Imperial Label

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Cinnamon, Green Tea, Licorice Root, Orange Flavoring, Sea Buckthorn Berries, Vanilla
Flavors
Cinnamon, Licorice, Orange, Vanilla
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Sivasubramanian
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 g 8 oz / 239 ml

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25 Tasting Notes View all

From Kusmi Tea

Chinese sencha tea flavored with orange, cinnamon, vanilla, liquorice root and sea buckthorn. Inspired by a traditional Russian drink called sbiten.
This magic blend was exclusively created for Kiehl’s in 2009.

Main flavor: Orange, cinnamon, vanilla and liquorice.

About Kusmi Tea View company

Company description not available.

25 Tasting Notes

67
2542 tasting notes

This tea is so incredibly fickle…I keep trying to do different things with it to hit some magic steeping parameter that will cause me to adore it. This afternoon I used a scant half teaspoon in an 8 oz mug and this is the best yet. I just think the herbs and flavorings are so strong a little goes a long way.

Not sure if I will finish the 4 oz. tin in my lifetime… :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Nicole

I wish they had less than 4 ounces available.

TeaBrat

If you want to swap for some, let me know!

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1298 tasting notes

I got this sample tin out of a basket last time I was in Fru P. I hadn’t seen her having Kusmi samples before, so I had a look through. This was the only one that I hadn’t tried before or didn’t know would be an instant dislike, so I let the promise of vanilla in the ingredients list seduce me.

This smells like soap at first. Then, when the assault on my nostrils dies down a bit, I can recognise it as largely cinnamon. Charm the Cat seems to find it unbelievably stinky. This stuff has just cost me a lap-Charm, and that’s a pretty rare beast to begin with. One whiff, and she left.

I can’t decide about the flavour. It’s sort of hovering smack dab in the middle between ‘eurg soap!’ and ‘pleasant actually.’ It’s mostly cinnamon, but fairly smooth. I can sort of pick up vanilla and citrus, but not in the way that I can taste them as such. More in the way that it feels like this is what is tempering the cinnamon. The licorice root shows up as a sweet afterthought on the swallow, but that’s all.

I really don’t know about this stuff. I’m going to withhold rating for now because I feel very ambivalent about it. I honestly can’t tell you if I like it or not.

Ysaurella

it is the only Kusmi I wanted to try. I’m not a fan of the brand but this one was appealing… not sure I am so hurry to have it now :)

Courtney

Does she have Fauchon amidst her tea samples by any chance? :)

TeaBrat

This is a great blend to drink when you’re sick with a sore throat :)

Angrboda

Ysaurella, I’ve had some fairly good experiences with Kusmi. I love their caramel and the smoky earl grey. :)

Courtney, I doubt it. I’d have to study the shelves closer, but I doubt it. Kusmi is pretty much the only one of the French brands that are available here. Anna sent me a couple of Fauchon samples recently though.

TeaBrat, I tend to prefer herbal things under such circumstances, especially minty things. Real tea just tastes peculiar when I’m ill. :)

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75
396 tasting notes

I abandoned this mug after making it and learned that this tea is actually better cold than hot. The citrus flavor really comes out and makes for a nice, refreshing drink. Good for summer, but also a nice accompaniment to a Mediterranean meal any time of year.

Thanks for the taste, oOTeaOo!

EDIT: This yields a nice second steep.

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86
175 tasting notes

Orange + vanilla + liquorice = Good. Really good. Really really good.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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96
30 tasting notes

Love it. While I can’t taste much Sencha (or tea at all, really) in it, it definitely has a strong flavour that borders on sweet without crossing the dessert line. Smells as good as it tastes. I’ll definitely purchase this again.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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60
62 tasting notes

The first thing you’ll probably notice about the tea is the smell. It’s pretty much just citrus when dry, but when brewed and hot, it smells like some kind of beautiful cake. I couldn’t stop smelling it. It smells like cinnamon and orange and something vanilla-like. It’s such a good smell! Unfortunately, the flavour isn’t really a match for it. I’m sad about that, because if it were, I could drink it all day.

For me, the tea required more steeping than recommended. This may have been problematic: some reviews elsewhere said it needed no sweetening because of the licorice, but I beg to differ— mine was bitter and the flavour was just kind of dull with no sweetener, and the spices weren’t being brought out. When sweetened, the cinnamon and liquorice spice element can’t be ignored whereas before it was kind of just a nondescript spicy, herbal “vibe.” I think mostly this tea is yet another reflection of the fact that orange and spice consistently mix badly in teas. That’s unexpected (they can mix well in baking and perfumery, for instance), but this is not the first time I’ve felt this way. On that note, maybe part of my negative impression is based on the fact that it reminds me of Teekanne’s Oriental Spice Tea, which was literally the worst tea I’ve ever had in my life. Fortunately, this tea was nowhere near the trainwreck that was, but the base flavours of orange, cinnamon, and vanilla are common to the two. I’m going to try to stop thinking about that fact now, because the memory of the Teekanne tea seriously haunts me and it’s making me disgusted.

This tea has some stellar reviews around the Net, but I found it just okay. It wasn’t unpleasant or undrinkable, but the large amounts of liquorice and cinnamon gave it kind of a herbal, bitter, spicy, medicinal taste. At times some of those characteristics can be positive, but when you combine them all, as has been done here, I don’t think it’s a recipe for success. One strange thing was that, and I don’t know if it was just the combination of the spices or something, I could’ve sworn something tasted a bit cardamom-y. Normally, that would appeal to me, but in this kind of brew, it wasn’t a selling point. Those strong, medicinal-smelling spices like cardamom or liquorice with chai spices and soy milk? Sign me up. Those spices in a thinner, bitter brew? Hmmm, I’ll pass.

