Kusmi Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

82

Green tea bags. You can see the rolled up green tea inside the muslin. Gum like spearmint and green tea that’s almost unnoticeable until the very end of cup, this actually tastes fine. This is the best one of the teas I bought from Kusmi, didn’t notice astringency or smokiness.

sold for $12.90 / 20 bags

https://www.kusmitea.com/us/spearmint-green-tea-organic-VMENBIOMASTER.html?v=21651A1120

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69

Mate & green tea blend, I have the tea bag version of this. I don’t believe in detoxing, I purely buy tea for the taste, and what am I tasting…? The tea smells like caesar salad dressing and taste vaguely lemony with a bit smoke on the tongue, not repulsive, but not exactly flavorful. Yet this is still not the worst Kusmi tea I’ve had, that title goes to their rose green tea. I really want to like this brand but they are making it hard.

sold for $11.99/ 20 bags

https://www.kusmitea.com/us/detox-organic-DETOBIOMASTER.html?v=21640A1120

ashmanra

That sounds awful!

cathychiaolin

If it tastes like a salad it must be healthy! Probably what they were going for lol

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drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
1711 tasting notes

Grabbed my travel tea pouch to take with me on a weekend away and pulled this from it. It smells faintly of gingerbread cookies. The kind made with molasses, giving it a deep rich taste. This tea tastes like gingerbread too. The citrus really isn’t standing out for me over the ginger and it doesn’t look like ginger is a prominent ingredient. The cup was a little astringent and sharp when I first started sipping, but it mellowed out as I sipped further. I’m enjoying this cup while trying to ignore the two day migraine that won’t leave me alone and back off.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

Kusmi’s Russian blends are so nostalgic for me, they were some of the first teas I remember trying here on Steepster, many moons ago… :3

gmathis

Mmmm! Now racking my brain to determine (a) have I ever tried a molasses flavored tea? and (b) do I have any molasses in the cupboard?

Dustin

The first teas I remember doing tasting notes on were Teavana teas. That was my gateway brand into the world of looseleaf and away from grocery store bags.
You know… I don’t think I’ve had a tea intentionally flavored with molasses! That would be a fun flavor to see layered in more often.

Cameron B.

Harney’s Gingerbread Festival has a molasses note to me.

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77
drank Earl Grey by Kusmi Tea
39 tasting notes

Earl grey black tea. I have the tea bag version. This tea is a little too light for my liking. The bergamot is there, the black tea is there, and that’s about it. There are no major flaws with this earl grey though I wish the black tea base has more interesting notes. The tea is not astringent or bitter. The tea bag did not offer much flavor for the second cup.

sold for $9.90/20 bags

https://www.kusmitea.com/us/earl-grey-organic-EARLBIOMASTER.html?v=21641A1120

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86

Heavy floral perfume. Like a perfumerie. Sitting on top of a nice earl grey. Not sure it integrates well enough to make me want to come back for more. Maybe a little over the top.

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91
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
120 tasting notes

Seductive caramel and red berry notes on nose— very pretty— layered on earl grey base. Sumptious palate, though it might be a bit thin in places. Very good, overall.

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87
drank Earl Grey by Kusmi Tea
120 tasting notes

I think this is a decent cup of earl grey, not sure I agree with the negative reviews. Tasted v. Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme, which is a favorite, the nose is slightly toastier, rounder; not as much bergamot but this holds up admirably.

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91
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
120 tasting notes

Really pretty vanilla, clove and allspice notes in addition to caramel. A truly interesting earl grey variation.

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83
drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
120 tasting notes

Pronounced lemon oil aroma on open of dry leaves. Nose on steep is rich with some of the classic earl grey roundness and gentle floral quality (coneflower? Vanilla?). On palate it is a little stiff and not as nuanced. My least favorite of the Kusmi earl grey variations.

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67

A floral green tea. It does taste like flower but the green tea base is astringent to the point of being soapy. I would like to see if a black tea version of this would work better.

sold for $15.80/3.5oz

https://www.kusmitea.com/us/green-rose-organic-VROSBIOMASTER.html?v=21646A1050

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drank White Bellini by Kusmi Tea
3205 tasting notes

Sipdown!

