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Kusmi Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Detox by Kusmi Tea
274 tasting notes

From reading the ingredients I didn’t think I was going to like this tea. When I took a sip I got lemon, pepper and smokiness! Very interesting! Almost like smoked paprika with a hint of lemon. This is a much more savory tea than I am used to, but I’m really liking it!

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

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drank Euphoria by Kusmi Tea
274 tasting notes

Huh! Interesting little sewn muslin for a tea bag! That is kind of charming. Holy smokes! The orange in this is like the bright fresh oil from the peel! The chocolate is in there somewhere, but this tea is all about the orange. The aftertaste is like I just had a sip of OJ. As it cools, the chocolate hides even more. The first cup was so flavorful that I didn’t need sweetener. Not sure if it would have helped the chocolate come out some more. I sweetened the second steeping, which is weaker, but still delicious. This tea is amazing and I would like to have more of it someday!

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

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90

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Flavors: Anise

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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89

This is a very hype and trendy tea in France. Not so sure what I was expecting from it. But I have been seduced by the sweet grapefruit flavor. Good balance between bitterness and sweetness. A good ice tea option, too. Definitely worth it. Wrote a review in French) on it : http://www.monarmoireathe.com/2014/04/bien-etre-degustation-bb-detox-kusmi-tea.html

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank St Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
194 tasting notes

Still an old favorite of mine. I had bought it blind from Kusmi, and didn’t regret it. I do love bergamot. I find it interesting how I’m just noticing now how similar this is to Harney and Son’s Paris tea, which I also love. I will have to do a taste test sometime. At the very least a sniff test, once my sick little nose is back to operating at 100%.

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90
drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
194 tasting notes

You know how sometimes it seems like you search and search for something and it ends up being right under your nose the entire time? Like, a really good caramel black tea?

Yeah. I made this to take into the movies with me yesterday, and couldn’t believe how tasty it was.

I remember being super underwhelmed when I first tried it because at the time I was looking for super extreme flavoring, but now that I’ve refined my tastes a bit (great success!), I realize that I truly enjoy this tea.

It’s pretty delicious. Subtle. Sweet caramel flavoring and a tea base that seemingly can’t be ruined, because I’m pretty sure I let it steep for quite awhile. A nice rich liquor that stood up next to my milk and said “I shall not be overcome!”

It was good. I’m sad I swapped so much of this away back in the day, I might just have to suck it up and do another Kusmi order at some point (I hate paying stupid shipping fees but what can you do when you live in a shoe Canada??)

Bumping my rating up from 76. Such a happy ending to a tea story!

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85
drank Boost by Kusmi Tea
34 tasting notes

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Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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drank Spicy Chocolate by Kusmi Tea
274 tasting notes

Another tea from a swap with VariaTEA! :D

The name of this tea threw me off a little. I was reading spicy as hot, not spices. Chai like, got it! The scent of this reminds me a bit of Zhi Tea’s Cacao Chai, which I love so much! It tastes very similar too, but like a lighter more mellow version. There is a tiny bitterness in the start of the sip that quickly gives way to smoothness. Maybe I should have done a shorter steep? The aftertaste is nothing but spices!
This tea is really nice and if I didn’t already have something similar in my cupboard already, I’d be contemplating it as an addition.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
VariaTEA

I am glad you enjoyed it :)

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77
drank Spicy Chocolate by Kusmi Tea
165 tasting notes

I got a sample of this from VariaTEA. Thank you!

This tea surprised me with pretty unusual spicy notes. Very unlike the ones one usually finds in a chai. The spiciness was somewhat perfumey, and I liked that. I didn’t detect much chocolate here, however, but it’s weird to think of my expectations of chocolate flavoring in tea – because they are rarely satisfied :D

The base tea was neither weak nor strong, I didn’t notice it much when sipping, but I think my body has received a nice boost, so this cup was perfect to start the day with!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Dustin

I just finished a cup of this courtesy of VariaTEA too!

TeaBrat

one of my favorites from kusmi…

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Being only recently introduced to Kusmi teas and a lover nearly all things almond, I was delighted to get a sample of this from VariaTEA.

First thing I smell is cinnamon. The description says it is just like eating a Christmas cake, but I have never tried or even heard of one! Maybe it is more of a European thing? First sip, whoa! Too much leaf with too little water! Good thing there is an easy solution for that. Diluted and sweetened… I would enjoy a cake that tasted like this! The tea base is strong and dominates the cup. As it cools I get more orange on the sip, but the almond blends in so well that I can’t pick it out on it’s own. I think I can taste it a tiny bit in different parts of each sip, but then other flavors come in before I can figure it out for sure. The tea is nice and quite smooth. The verdict is still out on if this is a must have for my cupboard or not.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85

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Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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90
drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
33 tasting notes

I stopped by Kusmi teas on Friday. I had seen the store, but I had never gone in before, and I regret that this was my first time. The store is beautiful on the inside, as are the really lovely tins, which stack. All of the teas were available to smell, and all of them smelled amazing.

