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Recent Tasting Notes
I had this one a few days ago and I forgot to write a note! Thanks so much CHAroma! I like this one – it has a caramel flavor to me more than chocolate. Usually the Kusmi black tea base isn’t my favorite, but it blends really well here. It might be a different black tea than usual though. Since it is a Chinese black tea, I’m sure the caramel/chocolate notes are from the tea itself. Just enough spice added to make it interesting.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min
This works well for me as a cold brew. The flavor is still light, but when cold brewed the floral elements become more prominent with some nutty notes. I think I prefer this cold brewed over drinking it hot, which is nice. Now I know how to drink the remaining bags… :)
I’m back from the Bi Rite grocery store in SF. I didn’t buy any wine (good for me) but I bought more tea which I probably don’t need (bad for me!!)
Well, I don’t have any green darjeeling teas so somehow felt I was able to justify this. I’m a little bit underwhelmed by this blend. I was hoping for a lot of flavor but it’s fairly light. It has a nice vegetal sweetness with some floral notes and a definite “bite” at the end which seems sort of citrusy and reminds me of lemon. I really think I need to try cold brewing this, some amazing flavors might come out of the cold brew. For a green tea, it’s ok but now I wish I didn’t have a whole box of it. I should have known better since my experiences with Kusmi have been very hit or miss.
p.s. Review is for the muslin sachets and I got a decent 2nd steep out of this
Flavors: Flowers, Lemon
Eh, this tea is okay. It has a clear rose flavor without going over the top and having a super strong powdery taste that I detest. It just seems very one dimensional and doesn’t have a lot of depth to it. It is like it is all high notes and isn’t well rounded.
Great tea! I got a sample when I bought my new glass pot in Berlin, and I have to say that this was amazing. The caramel kicked in at the end, which is reasonable. You can feel the fruits all the way though!
Flavors: Caramel, Red Fruits
It was the description of citrus and smoke that made me curious about this tea. It looks like a black tea with random silver needles sprinkled throughout. Once steeped, it smells like a smokey puer. When I taste it, I get a bunch of different flavors. I get smoke, citrus, leather, puer earthiness… There is a lot going on in this tea! It is a heavier tea overall, similar to the heartiness of breakfast teas. The smoke isn’t overpowering here and has a similar intensity as the other flavors making things really well balanced.
With non dessert type teas, it usually isn’t love at first sip, but over time I could learn to love this tea and I sure hope I do since I got a whole tin of this!
*Hubby just took a sip and said it tastes like non alcoholic scotch, which I thought was a pretty spot on description!
From Teeny tiny TTB2
Whoa, thats minty! Spearminty! Toothpastey! The super minty smell appealed to me to try it, even though I’m more of a peppermint person. It is pretty minty, not enough to feel like you cleaned your teeth, but enough to have a minty taste linger for awhile in your mouth. The smokey gunpowder tea is an interesting contrast. Not bad and very refreshing.
Queued post, written June 18th 2014
Here’s another one from Auggy. This is one I’d never ever have bought for myself. Maté? Meh. Ginger? Bleh. Cinnamon in tea? Bleh. Green tea? Hmmm, sometimes meh. Cardamom pods? Could go either way. I’m just not a chai-y person, although I do tend to find it fairly pleasant on the rare occasion when I have one. Furthermore, maté and green tea is just not a combination I can in any way imagine. It’s… well, to be honest with you, it’s a bit bizarre.
However, it was sent to me by someone whose taste I trust implicitly and I have to try it at least once. Besides, it’s called ‘boost’ and a boost is what I could use just now as I’m preparing the foods we need to take with us for the Family Outing on Saturday. (A new-ish tradition in my family. For my grandparents’ Christmas present they get an outing with as much of the family as can be drummed together.) I’m in charge of a mixed green salad, a potato salad, biscuits and something that Husband (being vegetarian) can have for dinner. Husband is cooking his own dinner, I’ve got an almost full biscuit tin already (and it’s a large tin), so those things are easily dealt with. It’s limited what I can do on the mixed green salad before Friday, but I can can do most of the potato salad, so that I only have to mix it all together. I’m trying to have it all done before Husband gets home, because he’ll be spending a few hours working when he gets here, and I’d rather avoid doing noisy tasks in the kitchen while he’s working. The only problem I’ve run into is that I (fortunately) made a mental count of how many people we’ll be and realised to my horror that I’d have to double up on the salads. I don’t know why I thought the recipe would be enough as it was when it clearly says 4-6 people on it! O.o Off to the shops with me to get more stuff, then.
