Oh my God. This tastes like cigarettes. Like wet cigarettes or something. I can’t believe a tea this afwul is made by Kusmi! Christ on a cracker, this is just vile. It doesn’t get the lowest possible score because there’s a very slight hint of lemongrass in the smell and taste, and I like lemongrass, but the tea’s basically not good in any way at all. This was undrinkable, and I don’t often come across teas I can say that about. Don’t let the pleasant citrussy dry smell fool you—it’s really bad.
I’ve tried this again today because I got another of the Kusmi variety packs and I didn’t want to just write it off based on the first bad experience (time heals all wounds, right?) No, though. This tea is offensively bad. When it’s dry, it smells fine. In the first minute of steeping, it smells okay. After that, and into the recommended 5 minute steeping time, it becomes completely foul. I actually can’t even believe how bad this tastes. Hot, cold, unsweetened, sweetened. Nothing fixes it. It smells like stale cigarettes and tastes like a bitter, watery form of the same. It’s a bit deceptive, because if you have the tea in a hot, sweetened for, when you take a sip, it seems for a fraction of a second like this is a lemongrass tea. Then that cigarette flavour makes itself heard. Arghhhh. I tried to really give it more of a go, but even as you raise the cup to your mouth, it’s like breathing in cigarette ash. As it cools, the cigarette-y flavour just gets worse and worse, though there’s not that scent wafting effect like when the tea is hot.
I feel bad wasting tea, but this cup of tea and my unopened second sachet of it from this sampler are going in the garbage. I think what added to the disappointment I felt with this tea was that I really love lemongrass and dry, it genuinely smelled like it would be very lemongrass-y. You can still smell that in the brewed tea a bit, but it’s very much overridden by that cigarette aspect. Even the squeezed-out bag smells quite lemongrass-y, so just where is the lemongrass flavour going, Kusmi?!
I poured this out in the sink in my room and now from a combination of the steam from the tea having gone into the air in the room and the liquid having gone down the sink in the room, there’s a faint cigarette smell in here. It’s truly disgusting.