Kusmi teas has a pretty interesting history, and I’ve enjoyed reading about it. It started in Russia and ended up in France in 1917, I think. I also didn’t realize that the small tea store I knew about was the only one in the States.

Anyway, enough about that and more about the tea. I kind of mentioned this before, but the packaging is lovely. The tin is very attractive, and the tea is inside and sealed inside plastic. The tea itself smells both like lemon and bergamot. The lady at the store said that Anastasia was definitely an Earl Gray, and it is, but it’s also very lemon flavored in a very perfect way. I have been looking for a lemon tea, so I was really excited about this particular fact. I had been smelling a lot of teas when I went into the store, it’s right near David’s Tea, and I think my ability to discern between teas at the time was somewhat limited.

It brews to a beautiful light brown color with a red undertone. It looks like a mild black tea, which is exactly what it is. The tea itself is maybe a bit too thin for me. I wish there was more tea, however, I cannot fault the tea itself for this, as it is beautifully delicate in a way which I believe it is supposed to be. The lemon flavor and the bergamot flavor shine through and they really work together to create a bright and citrus-y body to the tea. I love the flavors of this tea. I find Earl Grays to lack citrus qualities sometimes, which I know is a strange thing to say, since they are by nature citrus. Anyway, this is very citrus bergamot.

Overall, this was a fantastic purchase. This tea is really great, and I am very impressed with it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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67

Sipdown no. 142 of the year 2014. This isn’t actually the sipdown I had planned. It’s also sort of a cheat to call it a sipdown because although the sample tin is now gone, the big non-sample tin hasn’t even been opened yet. But hey, it’s a container out of my life, so I’m counting it.

Something seems to have gone wrong, though. This steeped very weakly today even though I used what I ordinarily use to measure a single cup serving for the cups I have at work. Not sure what happened.

Since it wasn’t a favorite to begin with, it’s not too much of a disappointment. And any disappointment that might have been had is far overshadowed by the feeling of accomplishment from getting back on sipdown track. Yay!

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70

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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93
drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
1569 tasting notes

I popped this LARGE tin open and admired the beautiful packaging. It is wrapped up inside the tin. When I opened it up, the sweet, caramel aroma was intoxicating! It smells and looks so new, delicious, and fresh! This is exactly what I needed today as I am preparing for my specialty board exam. I am highly stressed, and this sugary, dessert tea is perfect. It isn’t bitter at all, but it does well with sugar and milk. Delicious!

Flavors: Caramel

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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70

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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100

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Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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74
drank Violet by Kusmi Tea
194 tasting notes

Almost a sipdown, still have enough left for a cup but I may give it to my friend to try.
Received this in a swap ages ago but I forget who it was from.

I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, I’m not sure that I’m a flower drinker, but I wanted to give it a try. Surprisingly, it wasn’t super floral tasting, so even a non-flower drinker could enjoy it!

I could definitely pick up the violet notes, I’ve never eaten violet candies or anything though I’d be willing to try.

It was perfectly drinkable and not overwhelming at all. Definitely an acceptable cup of tea.
Ultimately at the end of the day, I’d rather look at my pretty African Violet plant (that I miraculously haven’t managed to kill in like 5 years), than eat it.

My rating is based on me not being a flower eater more so than the quality of this tea.
I am a fan of kusmi in general, and this was a nice, dark, thick bodied cup at a 3 minute steep.

The old me would have just drank it straight up but apparently the new, post pregnancy me wants to put milk in every cup of tea…. I liked that milk didn’t water this down. Possibly made it a little creamier and slightly less flowery, which wasn’t bad for me!

I would recommend this tea if you were looking to try something floral but afraid of being overwhelmed by a garden in your mouth :)

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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66
drank Almond Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
506 tasting notes

This Almond Green Tea is another of the flavored greens featured in the Kusmi sample set of mini tins. The base green tea appears to be the same as that used in the Rose Green Tea, so maybe it is green Congou? Not sure. Once again I find that the flavoring is very marked (as in the case of both the rose and the strawberry, which I tried yesterday—though I believe that the base was bancha).