This was a tea Ashman got for Christmas. The first time I made it, it was so astringent I could hardly drink it. I decided to try it at 160F for 3 minutes and Ashman loved it. Although he has had it hot a few times, it mostly was used for his sweet iced tea that he takes to work each day.

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drank White Bellini by Kusmi Tea
3205 tasting notes

March Sipdown Challenge – March 2 drink a boozy tea for International Irish Whiskey Day!

I thought I had written a prompt I couldn’t fulfill, since I did a sipdown on my O’Connor’s Cream a while back. (That one is a repurchase as soon as I sip down enough to justify adding a tea! Thankfully, Tin Roof Teas carries it so it will be easy to get.)

I went through my cupboard on here because rootling through the real thing was daunting, and discovered two teas that could qualify – this one that was a Christmas gift from Superanna to Ashman, and Jingle Bells, which purports to have champagne or sparkling white wine flavor – I forget which. It is awesome.

I went with White Bellini because I was in the mood for something lighter.

This one requires careful steeping for us. When I made it by their directions, it was good but very astringent. So astringent Ashman mentioned it. So I started steeping it at the incredibly low temp of 160F, like a matcha, and he loves it this way. I prefer it this way, too. The astringency is gone and the peach and apricot flavors come out just right, not KAPOW in your face and strong (which can be good when you want that strong flavor like with Harney’s Apricot Black, which is yummy, too) but well-blended, well-balanced, and refreshing on the palate with gentle briskness. You definitely taste the peach and apricot both and they are identifiable, not generic fruitiness.

I am drinking it hot on this rainy but warm March day, but I have already tried it iced and sweetened and it is great that way, too.

Cameron B.

Is it bad that I never even look at recommended steeping instructions ha ha? Kusmi’s “white” teas are tricky in that they’re actually a blend of white and green, so I always steep them at a green tea temp also.

ashmanra

Cameron B: That was my mistake the first time I made it! I saw the name and assumed it was all white tea. The green in this needs delicate handling!

Cameron B.

To be fair, it’s a pretty misleading way to name their teas ha ha…

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drank White Bellini by Kusmi Tea
3205 tasting notes

I did not initially see that this is a white and green tea mix and I made the first cup with water that was a bit too hot -around 185F. It was good but astringent, so I checked the can, saw the green and their recommendation to go with 175F, and decided to dial it back even a bit more to 160F.

Ashman, Melissa, and I all liked it this way. Melissa (one of the many with that username here on Steepster, I think!) said it reminded her of Madame Butterfly from Gurman’s in Dublin, and that is one of her all time favorite teas.

This is very peachy and fruity. It will be easy to drink down this gift from Superanna!

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September Sipdown Prompt – write a love note while drinking tea

I was about eight hours late getting this one done, but my note went to my best friend who is one of the strongest and best women I know. Her note included a sample of Birthday Cake Blend by Simpson & Vail since she loved her last sample so much. I suspect she will order some soon but in the meantime I wanted her to enjoy another big mug of it. Her note is written in a seasonal vintage notecard from boxes of stationary that I saved from my husband’s childhood home after his mother passed away.

This tea that I am drinking, Bouquets of Flowers if you have the tin turned one way and Bouquet de Fleurs the other, is a morning favorite of mine although I see it has a few poor reviews here.

I like floral tea and the bergamot isn’t too strong, not strong enough to hit blergamot territory. The base is a little tart and drying if you are drinking it without having food, but that could probably be remedied with a bit of sugar and/or milk if you don’t like that.

Michelle

There aren’t enough love notes in this world, I’m sure she enjoyed it!

beerandbeancurd

This is so lovely, I trust your friend feels incredibly loved.

Please send me all the blergamot.

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August Sipdown Prompt – a tea with orange flavor

I am going to drink two teas with orange flavor because the other one really just needs to be sipped down already.

This one is not a sipdown, but it is one I don’t serve when Ashman is home because he is not a big bergamot fan, though he will tolerate it if there are other flavors. That really makes tea hang around when I am the only one drinking it! It is not one I would consider a shelf staple but it is one I am happy to drink. In this flavor category, I think I would get Magic from Gurman’s as a replacement.

