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64
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
666 tasting notes

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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65
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
666 tasting notes

The black tea in this brew is a bit dull in flavour and can only really be savoured on the finish. The bergamot is only slightly detectable

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 248 ML

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78
drank BB Detox by Kusmi Tea
666 tasting notes

Really nice mix of flavours. Grapefruit flavour is very authentic-tasting and pairs well with the green tea. The green tea is very mild but still detectable with a slight vegetal edge. The grapefruit flavour blooms at the end of the sip and lingers for a sweet and fruity finish.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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70
drank Be Cool by Kusmi Tea
666 tasting notes

Vegetal medicinal savoury notes which reminds me of a nettle tisane. Very unique flavour. I feel this brew is asking for more spices to be added or to have stronger notes of the anis seeds, peppermint, or verbena. There is the lightest hint of peppermint at the end of the sip which lingers on the tongue.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 248 ML

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85
drank Imperial Label by Kusmi Tea
1701 tasting notes

I’m forcing myself to try “new” old teas today, and it helps that I haven’t actually got much at work with me at the moment so it’s try things or have no tea. It doesn’t help that they’re mostly green teas in my untried pile, because they’re never my favourite. I say that, but I think it’s really a historical hangover from when I thought all green tea was bitter and horrible. I know for a fact now that that’s not the case, but somehow I still have a bit of a prejudice about green tea, even though some of my best friends are green tea…I never said I wasn’t odd.

So. This one. The reviews seem a bit mixed, and I’m not much liking the sound of soap as a descriptor. Otherwise? Orange, cinnamon and vanilla sounds okay (I probably wouldn’t have put it with green tea, though…) Sea buckthorn I’ve never tried. What even is it? I’m okay with sencha, although it’s not my favourite green. I’d happily say that no green is my favourite, but that’s a lie. I actually really do like Bi Luo Chun.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The leaf is pretty, lots of yellow and green. It smells spicier than I expected, a little bit like chai. But also a little bit like a Lush soap I had once. Sea Vegetable? Not encouraging.

To taste, it’s thankfully not too much like soap. There’s a strong initial creaminess that’s really nice and almost thick tasting. I’m assuming that’s due in large part to the vanilla, and it has a lovely heavy dairy cream vibe that’s just perfect on a cold day. The orange comes through second, mostly pith and zest to begin with but followed by a sharp, clean, bright splash of orange that’s more reminiscent of freshly squeezed juice. The cinnamon rounds things off, adding a warming spiciness that’s actually makes me think of Christmas – just right for December! My only complaint about this one is the liquorice, because it’s horribly over-sweet and cloying, and it coats the back of my throat with its artificial sweetener-like stickiness. Otherwise, I get along just fine with this blend. I can’t taste the sea buckthorn, and I still don’t know what that actually is. I can’t taste the green tea base, either, which is fine with me. It’s smooth and unobtrusive, just how I like it. I’ll probably drink a fair bit more of this one before Christmas – it’s a surprise win. If it wasn’t for the liquorice, we could be the best of friends.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
83 tasting notes

Nice, balanced mixture of bergamot, vanilla, cloves, citrus zest and an impression of slight smokiness in aroma.
The taste is also smoky and quite woody, dry, with all the spices and adjuncts in the background.
Good, solid tea not overdone with adjuncts.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus Zest, Cloves, Smoke, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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75
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
83 tasting notes

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72
drank Be Cool by Kusmi Tea
83 tasting notes

A lot is going on in this brew. And the ingredients are easily recognizable, they do not blend with each other. I can smell apple, licorice, anise, mint. The overall aroma is both refreshing and warming.
So is the taste. There is a minty coolness, licorice-y sweetness, and solid contributions from the rest.
Nice brew in itself, but I need to steep it along with some clean black tea.

Flavors: Anise, Apple, Herbs, Licorice, Mint, Peppermint, Red Apple

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85
drank Samovar by Kusmi Tea
11 tasting notes

Sometimes I want my smoky teas to be smokier than this, but sometimes this is just right – it’s smooth and lightly smoky.