I’m not sure about this combination. I may be so accustomed to drinking my green tea unadulterated that it will take some getting used to before I feel that flavored greens are a good idea. Well, I have the rest of this tin—several pots more—to find out!

The almond flavor is unmistakeable, but I feel as though it has been applied so as to mask, not to complement, the base tea. Maybe these teas are intended for people who do not like green tea?

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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80
drank Genmaicha by Kusmi Tea
678 tasting notes

A sample from Shmiracles. Plain genmaicha isn’t something I’d usually seek out, but it appealed to me tonight as I finally start to shake off my cold. For some reason, I was expecting this to be quite a pungent genmaicha, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s actually beautifully delicate — mild, grassy green tea, with a touch of toastiness running over the top. It’s delicious, and very easy to drink. It’s one of the more well balanced genmaicha blends to look at, also, appearing to be equal parts popped rice, toasted rice, and green tea. Pretty AND tasty — a rare treat!

It’s teas like this one that make me appreciate just how pleasing a plain tea can be. There’ll always be a place in my cupboard for zany, outrageous tea in kooky flavours, but from time to time something like this is far more satisfying. Plain, straightforward, fabulous tasting TEA!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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According to their website, Kusmi Strawbery Green Tea is a strawberry-flavored sencha. To me, this seems like bancha. I’ve had some difficulty extracting answers about the identity of the China green teas used in the Kusmi blends, so I’m starting to wonder whether they might vary from batch to batch. Here’s what a customer service representative wrote to me this morning, along with my reply:


On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 10:04 AM, [a Kusmi sales associate]> wrote:

Hi

Hope this helps!

Algothé Standard Chinese green

Almond Green Standard Chinese green

Ginger Lemon Green Standard Chinese green

Green Bouquet Standard Chinese green

Imperial Label Sencha green tea (made in the Japanese style, but produced in China)

Best

[a Kusmi sales associate]

Dear Jeremy,

China makes a wide range of green teas, so your answers do not really narrow down the possibilities.

Thanks for your effort all the same.

Sincerely,

[sherapop]


Anyway, the strawberry scent is very powerful in the dried leaves, and a bit less so in the taste of the liquor. The scent of the surface of the tea, however, does still smell very much like strawberry. I was happy to read that the flavoring here is natural. Let’s hope that it’s true!

I’m not sure yet whether I like this combination. I love strawberry, and I love green tea (both sencha and bancha!), but do I like them together? Well, I have the rest of my 1 ounce sample tin of the loose blend to help me to determine the answer to the question!

Flavors: Berries

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OwenjMayer

That response doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

sherapop

Exactly, OwenjMayer! It’s like saying “ingredients: tea”. ;-)

Angrboda

It’s probably a blend, rather than a specific type.

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78
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
77 tasting notes

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Preparation
3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70
drank Violet by Kusmi Tea
506 tasting notes

I am somewhat obsessed with violets (and refer to myself as a violet-ho at fragrance community websites), so naturally I could not resist trying Kusmi Violet.

The dried tea smells very violet. The liquor is a dark reddish brown—of course, I brewed it strong. The taste of the brew, however, is mostly black tea. I struggled to “taste” the violet, though I do believe that I caught some wafts off the the surface of the tea. Fortunately, the black tea used is pretty good, so I did enjoy this pot and will be drinking the rest of my tin. Perhaps I should sit and sniff the dried tea while I imbibe!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
keychange

Speaking of tea and fragrance, I so desperately want to get my hands on the Guerlain teas! but from what I hear from Victoria at bois de jasmine, it’s only available from their flagship store in France, and you can’t even get it from their website!

sherapop

I did not even know about the Guerlain teas, keychange! Sounds intriguing…

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80
drank Rose Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
506 tasting notes

I now have the small (1 ounce) tin of loose leaf Kusmi Rose Green Tea, so I was anxious to see how it compared with my memory of the brew produced from a sachet.

I used more tea than is contained in a sachet, so for sure this liquor is stronger and darker. The color is peach veering slightly green—not so much brown, as I found with the sachet liquor.

The flavor remains rather rosy. The rose is more prominent than the green tea, and I am very curious now which green tea this is. As I looked through the Kusmi green tea sample tin set, I recognized that they are using different greens for different blends, so I’d better give them a call to find out which is which!

Rose Green is a very floral tea, at least compared to some. The scent off the top of the liquor is especially redolent of fresh roses. The flavor is not at all sweet (as in Tazo Rest, which also features a dominant rose note).


second infusion: this produced a very nice pot of decaffeinated green tea with only a hint of rose. Yum. Note to self: do not neglect to reinfuse these leaves!!!!

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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