Hence the need for a boost.
Potatoes are cooking now, and there’s nothing else left to do until they’re done, so here I am. Boosting myself. By ranting, apparently.
Now, this blend smells earthy like maté, sharp like ginger and spicy like cinnamon. I’m getting a little bit of floral as well (cardamom) but nothing that I can translate to green tea. I fear it has been drowned completely by these other things. I still don’t understand what it’s there for in the first place. I can’t work out what it’s supposed to do for the blend.
At first sip, the initial flavour is lemon-y. This would be the ginger. It has a sort of lemon-y flavour, only sharper and throat-itchingly hot. The latter quality is the reason I don’t much like the stuff. (A popular winter ‘tea’ where I work is to take a cup of boiling water and put a slice of fresh ginger in it. Nommmmmmm!!! says most of my colleagues. Eurgh! says I.) The ginger starts burning my mouth just before I swallow, but there is sweetness from the cinnamon as well. Cinnamon is weird. It can be quite sweet and surprisingly spicy at the same time. It’s managing to do so here. Being spicy but also keeping the ginger down a bit. It has been my experience that ginger flavours only develop stronger as the cup cools, so I hope the cinnamon will continue to serve this purpose as that happens.
The cardamom is only vaguely there, with a tough of floral perfume in the very very background, and the base is earthy from the maté.
The green tea? Still can’t find it. Perhaps it’s softenening things up and smoothing things out. Otherwise these are all some pretty harsh flavours. I can’t be certain though.
It’s drinkable this, but it’s not exactly awesome. I might finish it. I might give it away. I might toss it. We’ll see.
I purchased this in a stash sale, although I’m unsure whose at this point. Oops! I realized recently that I tend to never reach for my chais for some reason, so I’ve decided to make it a point to drink them more. The fact that this one is from Kusmi makes me have high hopes for it. The base is very small black tea leaves, and there are a lot of dried spices mixed in. I can identify cloves and pieces of ginger, along with cardamom and cinnamon bark. There are some dried green leaves that look like broken-up bay leaves to me, which seems odd. The dry scent kind of reminds me of Italian sausage, heh. In a good way though! I did a five-minute steep in about 6 ounces of water and then added sugar and vanilla soy milk.
This is actually a rather delicious chai! I can definitely taste the ginger, but it doesn’t bother me here. The clove, cinnamon, and cardamom are lovely, and I think I can taste a little bit of anise as well. The spices are actually strong enough, which is very good – weakly spiced chai is one of my pet peeves. I would definitely love to try this one with the traditional stovetop chai method, I bet it would be amazing! :)
Flavors: Anise, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger
This is such a pleasant, light tea. I find this one quite delicate and floral, while still retaining a hint of green notes and light mint to it. I love the uniqueness of this tea and find myself enjoying it most often in the afternoons, or while I’m doing my makeup in the mornings. It’s such a pleasant tea, I really recommend this one!
