Kusmi Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

80
drank Irish Blend by Kusmi Tea
24 tasting notes

I just bought a box of the muslin bags of this tea at the Kusmi store on 3rd Avenue/62nd street in Manhattan. Perhaps they’ve changed the formula, or perhaps it’s my brewing approach, but this is not the undistinguished tea the two reviewers from six years ago described. I brewed it light and quick, in a 6oz teacup. I think most Kusmi teas come into their own when you use less tea/time and water off the boil for at least a minute. This results in a light but gorgeously scented cup of tea. Before you shrug and say, “Oh, more bark than bite? Next tea please,” I’d like you to entertain the possibility that the enjoyment of a cup of tea can be mostly olfactory. Taste and smell are pretty chummy senses, after all. And this Irish Blend has the power to captivate in its scented steam. I know Kusmi is terrific at scented teas but I believe this one is mostly or perhaps all natural — no perfume from Grasse could cover all the wholesome notes this tea possesses. The label indicates no ingredients except Assam and Darjeeling teas.

Funny thing about this blend is that it’s not what you might expect from the epithet “Irish” — no big malty hug here. It’s a brisk tea, with a soothing and gently predominant honey scent. I imagine the Ireland of this tea is a Russian traveler’s memory of a rare sunny day in the Emerald Isles, the clouds scuttled off to the Irish sea, and feeling the land dilate and relax in the nurturing warmth. On the sheltered southern wall of a stone cottage, an apricot tree soaks in the sun as well as the wet fresh sea air, layering rich flavors into its fuzzy orange-red fruit. The dandelions open, dotting the green hills with bright yellow. The bees pick up scents of a flush of different flowers, nectar on the breeze. Things start to really dry out – the old wooden door, the leather tobacco pouch, the earth itself — releasing a host of subtle, light, harmonious scents you had forgotten they had when everything was perpetually sodden.

Milk dulls some of the scents in this tea, particularly the almond and meat.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Astringent, Brown Toast, Citrus, Dandelion, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Green Melons, Honey, Leather, Marine, Meat, Muscatel, Nuts, Ocean Air, Peat, Rainforest, Root Beer, Sweet, warm grass, Tannic, Tobacco, Wet Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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80
drank Irish Blend by Kusmi Tea
24 tasting notes

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80
drank Irish Blend by Kusmi Tea
24 tasting notes

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70

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drank Green Zoubrovka by Kusmi Tea
4793 tasting notes

Backlog:

This has a very strong vegetal aroma. I can definitely taste the sweet grass flavor. Very grassy in taste.

It’s also sweet, honey-like, and it has hints of mint. This tea has less of a buttery quality and more of a vegetable brothy sort of quality to it. It’s invigorating to drink.

I enjoyed it. I liked the contrast between sweet and bitter (a savory bitter). It is an uplifting drink.

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drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
129 tasting notes

For some reason, bergamot and I don’t always get along when it comes to tea. It’s quite hit or miss with me. I picked up an adorable sample tin of this sometime a year or two ago— it came as part of a sampler set. Though the teas were definitely of good quality, I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the others. However, I rather liked this one.

Smooth and sweet black tea base. The flavouring isn’t too overwhelming— the bergamot is tempered a little by the lemon, lime and subtle orange blossom notes. Quite comforting, like being wrapped up in a warm blanket.

Tealizzy

I seem to like bergamot with added flavors, like other citrus. This sounds nice. :)

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85
drank Violet by Kusmi Tea
99 tasting notes

Sometimes you go to Montreal for New Year’s just so you can raid their Kusmi store for strong teas that taste and smell strongly of flowers just so you can drink them on a cold, rainy Monday in January when you’re sitting at your desk at work. Just so.

I don’t love this as much as Bouquet of Fleurs (which I also bought a tin of) because it’s so strong and so violet, but it is exactly what it says on the tin and I am glad it’s so strong this morning. I guess there is a candy smell and taste there, but there is no hint of fake flavor or sweetness. Strong taste of violets, but I love flower tea, so. Just some mornings, I wish I could give my tea a hug.

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95
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
1006 tasting notes

Thanks, Cameron B., for sending this my way! It taste like vanilla orange custard, and I want it in my life forever and always. Amen.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Cameron B.

Ooh, I’m so glad you like it! Sorry the sample of this one was a bit smaller than I intended, I gave you all I had left. :(

Veronica

Thank you for sending me the last of your tea. That was very kind of you! It was the perfect amount to know that I like it. :)

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70
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
1006 tasting notes

Thank you Cameron B. for this sample. My first Kusmi tea!

This tea is nice, but all of the flavors are so subdued that I find myself wanting more. I wish the bergamot was just a bit stronger, and I keep hoping for a little more berry flavor. The caramel note is present more as the tea cools, to and while it’s nice it’s not enough to make me want more. All together it’s a nice enough blend, but it’s nothing that I have to have in my cupboard.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Yeah, I found most of the Russian blends to be fairly mild, with the exception of Bouquet of Flowers.

Veronica

The few teas I’ve had from Russia have been such big, bold teas, so that was what I was expecting. Now I know! :)

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20
drank Tsarevna by Kusmi Tea
51 tasting notes

I have a special relationship with Kusmi Tea’s Prince Vlad. It is heaven. It is joy. It is love. The company that makes it is also very generous, and always sends samples of other teas to try. Gift with purchase? Everybody loves that!