If I had some of this tea given to me (or got another couple of bags of it in a Kusmi selection pack), I’d drink it (because it’s not too bad and I love tea), but I wouldn’t buy a tin of it based on what I’ve tasted (based on what I’ve smelled? Well….) It wasn’t wholly unappealing, so if strong spices with some orange sound good to you, you should still give it a try.

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100
15 tasting notes

Yay, now I am going the review my all-time favorite tea, Imperial Label. It’s so good, everyone who hasn’t tried it, please try it. It’s a damn, fucking unbelieveable tea.
The dry leaf smells of orange (fresh and zesty orange), cinnamon (hot and spicy), and has an ever so lightly vanilla scent to it. In one word: GOD-LIKE!
The steeped tea’s smell is lighter on the orange, and slightly heavier on the cinnamon/vanilla. The color is light green, with no yellow glow at all, but is SLIGHTLY unclear…
The steeped tea’s taste is orangey, cinnamon-y and vanilla-y. Strongest on the orange and lightest on the vanilla. It’s just a hint of vanilla, not overpowering and sweet. The aftertaste is quite liquorice-like, as you would expect, and for a Scandinavian like me, it’s a pure delight, when things contain liquorice (we in Denmark eats a hell of an amount of liquorice, the salty one the most). Combine the liquorice aftertaste with the warmth of cinnamon, and the freshness of orange peel, and you have something truly amazing. The sencha tea itself is aromatic, rich, unbitter and unanstringent. This tea is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.
Wouldn’t change a thing at all.

Overview:

Appearance: Dark green sencha needles, pieces of liquorice root and dried sea buckthorn berries. A very few cardamom seeds.
Dry tea-smell: Fresh and zesty orange, spicy cinnamon and sweet vanilla.
Color: Slightly unclear light green color.
Brewed tea-smell: Cinnamon, orange and vanilla.
Taste: Exciting sencha tea, the freshness of orange, the warmth of cinnamon and the sweetness of vanilla. Slighty tart due to the sea buckthorn berries.

Undoubtly the best tea I have tasted in my life!!!

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70
711 tasting notes

I have to say, I was a little scared when I read the ingredients on this one… Orange and vanilla (yum), cinnamon (meh), licorice root (his royal evilness), and sea buckthorn berries (…whaaaaat…?). This tea visually has the most “stuff” in it that I’ve seen from Kusmi – I’m assuming it’s chopped licorice root and the berries. The dry leaf smell is bizarre. There are obvious (and very powerful) cinnamon and licorice scents, but for some reason the overall smell reminds me of bubblegum…? There’s also definitely a sharp orange oil note. Smelling this tea made me sneeze – I think my nose thought he was under attack so he activated his ultimate defense. Yes, my nose is apparently a dude… Anyway, I brewed it at 175 for 3 minutes.

The aroma of the brew was much less worrying. It still smelled chiefly of cinnamon and licorice, but there was no bubblegum. I could also pick out the orange and a slight whiff of vanilla. Tasting it hot, the cinnamon and licorice kind of combine into one flavor and there’s a slight undertone of orange. I thought this isn’t so bad, added a bit of sugar, and let it cool a bit. Somewhere in the warm-hot range, I started tasting a lot more orange and vanilla, and it became a kind of spiced creamsicley tea. However, as it cooled past a certain point, I started to taste mostly licorice. Or should I say l-ick-orice? I read in a tasting note that this is better iced, but I can’t imagine how if it’s going to taste like eau de licorice root. I may or may not try it. Overall, this tea is not as bad as I thought it would be, but I would enjoy it more if it had more orange and vanilla flavor. Also, I don’t taste the actual tea in this at all. It seems like a strange flavor profile for a green, I would peg this description for a black tea.

P.S. – I was tempted to put “Sea Buckthorn Berries” in the flavors just to be a smartass, but it wasn’t there. No fair!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Licorice, Orange, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

i have a sample of it and im planning to make it as chai

Cameron B.

Oh, how do you go about doing that? Just brew it with additional spices?

boychik

Steep it in simmering milk and add some sugar or maple syrup to taste, I dunno maybe like 5 -7 min

Cameron B.

Sounds tasty, I’ll have to try that sometime. Thanks. :D

TeaBrat

I find that less is more with this one. I like it better when it’s underleafed a bit because the flavor is so strong.

Cameron B.

Do you still get the orange and vanilla at all? I found them to be very subtle even with the amount of tea that I used.

TeaBrat

I find the licorice is so strong it kind of obscures everything else. This was great when I had a bad cold last year though!

yyz

I kind of drink this as a detox tea, as the licorice and sea buckthorn have medicinal properties, so does the cinnamon. I also like licorice, soi don’t mind this one.

boychik

Oops I take my words back, I just noticed it has green base. No hot milk but maybe cold coconut milk or almond milk and sugar to get all the flavors together.

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90
350 tasting notes

Added a teaspoon of honey.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
Amy Alice

Wow nice one.I will try this for sure. Such a easy and nice process.Thanks for this.

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1574 tasting notes

This is really interesting! Thanks, MissB!

Sadly the licorice/liquorice does ruin it for me. I like the orange and vanilla for sure. Some honey was added to see if I could moderate the licorice aftertaste. Sadly, nope. It’s way too much for me.

Thanks for giving me a chance to try the tea, but it is definitely not something I want to drink again!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
CHAroma

Hmm, that actually sounds like a really great combo. Sorry you didn’t like it. :(

OMGsrsly

It would be great without the licorice root aftertaste. :) The other flavours are fantastic, and it didn’t steep bitter or anything.

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