This sample came from Roswell Strange. I’ve liked most of the Kusmi teas I’ve tried so far, so I asked for this one even though I’ve been underwhelmed by most chocolate teas. There are a few pieces of what I assume are cinnamon stick mixed in with the generic-looking black tea. I didn’t get a lot of smell from the dry leaf, something vaguely sweet and spicy. I steeped it for 3 minutes
The brewed tea smells kind of spicy with maybe a little bit of milk chocolate. Meh… I’m finding this tea very underwhelming. I don’t really get much chocolate out of it, just a vague sort of sweet creaminess. And I guess there’s a hint of spice, but it’s nowhere near as present as I would expect. So mostly it just tastes like a mediocre black tea with a bit of cream to me. Sad day… I sometimes appreciate subtle flavoring but this one is too subtle for me I guess. :P
Flavors: Creamy, Spices, Sweet
The dry leaf aroma is subtle sweetness. I think I’m picking up on caramel and vanilla, but I’m amazed at how out of practice my nose is. Stop drinking tea for 3 months and I might as well start over from square one! The brewed tea aroma is slightly smokey. Is this gunpowder? That’s what it looks/smells like.
The flavor is delicious! A tiny hint of smoke that’s complemented by a lovely green base and subtle sweetness from the added flavorings. I bought this back in October 2013 on my Parisien honeymoon. I didn’t realize that each little 25g canister wasn’t sealed more than with just the lid. I thought there’d be an interior cover that you’d rip off, like what you find on Mariage Frères tins. So sadly these teas have probably lost their punch. :( That’s really disappointing but I’m going to enjoy them as much as I can anyway. Usually 25g would last me a long time. But I think I’m going to burn through these little tins.
I’m so glad that I’m firmly in the second trimester now and don’t have to worry so much about drinking teas (green in particular since it can inhibit folic acid absorption). I’ve been so good! I’ve avoided caffeine more than I ever have in my entire life. I only indulged a handful of times and even then, I made sure to keep my caffeine consumption below the recommended 300mg. I deserve to indulge a little now. My poor tea stash has been going to waste. I’m excited to return to a bit more normalcy in my routine.
So a little update on me and the baby: he/she is doing fine! We aren’t planning on finding out the gender in advance, so it’s going to be a complete surprise. For now we generally refer to the baby as a boy so we can avoid the awkward he/she or even worse “it.” Odds are he’s probably a boy anyway. Boys run rampant on both sides of the family. I’ve felt him move several times! It kind of feels like when you get a shiver and your skin crawls, but the feeling is on the inside of my body and it isn’t unpleasant. Just weird. I’m due at the end of January 2015 right around my birthday. I can’t wait! This is such an exciting time. My husband and I fought infertility for 6 months and finally succeeded in conceiving our miracle baby naturally. I’ve been really good too; I haven’t gone out and bought a million baby things. I found the crib, which is currently laying in parts in our nursery waiting to be assembled. I also bought one baby outfit, an adorable white hat with bear ears, one blanket, and one bib. How amazing am I? Total control. :) So that’s it for now. Thanks for reading!
Flavors: Bergamot, Smoke
So, my sister’s birthday was June 30th and I had purchased a 4.4 ounce tin of this tea for her with my Kusmi order a few weeks earlier. This was the tea she was most interested in when I showed her the website, so I figured it would make a nice little gift, especially since their tins are so cute. I didn’t mail it because I knew I was going to be coming to Kansas City soon (she lives here, too). So when I gave her the gift a couple of nights ago and she opened it, I took out a serving for myself and kept it until today. I’m going shopping with her and my mother later today, so I’ll definitely ask her what she thinks of this tea. Dry, this tea smells like floral candy – it’s very sweet. I did my usual French tea method – 1 tsp in 8 ounces of 200 degree water for 3 minutes.
I don’t think I paid much attention to the brewed aroma – oops. In the tea itself, the flavoring is quite mild, especially when it’s still hot. The black tea base is smooth and mellow, nothing special but unobtrusive and drinkable. I don’t consider myself to be terribly familiar with the smell or taste of violets, but it’s definitely a more delicate floral note than I generally encounter (rose, jasmine, etc.). There’s something about it that makes me think that these are sugared violets, not the fresh variety. I definitely get a candy flavor from this tea, even without sugar. I found it altogether pleasant enough, but not something that I would seek out or order. Then again, I’m not big on floral teas generally. :)
Flavors: Candy, Floral, Malt, Smooth, Sweet
Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! I ended up splitting it so I could send a cup worth off to Cameron B. in the swap we just did, but first I made my cup! I think I’ve had this one for quite some time; I honestly don’t remember when you send it to me/which packaged you sent it in, but I forgot I even had it until Cameron requested it.
