Review of Sweet & Spicy Caffeine Free

4 of 104 of 53 of 557 of 100

A savory-looking roster of ingredients (rooibos, chicory, "natural flavor", rose hips, cinnamon, lemongrass, peppermint, chamomile, ginger root, anise seed, orange oil, orange peel) persuaded me to buy a box on sale at Wal Mart. Immediately upon extracting the bag from its wrapper, I wondered if someone had left open a can of wood varnish. Instead, that was the scent of the dry bag, and a lousy way to make a first impression—akin to a memorable dinner-and-TV date I had as a college freshman with one of the dorm's prettier blondes...who forgot to use underarm deodorant. Fortunately, and unlike that date, the aroma improved with addition of heat and moisture to the experience.

Poured, the tea smelled only faintly woody, and sharply reminiscent of the cinnamon "Red Hots" candy. The taste: again, cinnamon Red Hots! I presume the mild capsaicin-like bite arises from the unnamed "natural flavor". If you enjoyed finding that candy in your childhood Halloween bucket, this tea should light up your life. Since I like cinnamon, which is also an increasingly renowned micronutrient vector, I'll keep and use the rest of the (18 and not 20-bag!) box, although I can't taste the other components at all. That includes both the peppermint and orange—two highly oily and aromatic ingredients that typically barge right into the tea ring to their own pounding music and assert immediate alpha-spice dominance. Here, the Cinnamon Crusher easily won the 12-wrestler battle royale.

Beware fragile bags; the first one I tried split open in two places while I was squeezing liquid out into my tea (per usual practice).

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