Do you know what it’s like to bite your tongue and chew on pink things? Like the inside of my cheek and lips and tongue between – feel flesh try to escape the catch of my teeth and never quite succeed. I drink tea for its warmth and the way it sings along my gums and stings inside cracks to remind me cinnamon is a spice, cinnamon demands space. We can dress up cakes with it and apple cider and all the rest of it – all the sweet stuff – but in the end, stuffing 21 cinnamon hearts in your mouth will numb your face. You will feel your lips melt, and a small fire will blaze quite insistently at the back of your throat. People are sometimes drawn to this challenge, and for many, the fire proves too much. Water won’t quell it. Milk might kill it but handle those hearts or that teaspoon if you think you can. Ride the burn. Swallow, until the cinnamon sting is in your fingers and your lungs and your lips and your words and your thoughts and in the way you smell at your collarbone, behind your ear, at the curve of your hip where it runs into the inside of your thigh.
Cinnamon is cunning that way, though I don’t think she means to be. She’s all sweet-smelling and her brown bark is so alluring, that you don’t even expect a bite. And you won’t catch the sting until you can’t help yourself and ask for a taste, and even then she remains sweet though you might feel a slight sharp-dull feeling and then it’s too late and your tongue is on fire and tears are in your eyes and you think why why why. Not even the candy shell of cinnamon hearts will take your misery away. Or your numbness. Or your desire. And there you have it: people come back to cinnamon. People love cinnamon. They like that aching tingling fiery sensation like a million red ants making a home in their mouths, tunneling spaces and burrowing until you can’t breathe –
Maybe that’s just me.
Cinnamon tea is sort of like that, on a smaller level. Like an anaesthetic and an ultimate sensual experience rolled into one. On a smaller level. And if you have enough cuts in your mouth from busy teeth, then it’s almost the same not really but I am very good at pretending. Tea lets me feel. Tea lets me stop feeling. It’s really a vicious cycle and I’m glad it’s tea I’m into and not, you know, one of the hard drugs. Like caffeine or something. Not because tea is any better or worse but at least other people don’t give you hell for being a tea aficionado. See I can be a tea aficionado. You can’t be a cocaine aficionado in the society we’re living in because society is mostly shit and will find any excuse to stigmatise.
Here are some so called health benefits of cinnamon tea. That is not really why I drink it though.