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Recent Tasting Notes

drank Tropical White by Kusmi Tea
569 tasting notes

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70
drank English Breakfast by Kusmi Tea
14 tasting notes

I have had several tins of this tea in the past and got a new one for Christmas in 2020. But this time, it tastes very different from the two other tins I have had. The other tins were maybe half as strong as it is this time. It used to be a medium-bodied blend, but now it is full-bodied and almost as strong as Yorkshire Tea or Typhoo and brews to a very dark brown color (like the color of coffee almost).

This blend consists of 75% Ceylon and 25% Assam.

It has plenty of oomph and body, but is lacking a little in the aroma and flavor department in my opinion. Compared to Harney & Sons’ English Breakfast, this tea definitely has more body and briskness but the Harney version is much more aromatic and refined – and much more enjoyable. This is still not bad but I find that it’s a little too bitter/strong/brisk and not aromatic enough. There is that classic plain black tea flavor with some maltiness, a grassy flavor and a subtle hint of smoke. But the flavors are somewhat muted.

I would recommend this tea if you like a strong, plain black tea that goes well with milk and if you prefer to have body and briskness over flavor and aroma. I am not amazed by it, but it is fine. Nothing special.

Dry leaves, appearance:
Relatively small broken black tea leaves (Ceylon and Assam) with no golden tips.

Dry leaves, aroma:
There is not too much aroma here. It smells like tea with a malty and grassy aroma.

Liquor:
Very dark brown.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grass, Malt, Smoke, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
929 tasting notes

Sample from a tea box. I enjoy the black base that Kusmi uses. Even when the flavors aren’t too exciting, the base still keeps me interested. This one tastes lightly of lemon (though apparently the ingredient is actually orange peel), but I mostly just taste the tea. You get more of the tang from the citrus than the flavor. Against my better judgement, I added milk, which just made it sort of weird. I’ve never made a Kusmi order, but I always enjoy coming across them in the wild!

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drank Tsarevna by Kusmi Tea
1039 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Day 24

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Kusmi advent and I don’t think I’d get it in future years. I didn’t find any of the blends that exciting, and there were none that I would repurchase. The advent was lovely, though and I enjoyed the cute little tins.

As for this blend. Another ‘meh’ for me. I’m mainly getting licorice and cinnamon. Not something I need more of.

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78
drank Tsarevna by Kusmi Tea
2092 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Calendar – Day 24

Ooh, an adorable little mini tin of this today! And the design is so cute, it matches the advent calendar – teal with gold foil accents. The dry leaf smells surprisingly fruity given it’s mostly a spice tea.

It’s pretty good. I do get the orange, though I feel like I’m tasting other fruits as well (none are listed). It’s a nice sweet orange, which is a pleasant change-up from most orange spice teas. It almost reminds me of those yummy orange slice gummies that are covered in sugar. There’s a soft anise note here as well, along with ginger, cinnamon, and clove. I really like that the clove isn’t the strongest spice, as I’m really bored of the whole “orange & clove” flavor profile. It’s a little Juicy Fruit-y, but I think that’s just a flavor that I tend to find when orange is combined with ginger…

As far as the Kusmi advent overall, it was definitely the prettiest of the bunch, with a lovely soft touch finish. I loved the detail of how the sachets were in perfectly-sized little recesses, with a raised border around them. I will say I was a bit disappointed in the selection, there were a few too many fruit tisanes, which I don’t think is representative of Kusmi’s offerings as a whole. And only Anastasia and White Anastasia for Russian blends! Where’s the St. Petersburg?! Anyway, the teas were certainly high quality, and the colorful wrappers put a smile on my face in the morning. I found the $45 price somewhat reasonable, especially with the two mini-tins.

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJMA9FugSnn/)

Flavors: Anise, Candy, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Licorice, Orange, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

I was thinking about getting the Kusmi one next year, but I really want to sample the Russian teas as well, so that is disappointing… I also simply don’t need more steeping stuff. But, I do like hibiscus fruit blends, which would be a good fit for me and have never tried that company before.

Cameron B.

