing something to make the flavor what it is, but I’m not able to isolate them.

And in this case, that’s a very good thing. Because for me they aren’t the reason to drink this. The reason to drink this is for the warming, sweet-hot cinnamon flavor.



Yup, warming cinnamon sweet flavor indeed! I’m glad my joy for this one was contagious.


Thanks for being contagious :-)

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358 tasting notes

This tea has been my saving grace through the past two days of late-night studying. I’ve always been a big fan of this tea. There’s something unique about the spice in it that can revive you for that little bit extra that you need to get through the day. It’s the perfect combination of spicy and sweet!

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves with large pieces of dried orange peel and cinnamon bark covered in a powdery cinnamon dust.
-Dry leaves smell strongly of spicy cinnamon with a hint of orange. Tea liquor aroma is of warm spicy cinnamon.
-Tea liquor is a cloudy medium golden brown color.
-Sweet citrusy and spicy cinnamon flavor and finish. Aftertaste is of warming spiciness.
-Best with milk and the smallest amount of sweetener.
-Excellent tea. A warmly sweet and spicy cup!

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

I should send you a taste of the Market Spice…if you haven’t tried this before, made in Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA…black tea, pure cinnamon oil, citrus rinds and clove…

Josie Jade

Oh the Market Spice sounds wonderful! Do you want to do a trade? I have a ton of teas (only a few of the ones that I actually have are listed here on Steepster). I can send you a list of what I have if you’re interested. :)


A friend gave me a sample of Harney’s cinnamon tea… Is this “spice” tea you reviewed possibly the same? I mean, do they make a regular and one with added spice? I was absolutely floored by how it he tea tasted so distinctly as it smelled. It is a delicious tea for sure.


They say cinnamon improves concentration. Good call to drink it during study time!

Josie Jade

Hmm, I didn’t know that about cinnamon, Jacquelinem! Good to know!


I actually didn’t know that about cinnamon, but I did notice it with this tea, that’s actually why I went to look it up. Thanks!

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423 tasting notes

Eh the sun is apparently out here in Albany….but from my office cave your wouldn’t know it (lots of vines + huge garage blocking view = gloom) from where I am sitting. Right now I’m trying to stay awake at work. I REALLY need a nap. So I plucked this out of my World Tea East samples I brought to work. I picked it because I wanted something familiar and comforting this afternoon as I plug through very boring things at work.

This cup brewed up a nice autumn orange/brown color. This time I’m really getting a nice mix of the sweet/spicy and I am loving it. I had forgotten about this tea all summer. But now it’s time to dig it out of the back of the tea cabinet. :)


gloom, that’s the perfect word for me today. or rather every day lately. I’m also in an office cave. I don’t even feel like making tea :/
this tea sounds hot and spicy :]


It was a nice pick-me-up this afternoon.

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1474 tasting notes

I have a whole whack of this, and someone (who? I forget now) had some yesterday on here, so I’m drinking it in their honor, as well as to chase away the lingering sinus congestion.

It really, truly tastes like a liquid hot cinnamon heart. Creamy, spicy, hot and delicious. I am remembering however that, while I do really enjoy this and think it’s perfect, I rarely eat hot cinnamon hearts. If I had to pick, chocolate would win every single time in the candy department, and so it’s probably best if I pass this along to someone who loooooves cinnamon hearts.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I think I started the hot cinnamon spiceism yesterday, and I do hope you find a good home for this tea! one of my winter favourites, which is why I have a ton. :)


Heh. If you had less than a ton, I’d be messaging you to send you what I have left! :) (and thank you for starting the trend, I really needed to try this one out)


Quite honestly, I don’t remember the last time I had a cinnamon heart! I should get on that :P


Cinnamon hearts are the flavor of the season, so I’m glad we’re all busting out our cinnamon candy tea :). And haha missB, I toss my stash around too—that’s Roswell is getting like three ounces of Boston!


I love Cinnamon Hearts, but not in my tea. :) Which reminds me. I should go get some fresh ones at Purdy’s.

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709 tasting notes

Fair warning, I did not and would not pick this for myself. This came with my Vanilla Comoro order of “forever” ago and I am finally plucking up the courage to try it. Dry, there is a LOT of dust that I am blowing away and the scent is overwhelmingly cinnamon, like cinnamon hearts with cinnamon on top. I used to think I liked cinnamon but recently cinnamon has been a very unpleasant tea taste for me.