Flavors: Smoke, Smooth

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80
drank Imperial Label by Kusmi Tea
220 tasting notes

Sadly, none of the teas that I’ve tried from Kusmi are teas that I’d want to get again, (Though this one, oddly enough, comes close. Oddly because there are not many green teas that I really like.) Or maybe it’s just as well considering the way out of my budget prices they have on their products. I wouldn’t be disappointed with this as a gift, however.

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75
drank Zoubrovka by Kusmi Tea
7 tasting notes

The fragrant bison grass (“hierochloe odorata”) makes this tea unique. Not my taste but still above average tea quality and worth trying for the out of the ordinary experience.

Flavors: Herbaceous

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

As the first/signature tea by Kusmi, S insisted on getting a small tin of BoF. But yours truly (J) was the first to try it (2 tsp / 8 oz / 3 min).

Since it is black tea + bergamot, I was expecting an earl grey flavor. But the bergamot was quite light, resulting in potpourri and violet flavors being equally strong. So this is not close to an earl grey, and seeking out the bergamot sets the wrong expectations. Later in the cup, the taste of dehydrated berry came out. It probably wouldn’t make for a great iced tea because the flavors are relatively light.

The roof and sides of my mouth were dried out pretty quickly by its moderate astringency, while my tongue was relatively unscathed.

And when I stuck my nose into the post-steeping leaves, it smelled like… wet leaves. I’m not sure what else I was expecting. But it was definitely like a forest after a rain.

Steeping #2 (8 oz / 5 min) had less tea flavor, less bergamot, but the floral flavor was still strong. My mouth also felt like it was coated in something that I think could be interpreted as ‘soapy’.

Overall, it’s quite pleasant. Just don’t go in expecting earl grey, or a strong kick-you-in-the-face wake-me-up tea.

Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Berry, Flowers, Rose, Violet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92
drank Zoubrovka by Kusmi Tea
198 tasting notes

I remember once drinking a vodka from Ukraine that was flavored with a combination of buffalo grass and St. John’s wort. I can’t remember what it was called, but I seem to recall it having a label with blue and silver lettering and an illustration of a dancing woman in peasant attire. I also remember buying it because it was dirt cheap-I was in graduate school and working an unpaid internship-and it was all I could afford to get drunk on at the time. Oddly enough, it was very good, especially for the price. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find it since.

Now that I am no longer drinking, I wanted something that reminded me of the freedom of my mid-twenties. Since a search for an obscure vodka was not in order, I settled on a tin of this black tea blend from Kusmi. The label clearly stated that this is a blend of Chinese black teas flavored with the essence of buffalo grass. I’m not entirely certain which kinds of black tea are used, but judging from the shape and color of the dry leaves, I am willing to bet that Keemun may be one of them.

I prepared this tea using a one step Western infusion. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 212 F water for 4 minutes. Obviously, I did not attempt additional infusions. I should also note that Kusmi recommends a much lower brewing temperature for this tea. I used 212 F because the label gave the recommended temperature range in degrees Celsius and I did not feel like doing the conversion at the time. After finishing two cups, however, I got curious and used my phone to convert the temperature range from Celsius to Fahrenheit. I then realized that the water I had used was much hotter than the merchant recommends. Fortunately, I found this blend to be very forgiving. The next time I fix a cup of this tea, I will try a temperature in the merchant’s recommended range to see how it compares to my initial preparation documented here.

Prior to infusion, I noted that the dry leaves gave off the unmistakable scent of buffalo grass. The smell immediately transported me back to my mid-twenties binge drinking days, only without the threats of impending nausea, inebriated (poor) decision making, and mule kick hangovers. After infusion, the dark amber tea liquor gave off lovely aromas of cream, toast, malt, and buffalo grass with a hint of spice. Do Kusmi teas ever smell bad? In the mouth, the buffalo grass is placed squarely front and center, lingering throughout from the entry to the finish. I noted pleasant flavors of toast, cocoa, malt, cream, smoke, and spices (coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg) balancing the buffalo grass. It was simpler than expected, and the blend was decidedly slight in the mouth, but it was nice. The shift from creamy and toasty to smoky and spicy beneath the prevalent note of buffalo grass was unique and appealing.