I’m a little worried about the Russian blends since they’re making the switch to organic… Troika is no longer on the website, and Prince Vladimir and St. Petersburg haven’t shown up in new organic versions yet. I hope they’re still in the process of switching them over and they’re not going away for good. :(

Cameron B.

But I agree with you, the steeping stuff was lame

ashmanra

Oh no! I have wanted to order Troika! I hope it isn’t ruined!

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drank Tsarevna by Kusmi Tea
1435 tasting notes

Advent Day 24

Mini tin! Yay! I’m glad this was included in the advent. I had been wanting to try it. It has a really rich caramel scent. Spiced orange dominates the sip. Lots of clove and cardamom. This is pretty nice. It’s well rounded, flavorful, interesting and I get to have more cups of this because mini tin! The tin has the same pretty shades of teal that the advent has.

I’ve only had a few Kusmi teas before. Sweet Love was a really tasty chai and there was another smoky tea that I enjoyed. I was really hoping to get to try a wide variety of their blends in this advent and get a better ides of the company’s style, but I don’t feel like it was well represented. It felt like they were pushing the Lov brand blends a bit and I was hoping for more of their classics. The hibiscus really killed several days for me too. The packaging was gorgeous, there were two mini tins and a couple of tea accessories that someone new to tea would find useful. Overall it was a decent value and a fun experience.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I agree, I wish they had done more Russian blends at least.

Dustin

Did they do more of that last year and decide to mix it up for this advent? I’m going to have to pay more attention to the tea selection next year if I do their advent again.

Cameron B.

I have no idea, this is my first time getting this advent too.

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drank Only Spices by Kusmi Tea
2092 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Calendar – Day 23

Holy crap, Dustin wasn’t kidding, this is only licorice!

It’s a combination of fennel and licorice root. Not gonna lie, the fennel is really reminding me of Italian sausage right now… Which is kind of an odd connotation to have with a tea. The licorice roots comes in at the end with a big wallop of sweet anise flavor.

I do like licorice, but the beginning of the sip feels a little empty and I can’t stop thinking about sausage… Hmm…

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJJTedoAugd/)

Flavors: Anise, Fennel, Licorice, Powdered Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Only Spices by Kusmi Tea
1435 tasting notes

Advent Day 23

They should rename this Only Licorice. That way it’s a fair warning for lovers and haters of licorice. I’m a licorice lover, so I really enjoyed this. I has that slightly sweet finish and is all fennel when sipped. As much as I liked it, I’m not sure I’d pay Kusmi prices for a tin of it. I feel like there have to be more economical options for a similar flavor profile.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Courtney

Hahaha “only licorice”.

Mastress Alita

I would love an Only Licorice tea, hahaha.

Leafhopper

I love your name change, especially as I don’t like licorice. (Like hibiscus, it tends to be a polarizing flavour.)

Courtney

I just ordered the licorice tea from DF haha! I don’t think I’ve ever had one, so fingers crossed I’ll enjoy it.

Cameron B.

Was it Réglisse? I have that one!

Courtney

It was Cameron! I wasn’t going to order it, but Jessi said we could split the package and so I figured that would be okay.

Dustin

I just looked up that DF one. I don’t think I’ve seen a black based licorice tea! They are usually herbal or used in a chai where they aren’t a featured flavor.

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85
drank Tropical White by Kusmi Tea
2092 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Calendar – Day 22

I assume this is the same as the Mango-Passion Fruit white tea from Løv Organic, which I remember enjoying. I still have a couple of unopened boxes of sachets of the Peach-Blackcurrant version that was my favorite of the three. But I’m glad one of them made the transition to Kusmi! The aroma is a nice mix of passion fruit and mango, with the former dominating.

Yummy, this is quite good. I’m pleasantly surprised that I can taste the white base quite clearly, as the aroma was very strong on the flavoring. It’s a generic bai mudan with soft and mellow hay and grain notes and a hint of mustiness. There’s an unexpected minerality to it, and looking at the ingredients, I think it’s the green tea. The flavoring is very juicy and authentic, and I think I get the passion fruit more at the beginning of the sip, while the end reminds me of biting into a fresh mango. There’s a light creaminess in the aftertaste that reminds me of mango lassi, and a whisper of floral.