This tea has a lot of bad reviews, but I like it. Mostly I love the aroma of the dry leaves and the liquor. Lots of people get “soap” from it, but I don’t. I feel like the orange and mandarine aromas are strong in mine and I like that. I really enjoy it with breakfast. I am considering mixing this with Fortmason from Fortnum and Mason, which is okay but lacks dimension. I think the addition of this tea to it would make Fortmason more interesting.

The base is lightly brisk which always makes it nice with food to me.

One thing I dislike is Kusmi’s new tin design. The lids are too loose and I foresee lots of tea spillage accidents in their future. The old tins were very similar but somehow the lids were much more secure.

Cameron B.

It’s been ages since I tried this one, but I don’t even remember the orange! Then again, I don’t generally enjoy florals so that element was probably too much for me. :P

Cameron B.

Oh, and I agree, the lids on their new tins are awful! Not sure whose idea that was… .

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I am so surprised to see bad reviews for this tea, but I notice that most of them are from people who hate either bergamot or lavender. I like both of those things on the right base, so this bides well for me.

The aroma of this tea is heavenly to me. I could bring the tin to my bedside and sniff it until I fall asleep and dream sweet dreams.

I was surprised to see that they recommend 195F water and since my kettle just had 190 or 200, I went with 190F. Next time around I will try 200F to bring out more of the base tea flavor. My only criticism is I wanted more base tea flavor and I think that is fixable with either time, temp, or leaf amount.

Something about this also reminds me a little bit of Perseus from The ODor.

I did not find the bergamot to be too strong. I don’t like super strong bergamot and when I do have bergamot I prefer it on a Chinese base. The main scent to me is fruity candy. A big sniff of the tin brings to mind a wonderful tangerine tea I had long ago plus American Smarties. I have heard of a powder candy in Britain they refer to as sherbet but seems to be something they dip lollies in. That might be similar to the flavor of our Smarties, so if anyone has tried both things, please let me know if they compare! Layer that with lavender and bergamot. If that doesn’t appeal to you, may I have your tin, please?

I am so happy right now.

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70
drank Tsarevna by Kusmi Tea
961 tasting notes

AJRimmer Advent Day 21

To be honest, I drank this in a hurry on my way out the door this morning. It came across as a pretty basic chai blend…enjoyable, but not memorable.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

1.25tsp steeped 4 minutes in 80C water, drunk bare.

Okay, first off: I over-steeped this. Instructions suggest 3-4 minutes, but 4 may be too long for the green in this blend, which I’m finding bitter. Adding some water really helps there; I’ll do a shorter steep next time.

Apart from the self-inflicted and easily-solved bitterness, this is a beautiful mint green tea. The spearmint scent on the dry leaf is strong, almost overpowering. The steeped tea is much more balanced between what looks and tastes like a gunpowder green and gorgeous, vibrant spearmint.

Mint can help clear my head, so I am finding this a grounding, soothing cuppa.

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90

6.5 tsp for 1200mL water, steeped four minutes 30 seconds at 90C in a Breville, with the basket set to go uppy-downy.

I’ve reviewed this gorgeous blend as a bag in a cup, after which I promptly ordered myself a tin. I’ve just made a pot of it in my Breville, and the scent is wafting everywhere!

Brewed from loose leaf in a pot: everything I’ve said before, only even better. The licorice — very subtle — and the balance of spices, orange, and tea are nigh-on perfection.

I had my doubts about the hype around Kusmi teas, doubly so about the hype around Tsareva. I am happy to say I was wrong.

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90

1 sachet for 250mL water 90C steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

So I had one lone little sachet of Tsarevna as a free sample in a recent Kusmi order. Ho hum, I thought, another spiced black tea, probably just some stale cinnamon. Another spiced black tea with orange — Stash is hard to beat there. Another chai wannabe that just fails. Another …

Then I opened the sachet.

Somehow, Tsarevna smells like no other orange spiced black tea I’ve ever had.

The licorice is really good here, subtle (for liquorice) and playing support for the other flavours: sweet, sweet oranges with no bitter pith, really warm cinnamon, and some cardamom.

