Popular Teas from Kusmi TeaSee All 69 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
This one was a single individually-wrapped bag that boychik included as a bonus in her package. I have to say, Kusmi has the coolest tea bags – all muslin and they look so handmade! Photo here: http://instagram.com/p/uV03djGgJt/. I’ve had their Linden tea before and it reminded me of chamomile, it had that kind of mild floral that’s sweet and somewhat musty.
This is so tasty! The mint is light and refreshing, and not at all like toothpaste or other offensively minty things. It goes perfectly with the mild and sweet linden blossom and together they make a perfectly lovely soothing tea that is perfect for evening (or for any moment that you need to relax a little). I guess they don’t make this blend anymore, as it’s not on Kusmi’s website… So I may have to try the Verbena-Mint version and see how it compares!
Flavors: Floral, Mint, Smooth, Sweet
I picked this tea out because it was something I’d never heard of before, and smelled heavenly in the shop. The scent of the dry tea doesn’t translate as well into the taste once brewed.
I believe aug3zimm described this tea perfectly, I won’t bother repeating what he said. My tasting experience matches quite closely with what he described. I also found heterodoxia did an excellent job of describing why I don’t love Kusmi teas as much. For green teas especially, I prefer 100% pure tea, without any flavorings added to it.
This one is a little too weird for me. The buffalo grass is too grassy and bitter, somewhat overwhelming.
Flavors: Bitter, Buffalo Grass, Dry Grass, Hay
I’m very much enjoying Kusmi’s Organic Darjeeling Nº 37 tea. It has much in common with other Darjeeling teas I’ve had, but also has some wonderful and unique qualities that make it stand out from the pack.
This is a fairly high quality Darjeeling tea. The small leaves unfurl nicely in hot water. They’re not whole leaves, but cut to a consistent size, with little to no powder or dust. There are a fair number of cut stems among the leaves. The leaves themselves vary in color from leafy green to spruce green and dark olive as well, making for a visually pleasing presentation. I actually like the non-uniformity of the color in this case. While marketed as a black tea, the incomplete oxidation makes this one more of an oolong tea, which I prefer anyway.
The brewed tea is a lovely chestnut brown color. The flavors have much in common with other darjeeling’s I’ve had, but there are also a lot of unusual aspects as well. One of the first things I notice is a lovely fresh spring flowers taste. Floral auroma is expected from Darjeeling, but this one is especially fresh. This is most apparent in the first brewing and less noticeable on subsequent infusions.
The second brewing allows some rich maple flavor to come through. I also notice a good bit of tannin in this tea. This gives an astringent quality that some might not like. I’d describe Kusmi Noº 37 as a fairly brisk tea. This can be mitigated by using water that has cooled for a couple minutes after boiling. I’m still experimenting with ideal brewing temperature. I think 3-4 minutes at 180º is correct for the first infusion. I can get a 2nd and 3rd cup, adding an extra minute each time.
I definitely enjoy this tea and would keep it as my every-day Darjeeling if it were a little less expensive.
Flavors: Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey, Maple, Muscatel, Sweet, warm grass, Tannin
It has been a week and a half of sample cleanup for me. For a bit in August I wasn’t drinking a lot of tea and when I was I was only drinking my favorites. I was just in that funk of not wanting to try anything new. I am back to wanting to give a few new things a try and this is one that I gave a whirl today.
This isn’t my favorite kusmi tea that I have tried, but it is okay. I will say that I am pretty sure I oversteeped this puppy. A co-worker came into talk when I had just put my infuser in my cup. It had a beramont, floral taste to the tea, but for me the floral took over for me. This is one I am glad I got to try, but not one I need to buy.
Thank you Cameron B for allowing me to try quite a few of the Kusmi teas.
I quite like this tea. I am a grapefruit fan and drinking this tea is like sitting back and having some fresh grapefruit without it squirting you in the eye, and no worries about getting some of that bitter pith on your tongue. I don’t know about its BB and detox effects, but I do know that it is nice and refreshing to drink.
This sample came from the generous boychik. There are still many Kusmi teas I’d like to try, and this (along with the Bourbon Vanilla and Cinnamon) was near the top of my list. The leaves themselves are small and somewhat generic, and jet black in color. Dry scent is very mild caramel sweetness. I steeped a teaspoon of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Once steeped, the tea smells of wood and malt with a small amount of caramel. Hmm… I’m not sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, I really like the flavor of the base tea. It’s somewhat woody and has a nice raisin note. On the other hand, the caramel flavoring is far too light for my tastes. It tastes more like a burnt sugar/brown sugar note found naturally in some teas. I would definitely like a bit more caramel here. So overall, tasty, but not really caramel to me.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Raisins, Sweet, Wood
had this tea for breakfast yesterday. It was nice for a smoked salmon and egg. i was thinking a lot what to make but only EG came to my mind. The base is generic chinese black Keeman? with bright lemon -lime flavors. resteeps well at 6min
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