Painted Desert

Tea type
Black Tea
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Cinnamon, Cocoa, Spicy, Chocolate, Pepper, Saffron
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by sren
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 11 oz / 335 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

From August Uncommon Tea

crisp black tea with chili and chocolate

Tastes Like
dried pasilla chili, mexican cinnamon, cacao

About August Uncommon Tea View company

Company description not available.

13 Tasting Notes

9907 tasting notes

So far this is my favourite from my most recent AU order; though I still have several new samples to go through…

I love the slight bitterness of this rich dark chocolate paired with a sweet, warming cinnamon. The mild heat of chilli in the back of the throat is not to be missed, and it’s that note which adds a complexity that sets this apart from other chocolate chilli blends I’ve sampled!!

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8 tasting notes

I’ve decided this tea just isn’t for me. AU tea’s can be very polarizing. I want to like this tea. The idea of these flavors is amazing and traditionally these are flavors that I like but I just don’t like them combined in this tea. The cinnamon seems artificial to me. The cocoa is very mild. The overwhelming flavor is really more of a sensation. The chili comes across mostly after you swallow and for me, gets caught in my throat. I like spicy foods so its not overwhelming or unpleasant exactly but it doesn’t add anything to the tea in my opinion. I don’t see myself drinking this again. It has quite a following based on the reviews on their website so perhaps I’m missing something but this one just isn’t for me.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cocoa, Spicy

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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637 tasting notes

I love the combination of chocolate/chili/cinnamon, so was very excited to try this offering from August Uncommon. It had a nice balance of the three flavors, with none of them competing over the others.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon

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1147 tasting notes

First sip was chocolate, second was cinnamon. After several more sips there is a hint of chili and a sweetness mid sip. It has a hearty quality. As I sip further the chili creeps in a bit, but stays lingering in the background. It’s nice, but there is room for it to grow on me.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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656 tasting notes

I tried this tea already a few times as a morning wake-up brew but it lacks the satisfying body that I want in my 4am breakfast teas. And the caffeine buzz leaves me feeling jittery instead of invigorated, so I relegated Painted Desert back to the black tea drawer for a time more appropriate, which is today!

I really like the idea of this flavor profile — Ceylon black tea, cocoa shells, cinnamon, chili. I’m not often the mood for Mexican-style hot chocolate but when I am, I crave it hard. In stark contrast to the weather of a few days ago (100+F), last night was cold for us of California thin blood. Despite it warming up to 70F currently, the chill of last night left me craving the flavor profile of Painted Desert.

All of that for a short review. August Uncommon calls this a “crisp black tea” that tastes like “dried pasilla chili, Mexican cinnamon, cacao” and feels like “soft warm mahogany.” Yep. Though the cacao note is cocoa for me and is more present in the aroma and finish than in the actual taste. The base tea is crisp, fairly light and woody, lacking the astringency I find typical of Ceylon blacks. The chili and softly sweet cinnamon give only a bit of warmth, melding smoothly with the cocoa shells and tea. The safflower petals really add to the ‘painted desert’ visual element of the dry leaf, like a striking sunset.

While I enjoy this tea, there’s something about it that makes me not interested in purchasing it again. Maybe it’s because I have in mind Mexican hot chocolate and the comforting thickness associated with it. As with most chocolate-flavored tea blends, I feel like a base of a good Yunnan red would be more complementary in terms of mouthfeel and flavor. The Ceylon base is kinda leaving me hanging but maybe their blender has good reason for choosing it. Still decent stuff.

Also, I’m wondering what the added flavor is.

[Western, 3.5g, 10oz, 205F]

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

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3294 tasting notes

I’m finally digging into the most recent box from my Tea Sister Sil, reaching in and grabbing something randomly, and this was the sample of the day.

It’s terrible, LOL. I tried not to have an opinion up front, but I’ve tried similar things, and I knew I probably wouldn’t like it. I even tried adding a little sweetening to see if that helped, but it didn’t, at least not for me.

I should also mention that a year ago I added Nightshades to my long list of foods that I have reactions to, and so I haven’t been eating anything with potatoes, tomatoes, peppers or chili’s since then, resulting in a major improvement in my health, and although I thought I probably wouldn’t have a problem with a little tea, I was wrong. Within a few sips my cheeks started flushing, so I tried to pawn the rest of the tea off on one of my sons, and he didn’t like it either. I always hate dumping tea out, but gone are the days of me forcing myself to drink something I don’t care for! There are so many better tasting teas to drink!

Still, thanks for the opportunity Sister!


haha sorrry it was so terrible. But at least you know. And i have no issues with things going down the drain :)

Terri HarpLady

LOL, not your fault! :)

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2251 tasting notes

Thank you to Dexter and Sil for sharing this.

It was… bad. So astringent. The chili barely made itself known, and the chocolate did not blend well with the astringent Ceylon base. “Brisk” is what they call it…

Even milk didn’t rescue it for me.

So disappointed. The flavours sounded like such a great combination after I tried Passage du Desir.


195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

:(( I guess they can’t all be winners…..


Dex you get an A for effort! Sharing is caring.


Normally Sil and my taste isn’t so far off. I think that if the base was different, I’d like it a lot more.


Weird. I enjoy this one, though it’s not stupid spicy


It’s not even a hint of spicy. :P

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11037 tasting notes

Final cup of this today because the last little bit of my sample is off to Shezza and Christina. I enjoyed this one immensely – not too spicey but interestingly enough to keep me satisfied!

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94 tasting notes

Beautiful dark cup of tea— the color of maple syrup— aroma is toasty dark chocolate with a hint of heat from the chili. To me it like a bar of gourmet dark chocolate with chili pepper. I prefer the second steep, though, the chocolate flavor lessens and makes room for other, more subtle flavors— the depth of the “heat” which I thought was all chili but turns out to be partly from cinnamon. I keep thinking of saffron— had to check the ingredients, and it is the safflower. Very nice tea— I love how complex the August creations are, never what I expect.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Pepper, Saffron

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217 tasting notes

A recent discussion thread peaked my interest in this company and since it was so close to home I decided to give them a go…. So they’re a little creative in their flavor notes (feels like soft warm mahogany) but wouldn’t you be too when your ingredients include Ceylon black tea, South American cocoa husk, Indonesian cinnamon, Chinese chili and Iranian safflower petals?? Man… I don’t want to think about the carbon footprint of this tea… (its also blended in Germany)… but doesn’t it sound delicious???

This tea is seriously like a big warm hug!! Its the perfect blend of cocoa and spice, no one flavor overpowers any of the others, they’re all in perfect harmony!! A splash of milk adds a delicious creamy mouth feel to the end of each of my sips.

I can see why this tea was a winter release for August Uncommon! Unfortunately its probably a little too warm in California these days to be drinking this but I can see myself hoarding the remainder for the winter months around a fire watching the snow come down… assuming it ever snows again in California…

I just had my first cup of this. Complex and delicious. Every tea I have tried from AU so far has had the “hug” quality that you mentioned and in entirely different ways.


Beelicious gave the only rating for this tea so far at “88” but Steepster’s overall rating is “79.” How does that work?


Sounds delicious, and that really is crazy to think how this tea all came together with ingredients from all corners of the world.


there is an algorithm they use for ratings, I think there is a base “rating” given sort of like Steepster has its own opinion heh. (same for every one though, to be fair!)


Thanks for the info, Indigobloom. It must weighted to take into account the number of ratings.


Yeah I think so too, that rings a bell. There is a thread floating in the forums somewhere about it

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