I like this one! I think I could do without the green tea, but that’s a minor criticism. I’m not sure I need this one in my cupboard however, just because I already have both passion fruit and mango teas that I really love…

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJG5NvpANyn/)

Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Floral, Grain, Hay, Mango, Mineral, Musty, Nectar, Passion Fruit, Sweet, Tropical

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

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drank Tropical White by Kusmi Tea
1435 tasting notes

Advent Day 22

Trying to focus on this tea and not on people being mean online, but there is so much negativity out there even in work related groups! I need to remember to stay in my cup. I’m liking the passionfruit scent and flavor. It dominates the sip for me. The mango comes out at the start of the finish and lingers for a long time. I bet this would be a great tea for summer cold steeping. This is a tea I think I would buy!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

A six year old student of mine told me today that a boy called her a “Fraidy Cat of the virus.” I told her I was sorry he did that and that he must have heard an adult say such things, but I thought she was being wise, and to just keep being her nice self even when others are not nice.

I didn’t tell her I wanted to slap the people who raise a child to talk that way.

Dustin

I’m glad she had you to balance out the boy’s comments! The pandemic seems to be bringing out the worst in people at times. :(

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drank AquaSummer by Kusmi Tea
1435 tasting notes

Advent Day 21

This is tart. I can taste peach beyond that, but the tartness really distracting. I’m hoping it backs off as it cools. I should have cold steeped this when I saw hibiscus. I know better. :/ It’s cooling slowly and I am impatient. The tart has mellowed out a bit, but not as much as I’d like. The finish is all peachy, which is nice. I’m giving up on this cup for the night. Maybe it will taste a little better in the morning.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75
drank AquaSummer by Kusmi Tea
2092 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Calendar – Day 21

What a pretty wrapper! It’s a lovely coral color.

It’s actually quite a bit blander than I expected, given that I used a small amount of water. It does have a nice peach candy flavor with a bit of tartness, it reminds me of slightly sour Peachie-Os. I can taste some apple as well, and a bit of apricot. There wasn’t a ton of hibiscus in my sachet, so it’s tart but not sour.

I do like the combination of peach and hibiscus here, so I’m happy to finish the cup.

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJELciWgFOJ/)

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Candy, Hibiscus, Peach, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mastress Alita

Sour Peachie-O’s sound amazing. I wonder if anyone makes a Peachie-O with like, the sweet’n’sour sugary stuff that is on other candies, like Sourpatch Kids…

Cameron B.

Yummm I would so eat those. My husband and I ordered a bunch of sour gummy candies a couple of months ago and we’re still making our way through them. XD

Mastress Alita

Probably as a surprise to no one, I absolutely love sour/tart gummy candies! (Gummy Worms, Sourpatch Kids…)

Cameron B.

I can’t say I’m shocked by that… ;)

I think Sour Punch Straws might be my favorite? But I also had some Sour Patch Strawberries recently that were amazing.

Mastress Alita

Man, I need to up my candy game and get some of these in my house!

tea-sipper

Yep, I’ve always been a fan of sour candy too, especially Sourpatch Kids. :D

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drank Darjeeling N°37 by Kusmi Tea
1435 tasting notes

Advent Day 20

What makes this N°37? Is it the 37th tea Kusmi offered? The 37th darjeeling they tried before they found the perfect one? Does it just sound fancy?

This is a lovely cup of tea. No astringency or bite, very light malty flavor. Slight tobacco finish. Light to moderate dry mouth feeling after each sip. It’s super easy to drink straight! A nice cup if you want something simple, but I don’t imagine it would be something I’d turn to if it were in my cupboard.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Sweet Break by Kusmi Tea
1039 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Day 15
I’m a bit behind on some of my advent teas. There are quite a few that I just haven’t been in the mood for.
This is pretty much as expected- hibiscus. It smells a bit buttery. Tastes like butter and hibiscus.

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78
drank Darjeeling N°37 by Kusmi Tea
2092 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Calendar – Day 20

Lots of black teas today! This is the only straight black so seemed a good choice for the morning. But then I had puglets in my lap while we were watching The Expanse, so it sat for a couple of hours before I actually drank it.