I let it steep two minutes and it is a fairly dark brown with a weird green tinge (that could be the mug’s fault) and a very dry cinnamon smell. Like cinnamon sticks, maybe. I can already feel the cinnamon on my tongue and I haven’t even taken a sip yet. First sips are true to smell. My tongue feels dry from the cinnamon and it lingers, as if I’ve eaten some powdered cinnamon or sucked on a cinnamon stick. I feel as it a bit of milk would improve this but I’m in switchboard with no milk to be found. It is a very dry feeling…if you don’t mind that (or you LOVE cinnamon) this will be great for you. I’m neither of those, unfortunately.

I wish the black tea would step up a bit and mask this horrid cinnamon. And I wish I had some whipped cream to eat and take the taste off my tongue (did I mention that this taste LINGERS?) I feel as though I could get a second steep out of this bag but since I don’t even want the first I will be throwing it out. Reminiscent of David’s Tea’s Saigon Chai but without the other spices to tame down the cinnamon.

I wasn’t going to rate this because I went into it knowing I wouldn’t like it, but I’ve decided that shouldn’t matter. If only people that like a tea rated it, there wouldn’t be any balance. I don’t feel particularly interested in finishing this cup, but I feel relieved that I have finally given it a try and no longer have to see it floating about my drawer and haunting me.

Ashley Bain

I’m super obsessed with cinnamon so this tea’s quite enjoyable to me. I like bold, extreme flavors which this definitely is lol.
I agree with you on rating and sharing your opinion despite knowing it probably wouldn’t be your cup of tea.


I was pretty sure I could skip this one as I don’t like strong cinnamon, and now you have totally convinced me!

Ashley Bain

Yep, that’s all this tea is – strong cinnamon. period.


I used to love cinnamon, but every tea I have had with cinnamon in it for the last year-ish has made me a little nauseous and I really don’t like them anymore. : ( Jen – If you’re not super into cinnamon, this probably should be a pass!


he hee – I think this is a love or hate tea. I happen to love it (liquid red hots!) but it’s a strong taste and def. not for everyone.


I don’t care for this tea, but I don’t like cinnamon red hots. Almost everyone who has had this tea at my house, however, has loved it and asked me to order them a big bag! I have had to order it for three different people!


I didn’t feel good after drinking this one either. I much prefer a good cup of chai spiced tea than this.


It is so funny that I found this review again. Let’s just say I never knew I liked cinnamon so much! I think some of it has to do with the season (it is now Fall). I was sure I would not like it, but I am pretty much obsessed at this point! Yes, I agree with JacquelineM…it is a love or hate tea.


It wouldn’t make this tea any more palatable if you don’t love the strong cinnamon flavor, but the black tea flavor does step up a bit if you steep this tea for the suggested 5 minutes. Even as a fan of cinnamon I never steep it for under 5 for that very reason.


That might have worked, but as a rule I would never steep a black tea for that long, so this one was never going to work out for me, sadly. :)

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411 tasting notes

Aigh! I had a lovely big pot of this and Sunday and used up almost all my tea before today, and today GIANT SNOWSTORM. It would have been perfect for today.

As always, love this tea.


I think y’all are getting the worst of it upstate. You may keep the snow with my compliments :)


I think that we’re a part of the same storm ::Blech:: I’m gonna get all hidey-hole today, brew lots of tea, and pretend that I still live in the southern US and that this is a hallucination ;)

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564 tasting notes

I was just wondering what the base for this is, because I can never taste it through the cinnamon. It says “China black”: Ceylon? I was just thinking Ceylon would be a good base for this but I still can’t taste it. Oh well.

Other than that, no complaints here. My mom hates this tea but I’m in love with it, enough that I’d probably rebuy it in the winter. I would like to find a cinnamon tea that my mother actually likes, but if I don’t find it in the next eight months or so I’ll reorder. We’ll see how it goes.


I don’t know for sure but my guess is the “China Black” is Keemun or a blend containing primarily Keemun. Harney refers to it’s “China Black” as Keemun in the description of English Breakfast. Ceylon is from what is now Sri Lanka so if it’s in there it is probably playing a supporting role.


Oops, my geography is off. I’ve never had Keemun on its own so I’m not sure exactly how it takes, but that sounds like it makes sense!


Hehehe, my geography is almost always off, too!

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358 tasting notes

Well, this was a dud for me. I tried a teabag sample, and I love the teabags and the hermetical packaging of that sample, but this is just not for me.

