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Cinnamon Plum Tea

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Cinnamon Plum Tea

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Here in Pittsburgh, it seems like it's been winter for the last, oh, thousand years or so. It's hardly surprising that many of us are still drinking Christmas tea. Teas are often specialized for winter and winter holidays, featuring fruity and spicy ingredients to knock the chill out of us, and the Cinnamon Plum offered at Margaret's Fine Imports is no exception.

There isn't much to this particular Cinnamon Plum. There's a notorious Celestial Seasonings tea that it should not be compared to, called Sugar Plum Spice; that tea is overpoweringly sweet, but in a surreal and artificial way. This Cinnamon Plum, while going for a similar effect, is underspiced if anything. It's got a soft black tea back, with the leaves themselves not adding much flavor or body. This leaves the extras to do the heavy lifting.

In short: they aren't up to the task.

Perusing the leaves, one can definitely smell plum, but there's no fruit to be seen. It's mostly black tea with some dried herbs and cinnamon powder. (To be fair, a dried plum would be a prune, and prune tea probably sounds less than appealing to many of us.) Even if the added flavor is natural, flavored tea is always at risk of losing its potency on the shelf, even if kept well in an air-tight container. At holiday time, the flavor did prove slightly stronger, but not by much. The cinnamon's still fine, but let's be honest and admit that we can add cinnamon powder ourselves to any loose tea if we really want to. Besides that, a tea in a sealed container that can't keep its flavor after two months doesn't give us much to desire.

Like so many flavor-added teas, the Cinnamon Plum from Margaret's retains a pleasant smell, but the taste isn't quite up to speed. You can feel what it wants to be, and it wants to be festive. Credit where it's due for not adding too much extra commercial sickly-sweetness, but the choices it makes leaves it packing no punch at all. If Santa Claus were to consider Cinnamon Plum for his naughty-or-nice lists, he might just ignore them both and give it some socks.

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