I had to fish it out of my sample bag stored in the closet! Honestly I probably put it off because of the spice. Oops! It really wasn’t so bad though.
I added milk to my cup, and the resulting brew ended up tasting like really weak hot chocolate or watery chocolate milk, with this odd spicy/peppery aftertaste that tickled my throat. I wish I knew what spices specifically are in this one; I didn’t taste cloves, ginger or cardamom which are “common offenders”, but I did get some cinnamon-ish notes (another common guy). More interestingly though, I got peppercorn/chili pepper spice, but I didn’t see anything in the dry leaf that would indicate that. There was also a really faint bitterness to the black base, but I think I may have oversteeped it a little bit, and that could be what was contributing that taste.
Overall, I think I just wish it was a tad bit richer in the chocolate department, but on the whole it was better than I was expecting it to be. I hope Cameron enjoys it!
I still have 17 more tasting notes to write, but I’m really tired and it’s three in the morning, and what I’ve done tonight feels like an accomplishment, so I think I’ll pick up where I’m leaving off in the queue tomorrow when I get up. Hooray for having the day off and not having plans/errands to run!
Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Peppercorn
After shampooing my kid’s head today, I got the sudden craving for strawberry tea. Smelling strawberry shampoo = wanting strawberry tea in my brain! Kusmi, I choose you!
This tea is SUPER fragrant in the tin! I find myself lured to a bunch of strawberry teas by scent and then find them a little weak when it comes to taste. Because of that, I used 2tsp for this cup. It turned out quite strong, which is fine because I wanted to add cream and sugar. With those additions, it’s pretty delicious! The overleafing is mellowed out by the cream and I get a yummy creamy strawberry flavor. I can pick up on the fact that there is some tea in there if I think about it, but mostly I get dessert in a cup. So far I’m pretty happy with this purchase.
I ran into the Kusmi New York store the other day maybe ten minutes before they closed. I was desperately trying to smell everything and decide if it was a must buy while the sales girl tried to hide her itching to go home. I picked up this tea and one other, but I was surprised that I wasn’t taken by more teas.
I’m having this one without sweetener and it has a bitter edge to it, a tang that gets the sides of my tongue and mingles with the green taste of the tea. There is also a very distinct strawberry scent that carries over into the taste. I may have over leafed this (a recent trend for me) and will have to adjust things in the future to find the perfect cup.
Opening the tin it might as well smell as the green variant of Kusmi´s St Petersburg, but that´s where it stops for me. This is gunpowder tea, which end up as an acceptable green tea, but most of the aroma´s (citrus fruits, especially vanilla and caramel) are gone! Need to drink it again, maybe changing the steeping parameters, because I cannot understand the good ratings by some people.
Flavors: Caramel, Citrus Fruits, Green
Another tea I wouldn´t have picked (but it was one of the tins of the “afternoon” series by Kusmi), but I must admit it scores way better than other teas – a priori – of my preference. It smells really nice, fruity, and not in an artificial way as is the case with many aromatised black teas. In the taste this is mainly a black tea, with subtle hints of red fruit blending in nicely, therefore making this tea a good afternoon tea.
Flavors: Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry
Actually, I was quite afraid of how this tea would turn out, so the first sip was a “delicate” moment, but it tasted alright. Spicy (in the sense of the Xmas teas) whereas the chocolate blends everything well together, without giving it too much sweetness or bitterness. Very forgiving as well when leaving the cup to cool down a bit…
Flavors: Chocolate, Spices
Almonds rule! The nearest thing to eating a frangipane without having one in the house is drinking this tea. The sweet almond fragrance which is wonderful in the nose doesn´t disappear when steeping the tea, and for once, it´s a green tea which can keep my attention when hot. As far as I´m concerned, a solid aromatised tea.
Flavors: Almond, Green