100

Classic tea. Bouquet of Flowers No. 108, created in 1880 by Pavel Kousmishoff in St. Petersburg, Russia to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Elizabeth, is Kusmi Tea’s oldest blend. It was the favorite tea of Tsar Nicholas II. Fast forward 136 years later and 7000 miles west to a Russian tea lover in Richmond, Virginia, USA. It is a sunny springtime Sunday afternoon and I am feeling a bit nostalgic today. April in Virginia is glorious! Drinking Bouquet of Flowers just seems right as I gaze thankfully into the garden at my flowers that survived last night’s frost – Hopefully our last! I think that the odd spring cold snap must have put me in the mood for something Russian.

I love all things floral and I especially love floral teas. A brazen, unapologetic floral fiend I am! That said, I honestly think that many folks with floral fears in regard to tea might just find this tea to be quite acceptable.

The dry leaf smells mostly of lavender, and there is a hauntingly pleasant woody scent that calls to my mind the smell of an old antiques shop or, perhaps, the library of an old English country estate. That kind of woody scent. There is a bit of spicey sweetness in the fragrance that lingered into the three minute steep.

Flavor wise, the tea base of Ceylonese, Chinese and Indian tea creates a very smooth base, with a pleasant bit of bread and malt, along with the woody note. The main floral note is lavender, but it is not overwhelming or perfumey. I also detected a hint of sweet violet. The citrus components from the bergamot, mandarin, lemon and lime work very well to keep the floral components in check.

This is a tea of masterful synchronicity. Everything comes together just right to produce the classic cup of Imperial Russian tea. It makes a fabulous afternoon tea – Great with sweets! The fact that Bouquet of Flowers No. 108 has been around for over 130 years says something. I am surprised that this tea is not more highly rated. As far as I’m concerned, if it was good enough for Tsar Nicholas II it is certainly good enough for little old me.

Flavors: Bergamot, Bread, Citrus, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Malt, Sweet, Violet, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
White Antlers

As a person with floral fears in regard to tea, I loved this review! Thank you.

Teatotaler

Thank you, Whiteantlers! I’d bet that this antique tea would compliment your antique European tea ware beautifully! :)

White Antlers

You’re right, and I am going to acquire some. I tip my hat to your masterful enabling. :)

ashmanra

I need this tea.

Teatotaler

I’m running dangerously low on this and plan to order some myself, otherwise I would gladly send some samples your way, Whiteantlers and Ashmanra. it just so happens that Kusmi is having a 20% off sale this week on all orders of $35.00 and over. That’s a perfect excuse for me to pick up some of their Samovar blend too – I’ve been dying to try it!
Ashmanra, I really enjoy reading about your tea parties!

White Antlers

Teatotaler, I am making that purchase this and appreciate you letting us know about the nice discount. As for your love of traveling, please know you are always welcome to have tea and good food with me if you are in Philadelphia. :)

Teatotaler

I will definitely do that, Whiteantlers – Thank you! I would like to extend the same invitation to you if you are ever in Richmond. :)

White Antlers

That’s very kind and I would be delighted to call on you if I am there! :)

ashmanra

I looked at A Southern Season yesterday and they only had one Kusmi tea left. Just one tin. And it looks like they have greatly reduced their stock of teas. Sad! I guess it will have to be a mail order! The Violet tea has me intrigued. Thanks for the sale tip!

Teatotaler

My pleasure, Ashmanra. Kusmi’s Violet is a splendid tea! Positively splendid – Like drinking violet candy!

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Comments

White Antlers

As a person with floral fears in regard to tea, I loved this review! Thank you.

Teatotaler

Thank you, Whiteantlers! I’d bet that this antique tea would compliment your antique European tea ware beautifully! :)

White Antlers

You’re right, and I am going to acquire some. I tip my hat to your masterful enabling. :)

ashmanra

I need this tea.

Teatotaler

I’m running dangerously low on this and plan to order some myself, otherwise I would gladly send some samples your way, Whiteantlers and Ashmanra. it just so happens that Kusmi is having a 20% off sale this week on all orders of $35.00 and over. That’s a perfect excuse for me to pick up some of their Samovar blend too – I’ve been dying to try it!
Ashmanra, I really enjoy reading about your tea parties!

White Antlers

Teatotaler, I am making that purchase this and appreciate you letting us know about the nice discount. As for your love of traveling, please know you are always welcome to have tea and good food with me if you are in Philadelphia. :)

Teatotaler

I will definitely do that, Whiteantlers – Thank you! I would like to extend the same invitation to you if you are ever in Richmond. :)

White Antlers

That’s very kind and I would be delighted to call on you if I am there! :)

ashmanra

I looked at A Southern Season yesterday and they only had one Kusmi tea left. Just one tin. And it looks like they have greatly reduced their stock of teas. Sad! I guess it will have to be a mail order! The Violet tea has me intrigued. Thanks for the sale tip!

Teatotaler

My pleasure, Ashmanra. Kusmi’s Violet is a splendid tea! Positively splendid – Like drinking violet candy!

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Bio

“Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.” – George Orwell

Darjeeling is the tea that inspired me to begin my beautiful journey through the wide world of tea and will always reign supreme in my tea pantry! My first tea love, so to speak. I positively adore a truly great Darjeeling – Especially a good muscatel second flush! Autumn flush Darjeelings, I believe, have been under appreciated. I quite love them as well.

Indian tea is my overall preference, and second only to Darjeeling comes my next great tea love – Assam. Assam tea, especially a great second flush, single estate Assam can be exquisite. A malty, fruity and sweet, high quality, tippy Assam with subtle notes of cocoa sends me into tea ecstasy!

Apart from Indian tea, I cannot resist an excellent Keemun or Yunnan Dianhong tea. I must also admit to an appreciation of fine Ceylon teas – Especially high-grown Ceylons and top drawer low grown Ceylons like New Vithanakande – Fantastic! Ceylon teas make superb iced tea, I think.

As far as scented teas go I particularly love Earl Grey tea blends as well as black currant, vanilla, caramel, almond, floral and spice flavored teas. There is nothing better than a really good Masala chai!

I tend to enjoy rich and robust breakfast blends too – Love a nice English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast tea. Though I generally stay away from most bagged teas, I think that Yorkshire Tea, especially Yorkshire Gold, from Taylors of Harrogate is a delicious British brew!

I’m quite fond of various herbal teas too – Crazy about rooibos!

Organic tea is my preference whenever possible.

Location

Richmond, Virginia, USA

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