(last edited on February 15, 2023 at 12:27 pm)
For a while I was spending more time at the local Starbucks, having discovered that I really liked the Oprah Chai Brewed Tea for its powerful cinnamon flavor. Even though it has no sugar, the combination of spices makes it TASTE delightfully sweet in a not very subtle way. I love it. Recently, though, I’ve only been able to get their new Oprah Chai Herbal Blend, which has a more nuanced mix of cinnamon and other herbs, but I just don’t like it as much. The barristas at my local Starbucks seem to think the good stuff is discontinued.
I complained about the cinnamon teapocalypse to my friend Kate, who is knowledgeable about such things, and she mentioned that there was a really good cinnamon tea available at, off all places, Barnes & Noble. So I went down there and asked about it at their in-house cafe (ironically, also a Starbucks), and they directed me to the Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice, which was just as good. It certainly was a lot cheaper even at a premium tea price ($10.95 for 30 sachets, versus $3.00 for a single Starbucks Grande). I’m pretty much hooked on the stuff now.
I’ve never bought fancy tea before in these sachet things; is there some kind of “tea hook” gadget to fish them out of your cup? Harney & Sons also sells the loose tea from their website which is a bit more economical. I am thinking of visiting the local Teavana store in the mall to see if they have something similar; they’re the company (owned by Starbucks) that worked up the original Oprah cinnamon blend, so maybe they have it there.
They carry Harney & Sons at my local Target at about $6 for a 20 sachet tin, which is slightly better than the B&N price (and more convenient for me than Teavana). I have a lovely little tetsubin teapot that holds two cups of tea, and five minutes with one sachet is perfect for the Cinnamon Spice – and I unashamedly drink both cups if no one is around to share. I leave the tag on the edge of the pot so I don’t have to fish the thing out. :)
Hey Dave, just use the string to pull the bags out!
Wrap the string and tuck the label under it around the handle before you put the hot water in. ;)
Anna: Oh, thanks for those tips! I have just been dumping the satchet in a giant mug. I’ll check Target too.
Al: Ohhhh. The label was stuck to the sachet, and I didn’t realize I could just yank it off! The mysteries of tea :-)
Yes Harney! They are wonderful people and have found and blended many wonderful teas. If you ever get down to NYC, they have a delightful little cafe in Soho… and we’ll get you down the wonderful rabbit hole of loose tea. :)
Your cinnamon dreams are about to blast off for the moon! For a cinnamon experience that is amazing in flavor and texture, do the following.
To make iced cinnamon tea, put the pitcher in the refrigerator, and later pour some over a glass of ice cubes. To use it as a concentrate for hot tea, let it steep for a while, and then use 1/2 cup tea to 1/2 cup hot water. These proportions (tea bags, sticks, how long to wait, water to concentrate whether hot or iced) can be varied; you should experiment to find what you like.
For me, the best part is that the tea has a strong flavor, and the cinnamon sticks change the texture of the water to velvet, much more substantial than when made with water alone.
I hope you like this Dave. Thanks for everything you do for us! jd medford/cambridge, MA
Jody: Wow, that sounds amazing!!! I happen to have some cinnamon sticks from an Asian market that I bought to make a certain kind of braised pork dish (way too many), so I’ll definitely give this a try and document it!
I realize I’m late to the party with this comment, but wanted to share nonetheless. My wife recently took a trip to Seattle and bought back some of this tea on recommendations from those in the market. The cinnamon-orange tea from MarketSpice Tea hits high on the sweetness scale without the sugar. I definitely recommend!