This was among the three teas they sent along with my dear Prince Vlad.

The description on the single serving bag (black tea, spices, orange) made me think that this would be close to an Earl Grey. Oh, the error of my thinking.

First sip: No. But maybe I didn’t give this a proper try.

Second sip, followed by a few more consecutive sips: My taste buds are no longer on speaking terms with me.

This reminds me of a rooibos, only more unsettling since I thought I was going to send my mouth on an earl grey journey. Website shows it has licorice. That explains things.

Flavors: Licorice

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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60

There’s something there that I can’t pin down. It’s not obviously jasmine or osmanthus.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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50

The caramel comes out with milk and sugar. There is a bit of “dried fruit.” Brewing it stronger would have helped.

Flavors: Caramel

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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75
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
8 tasting notes

Complex Earl Grey. The tea is equally weighted, flavorwise, with the citrus. It’s really delicate.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 22 OZ / 650 ML

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80
drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
8 tasting notes

Tasty! Would drink again. Would also pair with almond-flavor cookies.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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80

Vanilla chai with a bit of orange.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 21 OZ / 621 ML

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drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
1 tasting notes

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80
drank BB Detox by Kusmi Tea
972 tasting notes

Another grapefruit tea that I forgot about! I’ve actually been wanting to try this one for a while, so I was very happy to find an individually-wrapped sachet in my holiday package from Marzipan. Thanks, dear! The green tea and mate is quite crushed inside the sachet, and I can see kernels of some type of spice or herb. Dry scent is mostly grapefruit with a touch of spice.

The steeped tea smells pretty heavily spiced and perhaps with licorice as well. This is actually pretty refreshing. There’s a nice amount of sweet grapefruit flavor combined with the herbaceous mate and a bit of herb/spice taste. It definitely tastes like something you would drink at a spa, and I bet it would be tasty cold as well.

Flavors: Grapefruit, Herbs, Mint, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72

Had to add the French name to this tea, otherwise I’d never find it and we’d get duplicates. Tried it both hot and cold, and I much preferred it hot. Like an almond marzipan, if you’re into that sort of thing? Not really my cup of tea.

Left boiled water to cool for an hour and then used it to steep this tea. Yes, the teapot was still hot to the touch, so I thought it about right.

Flavors: Almond, Marzipan

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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81
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
1221 tasting notes

A rich, thick vanilla tea, almost Chai like, but not quite… Almost like a spiced vanilla pudding . It’s more of a full bodied vanilla then anything. Preferred it as it cooled over when it was piping hot. Some astringency in the base.

Flavors: Astringent, Custard, Thick, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75
drank Be Cool by Kusmi Tea
1221 tasting notes

Found a Winter Collection box of Kusmi tea and had to grab it! This was the only herbal in there, and it was surprisingly delicious. Also, it put me to sleep on Christmas Eve, which is exactly what I needed!

Flavors: Licorice, Mint, Smooth

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dustin

Wow, it sounds like an interesting flavor combo!

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80
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
114 tasting notes

This is my first time trying any of Kusmi’s Teas! I took advantage of one of their free shipping/% off deals and boy am I glad that I did! I am not too much into Earl Grey nowadays, though I used to be a big ‘double bergamot’ person. Times have changed for me I suppose :P This is an Earl Grey with additional things to sweeten the pot. I really liked how both the tea and the other flavorings were able to sing the hearts out and not be drowned out by the baritone of the bergamot. Troika means Three in Russian, namely the team of three horses pulling a caravan. The three horses in this tea are what Kusmi considers the three ‘royal’ citrus fruits: Orange, Mandarin, and Bergamot. Luckily for me, all three are blended in a way so as all three never overpower the others. I really like the idea of these classic Russian-style blends and I can’t wait to try more!

Flavors: Bergamot, Brown Toast, Malt, Orange

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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76

Thanks to Nicole and this lovely sample she sent in her Christmas card, I was finally able to try a Kusmi tea.

I was quite busy at work while drinking this, but I very much noticed how smooth it was. It is very easy to drink. I seem to find bergamot to be soothing. This really makes me interested to try more of Kusmi’s takes on earl grey.

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92

Even though I’m not really feeling well enough to celebrate the holiday season, or even well enough to have a splash of egg nog with my bourbon, I have pulled out all of my delicious holiday teas. Today’s tea, Christmas Green Tea (Thé vert Rois Mages) from Kusmi Tea – Paris, is a blend of Chinese green teas that is flavored with vanilla, almond, orange, and spices with a sprinkle of rose petals thrown in for good measure. Once steeped, the tea is rich and creamy, very lightly spiced, and tastes like marzipan. There is the barest hint of sweet orange that comes out now and then. Orange can easily overpower the more delicate flavors in a blend. I love that it is noticeable, but not a dominant flavor. It lets the more delicate flavors, such as the rose petals, shine through. While the flavors of this tea may not evoke holiday memories for everyone, it tastes exactly like the orange blossom butter cookies my friend’s mother made every Christmas. I haven’t thought about those cookies in years.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/12/23/tuesday-tea-green-christmas-tea-kusmi-tea.html

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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