Kusmi TeaEdit Company
Popular Teas from Kusmi TeaSee All 77 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I received some of this tea from QueenOfTarts in her stash sale. Thank you!
I really really really want to like Kusmi teas. I am not sure why, the tins maybe? I had Russian Breakfast #24 a long while ago and loved it so I have been trying some of their Russian flavored teas every since. Nothing has really hit me as that great. This one is the same and I think it is because I just do not like the base tea. This is another base that just taste like cardboard to me and because I don’t like the base whatever flavor is on top of it just gets jumbled up. Oh well. It is always good to find teas I do not care for. I am glad I got to try this one at least. I am still curious if I still like Russian Morning #24 or if it was just because I had just started drinking tea. Hopefully I will get to try that one again.
No. 21… I’ve always wondered about this with Kusmi. What are the other 20?
Anyway, I was in a different supermarket from my normal one yesterday. I’m home alone for a couple of days (again!) so I was looking for something easy and unhealthy for my dinner. It’s the same chain as my normal one, but bigger. I was looking for something else in the tea/coffee section, when I spotted the easily recognisable Kusmi tins. There was this one and the 4 Red Fruits and… I think one more, but can’t remember which. I thought, eh, why not? I only took this one because a) I’m not made of money, and b) 4 Red Fruits is a known quantity and c) we’ve already got Tea Palace’s Queen of Berries and so don’t need another soft fruits flavoured tea.
I’ve never had this one before, actually, because I’ve been a bit wary of it being Yunnan black. My relationship with the black teas of Yunnan is a bit fraught. Some of them are really really nice, but some of them also just tastes like drinking liquid hay with pepper in it. I’m not a fan of the latter, but it seems to be mostly the more golden ones that do this.
So I chanced it and am pleased to report, that while there are a bit of golden tips in it, it’s not golden golden. Bodes well.
The aroma has a bit of hay in it though, and something which I can only really describe as ‘horse’, but I don’t really mean that in a bad way. I mean, horses are quite whiffy, but if you are a horse-person, it’s a smell with all sorts of awesome associations to it. What I’m getting at is that the horse-y smell in here doesn’t so much pong of actual horse as it brings on lovely (non-horse-y) associations. I’m not explaining this very well, am I? I’m not even a horse-person myself, although my childhood/teenage self would have LOVED to be one. The closest I come is a friend I had in my teens who had a fat, lazy pony on which she gave me some very basic lessons in posture and how to (in theory, it being a very lazy pony) make it go.
Tastewise, I was sort of expecting a bit more. It’s nice, but it strikes me as a bit thin in the middle notes. The initial notes are strong and the aftertaste is decent, but in the middle there? It’s like it’s not really trying. Like it puts some effort into the front end of the sip and thinks that’s sufficient. If I hold it on my tongue for a little bit, though, I can prolong the initial notes of pepper, a little bit of hay, slight astringency, and slightly burnt toast, but that’s not the same. I’m missing the smoothness and the malty thickness that I know from Keemun and from the Fujian blacks.
This really is an entirely different beast from those. But then again, if you look at the map of China, they’re not exactly grown next door to one another either, so differences are indeed to be expected.
So where does this fall on a scale from ‘peppery liquid hay’ to ‘nice and sweet dark nom’. Oooooh probably right in the middle. It’s taking on qualities of one, but not yet letting go of the those of the other. It’s nice and drinkable, but not really an epiphany in a cup.
I tried this tea out for the first time about 20 minutes ago, but it took the second cup for me to actually sit down and write a review.
The first time it wasn’t strong enough because Im used to using very little amounts of the Kusmi black teas, since they inflate in warm water. I also just left the bag in for 4 minutes after looking it up online. Then I added rice milk (I like the slight sweetness it adds, and unlike soy-milk it doesn’t really have that distinguished a taste), and 1 teaspoon of Xylitol (40% less calories than sugar, the exact same taste, not damaging to your teeth, doesn’t spike your insulin levels). It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t impressed either.
This time I let it sit for 10 minutes and added the same amount of rice milk & sugar and it turned out perfect. I have never had a nicer tasting chai tea latte in my home.
Since this one is rather mild, but has the perfect composition of the different flavors, where none is too overtaking, I recommend letting the tea bag in for at least 10 minutes.
I highly recommend this tea to anybody who likes the Chai Latte they sell at “Cappuccino” .
Flavors: Cardamon, Cherry Wood, Sweet
Firstly, a huge thank you to ::Nicole:: for the generous sample that sparked my fascination with this beautiful Russian tea blend! I loved it so much that I ordered a tin from Kusmi that arrived yesterday.
So, it’s a rainy weekend here in The Old Dominion. Rainy weekends just beg for a good book and good pot of tea to go with it. I am currently reading “The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra” by Helen Rappaport. Anastasia by Kusmi Teas was created around 1917/1918 in Paris after the company fled St. Petersburg at the start of the Russian Revolution. This tea was, indeed, named for the youngest daughter of the imperial family. Nothing like pairing an historical book with a matching historical tea!
But I digress. This tea is an amazing melange of citrus, orange blossom and honey flavors. The honey note really comes out with just a little bit of sugar. Lime is the dominant citrus flavor. The bergamot works brilliantly in the background. The Chinese and Ceylon base teas add breadiness and sparkle respectively. Strangely, there is an illusive scent reminiscent of sweet incense not unlike myrrh which is used in Russian Orthodox churches. Like it’s namesake, this tea possesses an element of mystery.
As I sip this tea it is quite easy for me to envision Nicholas and Alexandra, the beautiful grand duchesses and the young tsarevich at Tsarskoe Selo enjoying teatime together with a tea like this. It’s that good!
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Honey, Lime, Orange Blossom
This is a nice, light chai. Very ginger heavy with a hint of anise that isn’t strictly unpleasant. Cinnamon and other spice notes in the background. Overall, very similar to some of Kusmi’s other teas but that’s not a bad thing.
Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Ginger, Spices
Someone sent this in a swap a long time ago. The teas got a bit lost during a cleaning when someone put them in a container higher than my short self can see. I plan to knock these out ASAP.
I have wanted to try this because I have read so many reviews of it. A Southern Seaskn carries some Kusmi teas so if I find a true love here it is possible that I can get it without too much trouble.
This one is good, but I don’t know that I need to own it. I enjoyed it tonight. I don’t LOVE bergamot but I don’t hate it either. I do not like it with Ceylon or similarly lemony or citrus bases and this has additional citrus flavors. I really like quality bergamot on a quality Keemun base, so we are doing well there. I thought I caught a whiff of smoke – Keemun or a tiny bit of Lapsang? Nice berry notes, not too strong. Vanilla smooth and very subtle.
Overall, this is good and it was great to try it, but I doubt I will buy more. I can see why it is popular for sure. If I figure who sent it, I will edit to add a shout out!