I can only detect the “cinnamon” on the tea, not the tea and not the advertised cloves and orange. Just cinnamon in tea, not a good thing. And I got to admit, to myself foremost, that I am a cinnamon snob. I did not know such a thing existed, but apparently I am one. I used to dissociate the “chewing gum” cinnamon flavour from “real” (to me) cinnamon flavours. And then I found out the reason why, turns out chewing gum uses what is the prevalent “cinnamon” in the USA annd that is a whole different spice (cassia) than the stuff I call cinnamon. (Real cinnamon to me. Ok, wikipedia calls it ceylon cinnamon. It is different seriously). And besides the fact it fails the expectation and that anything flavoures too strongly with cassia will always remind of cinnamon chewing gum than “real” cinnamon, I got to admit that I do not like cassia much on its own, tastes sort of thin and aggressive to me.

This tea being just so one note, and that note being cassia (Not cinnamon! wish we could unleash the pedantism of the european comission on them), this tea was really not meant for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Dylan Oxford

You’re making me question my love of cinnamon. Any tell-tale ways of determining whether you’re being sold cinnamon or cassia?


I suppose a “but they smell/taste so differently” is not too helpful? ;)

Ok, first thing, cassia is usually much cheaper. The “bark” is easy to distinguish, usually those pretty solid, rolled quills of bark are almost always cassia. (and usually not a problem, since they are not meant to be powdered). Real cinnamon strips are usually much thinner, less rolled and not pretty (hence makes sense to sell cassia bark, since it is is usually much prettier for things where you use. Found a pic

on this blog post

ah, and cassia is more reddish usually.

But we usually buy ground cinnamon. And that is much harder to tell apart from look alone. Cassia is usually redder. The real big difference is the taste. Cassia is sharper, spicier (in the piquancy sense, not in the sense of being more aromatic or richer), more one-note to my nose, more overpowering. Though, to be fair, for recipes for savoury things, to combine with garlic or peppers or ginger, I think cassia is better. Cinnamon is just different, I can not explain, like a much creamier scent, much smoother, and much better for anything sweet IMO.

I think maybe the best way is to check out yourself (and if what you love so far is cassia, that is great, you can keep on loving it but now check its cousin in case you also love it ;)). Usually asian stores got it reliably. if google does not fail me, in the USA maybe you can find it sold for the mexican market under its spanish name canela?

Dylan Oxford

I may have to look for it. I checked Amazon for Ceylon Cinnamon as well, and there were a fair number of options to choose from. I’m really quite curious now.


It is worth comparing, and yes, it is one of those things which is different but not really possible to describe how much so.

Dylan Oxford

Out of curiousity, do you have any recommendations regarding a good orange/cinnamon tea? Orange Spice (from Stash) was really my ‘first love’ when it comes to tea. At the moment, I’m drinking the version from MarketSpice, and I’m quite fond of it. But, if there’s something out there that might be better, I’d be more than willing to give it a shot (pretending for a minute or two that I didn’t just order half a pound of it)


If you got a first love when it cames to tea, those often stick!
And I can not really advise any particular, though orange and cinnamon are usually christmas teas. I think IKEA black christmas tea is mostly orange and spices (not just cinnamon). And maybe a few more (but all I can think is mostly european stuff which might be at all easy to find in the USA)

Teresa Sousa

For Orange/cinnamon combination my favourite so far goes to Soderblandning from The Tea Centre of Stockholm This tea has a combination of honey, cinnamon, orange peel and dried fruits.
Here in Portugal it’s quite usual to drink it together with a glass of Port Wine. I actually bought it in North Portugal (Douro Region) in a special package with a bottle of Taylor’s 10 year old Tawny port.


Obrigada, Teresa, that sounds like a very interesting tea! And I never had tea with Port wine, it is a good idea, particularly if a fruit and cinnamon mix.

I found out Mariage Fréres´ Christmas tea (thé de Nöel) is orange-cinnamon, but I never had it, if I ever do, will write a tasting note.

Dylan Oxford

Hrmmm… I don’t think I’ve ordered a tea I can’t pronounce before…


LOL, sooner or later you will ;) Even just some origins or types, I am not sure I know how to pronounce them. Like the chineses origin in English is sometimes called Keemun, I have seen it written Qimen as well, and I am sure pronunciation is pretty different from either.


Hee – Eu bureaucracy has to be good for something! I’m quite pleased now, as I rushed to check my (organic) cinnamon and it is proper cinnamon, not cassia! (Also discovered another tea that sounds delicious in the comments, of course.)

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