This is very mellow and tasty. There are a lot of white tea characteristics, including soft hay and oat notes and a light autumn leafy flavor. Slightly more malty than a white tea, however, and there are also some nice floral characteristics. I’m not sure I can identify muscatel notes in Darjeeling, but this does have a light golden raisin-like dried fruit note.

Very soft and pleasant, perfect for the afternoon!

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJBt5wqA7_Q/)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Hay, Malt, Oats, Raisins

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
AJRimmer

I love The Expanse! I’m still on the previous season, but I love how the women on this show are written, especially Bobbie, she’s the best.

Cameron B.

I love it too! Bobbie and Drummer are probably my favorite characters. :3

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Kusmi Advent Day 19
I’m finding this pretty average in flavor. Tastes like an English breakfast. But, it’s drying my mouth out quite a bit, which is really unpleasant.

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77

Kusmi Advent Day 7
So, this was actually my day 7 tea, and English breakfast showed up today. I waited until today to publish the note, as not to spoil it for anyone.
I was disappointed to see a rooibos this morning, as I generally dislike them. So, I brewed this as my first cup of the day to get it out of the way.
Smells like almond flavoring. I love almond flavored things. This is a good sign.
Tastes like rooibos and almond flavoring…but I like it? This is one of the few rooibos blends that the stick-y flavor of the rooibos working with the added flavor rather than competing with it. It’s pretty simple, but I’m really enjoying it, and I would actually consider repurchasing.

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Advent Day 19

This had a nice almond flavor to it. I happily drank the whole cup while chatting with some neighbors tonight. The rooibos seemed either pretty mellow or to blend into the almond enough that it wasn’t distracting. I also didn’t notice the rooibos dry mouth feel.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Kusmi Advent Calendar – Day 19

I’m kind of over almond-flavored teas at the moment, or at least marzipan/amaretto-tasting ones, so I’m not too excited for this… Dry scent is very amaretto.

Surprisingly, I’m actually finding this quite pleasant. It definitely does have an amaretto-like flavor to it, but it’s not too strong and I can still taste the woody, caramel-y rooibos underneath.

It’s certainly not something I’d buy, since this flavor just isn’t my jam, but I would definitely drink it again if offered.

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI_SUdFAQD3/)

Flavors: Alcohol, Almond, Caramel, Marzipan, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Advent Day 5

I skipped this tea a while back. Dry grass and citrus. That’s all I get. I’m totally not into it.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

This was Day 5, if you care to know. :P

Dustin

Ah ha! Thanks!

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drank Earl Grey by Kusmi Tea
1435 tasting notes

Advent Day 17

It’s an EG. It’s nice and smooth. Easy to drink straight. Tried adding some cream but the berg couldn’t hold up to it. It doesn’t stand out in the world of EG for me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Earl Grey by Kusmi Tea
1039 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Day 17
Much like the jasmine green from yesterday, I found this to be a pretty average earl grey. The bergamot was a bit too mild for my liking, and it just didn’t really standout as being anything special.

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60

Kusmi Advent Day 16
I love jasmine teas, and this one is pretty average. A bit of a hay flavor, and the jasmine is somewhat muted.

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80
drank Earl Grey by Kusmi Tea
2092 tasting notes

Kusmi Advent Calendar – Day 17

Interesting, I’m surprised to see this in the advent calendar. I mean, they have so many more interesting bergamot teas with their Russian Blends. I think we’ve only seen Anastasia (and the white version) so far so I hope they’ve at least included St. Petersburg somewhere in here… Looking at the website, it looks like they may not even carry Troika anymore, which is a shame.

I was surprised to see a recommendation of 190°F on the wrapper, so I figured I’d follow it. It came out rather tasty. The bergamot is subtler than I expected, and the base tea has a nice smooth malty and woody flavor to it. There’s definitely Ceylon here, and I’m wondering if there are others as well. I taste a soft earthiness that says Chinese black tea to me. Anyway, it’s a mellow black base but still has a good flavor. The bergamot is lovely and light with bright citrus notes.

Very tasty! Though I don’t think I’d ever have a reason to want a plain Earl from Kusmi

(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI56irkAw4b/)

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Earth, Malt, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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