It’s not a chai. It’s not an orange spiced tea. It’s entirely itself.

The tea base is light and not at all tannic, light-bodied, no bitterness or astringency, so I’m gonna guess it’s a China black tea. And that’s just fine, because the tea plays well with the orange and spices, and, most amazingly, neither dominates the other.

Impressed.

ashmanra

Sounds nice!

Michelle Butler Hallett

I promptly ordered myself a tin of it.

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85

2.5 tsp for a 500mL pot, water at 90C, steeped 4 min 30 seconds, drunk bare.

WOW.

Dark copper liquor, almost red, definitely India tea in the base as well as China, maybe some Ceylon heft and smoothness? This blend’s got bergamot oil, orange oil, and, unusually, mandarin oil, which really lifts this blend into something special. The citrus notes dance; the tea base soothes and fortifies.

This is my favourite yet from Kusmi … and it was only available in refill bags instead of a tin, so I’m worried it might be on the chopping block. I’d happily serve this at a holiday gathering, and I’d also happily drink it every day. And I’d most certainly offer it to an EG lover who’s just come in from the cold.

(Please, Kusmi, don’t lose this one.)

ashmanra

I love this, but I thought it was discontinued. If it isn’t, I have a last minute addition to my Christmas list!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Yay! I can get it through Kusmi Tea Canada and ten mail it to you
if you run into any trouble.

ashmanra

Found it! I guess it was out of stock for a very long time when we last looked for it. It looks like you have to order a 100 gram bag, but that doesn’t scare me. Ha ha!

Shae

I just looked for this one, but I guess they’ve already sold out again!

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90

1 sachet steeped 4 minutes in 90C water, drunk bare.

And now, the last new-to-me sachet from my Kusmi Earl Grey sampler …

Oh. Oh, my. Well now.

An amazingly well-balanced blend. A light-coloured and light-bodied liquor serves up a bright and mineral … I want to say Ceylon-led-blend? Not sure. Bergamot is soft and subtle and charming, definitely on the light side, and that’s just fine here. The vanilla flavour is very subtle, thank goodness, and only announces itself in a whisper after you’ve gotten bergamot and orange, at least. I also caught some grapefruit notes. A very gently warming spice taste at the end: cinnamon maybe?

Wow. An utterly lovely blend, and, in my experience, unique. I look forward to trying this one made with loose tea.

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1 sachet for 300mL water @ 90C steeped 4 min 30 seconds, drunk bare.

My second-last new-to-me from my Kusmi Earl Grey sampler …

I expected to dislike this one, truth told. Once we start adding berry flavour or scent to a tea, it’s either fakey-fake sweet-almond from cheap 1970s hand lotions or tear-your-tastebuds-a-new-one hibiscus. I avoid hibiscus. Sure, it adds authentic colour and tartness, but it also dominates.

So there’s no hibiscus in this one, but I do get that fake-almond thing from the berry, vanilla, and caramel flavours. The bergamot cuts into them in the finish. That finish is sweet and a bit cloying, like a cookie that’s crumbled in your mouth and you can’t quite swallow yet.

I’d serve this to someone who said they liked a “cream” Earl Grey, but I won’t go our of my way on this one for myself. That’s no comment on the quality of the tea. It’s just a subjective thing.

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86

1 sachet for 300mL water @90C, steeped five minutes.

I’ve been utterly ruined for Earl Grey by TeaBox’s Earl Grey Citrus, which remains the most fragrant and delicious EG I’ve ever had — probably because it’s so very fresh. Stash comes second, especially with their double bergamot EG.

So I admit, I was expecting the bergamot here to light may fire.

Well, it blows on the embers nicely. I would hardly call this an “intense” EG, more of a medium-to-strong EG. The tea base is quite good, which can make or break an EG, no matter how much or how little bergamot is used.

It’s delicious. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a lovely, sparkling bright Earl Grey with a good tea base, and a very smooth finish. I would happily serve this to someone I know likes a good EG, and I would buy it again.I could drink this all day. For intensity, though, TeaBox and Stash are way ahead.

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