Though I tend to be something of a Kusmi Tea fanboy, I am also willing to admit that the previous reviewer who opined that the smell of their teas can be nicer and more unique than the taste may have a point with regard to a number of Kusmi products. I, however, do not necessarily agree with that assertion being applied to this particular blend. I found it to be unique, approachable, and above all, extremely easy to drink. I would have no problem recommending it to open-minded tea drinkers looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Coriander, Cream, Grass, Malt, Nutmeg, Smoke, Spicy, Toast

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

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drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
9 tasting notes

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77
drank Kashmir Tchai by Kusmi Tea
9 tasting notes

S made a 1st steeping with 2 tsp in 8 oz, iced. Not good.

But then J had a 1st steeping with 1 tsp in 8 oz hot. Found a strong cardamom note, with other spices pushed aside. Tried adding a little extra cinnamon, but it didn’t blend well. Added milk and it rounds out the flavors – much more satisfying.

J combined the 3 tsp for the 2nd-6th steepings (5 min, add milk). Still had strong flavor for the 6th. Other spices besides cardamom were more pronounced in later steepings, with clove leading the way.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Sweet Love by Kusmi Tea
1 tasting notes

I really enjoyed this tea. Tastes a lot like chai tea but with some additional favors.
I would drink it early in the day or when you need a quick pick me up since it does have quite a bit of caffeine in it.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
3 tasting notes

This tea is extremely strong and can be overwhelming. On the other hand, the flavor is especially nice if brewed not too strong. It has an earl grey, smoky, sweet flavor. I first tried this at a cafe and had to have it. I enjoy it from now and then, but not every day because of how intense the strength is.

Flavors: Bergamot, Orange

Preparation
1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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97
drank Traktir by Kusmi Tea
7 tasting notes

Exceptional Russian Caravan tea with natural, smokey undertones, reminiscent of wood-burning and… bacon. Deep red, clean liquor. The room smells fantastic.

Flavors: Leather, Maple Syrup, Smoked

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Darjeeling No. 37 by Kusmi Tea
150 tasting notes

A friend surprised me with a sampler box of Kusmi teas, and this Darjeeling is the 2nd I’m trying, and it’s a pleasing morning cup of sweet flowers. Not at all perfumey, just lightly sweet and floral like a humming along of the otherwise somewhat brisk tea. This is the first time ever that I have actually enjoyed an astringent aspect to tea, as well, it seems to actually complement the flavor. It is a simple drinking tea with layers of interest.

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80
drank BB Detox by Kusmi Tea
150 tasting notes

It also contains Guarana (not currently on the steepster ingredients list though I wrote in to add it.) The grapefruit ingredient is listed on Kusmi’s website as “scent of grapefruit”… So apparently no actual grapefruit in it.

Liked it well enough, not clear to me why this is one of their most popular teas, though.

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drank Sweet Love by Kusmi Tea
729 tasting notes

I have been telling myself for years now “no more buying tea”, but I don’t listen and find some excuse for buying a tea I stumble upon. This time is was a tin of Kusmi’s Sweet Love for $6 at Homegoods. $6?!?!?!? HOW could I pass that up?! I couldn’t, especially after getting a whiff of the chai like flavors. I am now richer in tea and more poor in sense and cupboard space.

I taste cinnamon and cardamon that give this tea a chai association. The end of the sip has a touch of sweetness from the licorice root. The flavor of anise comes out in the sip as well, mingling with the other spices. If you are an anise/licorice hater, move along, this is not the tea you are looking for. Overall this tea is well balanced, warming and I can’t wait to try it with a little cream. It was a good purchase, once I don’t foresee regretting.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Imperial Label by Kusmi Tea
7 tasting notes

Unique. For the adventurous.

One moment you get hit by an orange aroma with oiliness of buckthorn, then licorice, then vanilla, then almost nuts, etc.

Best cold.

Flavors: Citrus Fruits, Licorice, Medicinal, Nutty, Orange Zest

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Rose Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
7 tasting notes

Perfectly balanced. The green aroma of the tea still present, not overwhelmed by the rose.

Short infusion and lower temperature required to fully enjoy.

Flavors: Green, Rose, Tea

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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