drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
1188 tasting notes

After my last cup of tea I ate dinner, and I still haven’t done the weight workout. It’s because I need a caffeine boost first. Otherwise how can I possibly be expected to “just do it”! Yeah, that’s the ticket. So I’m going to have another cup of tea.

I wanted a Kusmi for some reason, and I couldn’t decide which one so I did a little bit of a GM sampler redux here and just stuck my hand in among the black teas until I got a Kusmi. This was the one that came up.

I’ve decided I really need to read War and Peace so I’m in a sort of a Russified mood, and so it was somewhat fitting that this Russian sampler one came up. The Kusmi samplers are in itty bitty tins that look like baby versions of the bigger ones. Is it just me, or does anyone else get a Fancy Feast vibe from these itty bitty cans?

In the itty bitty can, Anastasia smells flowery and citrusy in that French perfume sort of way that many of the French teas seem to have. I definitely smell lemon, and the bergamot is there but seems like it’s sitting in the back seat. I am coming to believe that when one puts lemon with bergamot, the lemon will always come to the fore. This is, in any case, my working hypothesis.

Deep mahogany liquor. A very ceylon aroma, sweet molasses smell. There’s a fruity smell but it’s not wholly citrus. It’s more of a sort of dark berry smell I’ve smelled in Ceylons before with citrus around the edges. It’s like someone rolled a berry in a primarily lemon coating that had some orange sprinkled in.

I was expecting a strong fruit flavor but I’m really not getting that at all. It does have a sort of Earl Grey feel, but only in a tangential way. The main citrus flavor is lemon, and it adds a bright little sparkle, but it isn’t overly strong. I like the lemon in this. It’s not too tart or soapy.

But there’s more to the fruit than the citrus. I get a sort of a berry flavor to the tea as well. The tea is generally smooth with a little bit of bite right at the end every few sips. It’s not really full bodied, but it gives the impression of being that way.

It’s a really interesting tea, somewhat surprising. I wasn’t really expecting to like it, but I do. I will have to taste it against the TeaFrog Earl Grey Special just for laughs when my TeaFrog order arrives.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Fancy Feast! LOL! I will forever think of that when I see the lil kusmis!

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Fancy Feast! LOL! I will forever think of that when I see the lil kusmis!

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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