I’ll make my debut Tea Review Blog post on a tea named after one of my favorite historical figures. Kusmi tea is a high-end tea from France, which seems to be spreading to the North American market via trendy cafes and boutiques.
Anastasia is one in a series of 18 Russian teas, including Troika, Prince Vladimir, and St. Petersburg. First off, I adore the packaging. It is elegant and luxurious, and would definitely “wow” any gift recipient. You do have to be careful when first opening the air-tight tin, because they are filled to the brim, and if you’re somewhat of a klutz like I am, you may spill some of the precious tea!
Now as for the tea itself, the dry leaves smell like a lemony candy from my childhood, sweet, delicate, and fresh. My review panel (family in town for Thanksgiving) passed around several dry tea leaves for sniffing before we settled on a pot of this one. The scent of the dry leaves brought smiles all around.
At 185 degrees and 3 minutes (careful not to oversteep!), it comes out a lovely medium amber shade in my teacup. I’m not the sort who adds anything to my tea typically, and I thought Anastasia stood on its own quite nicely. However, I can see this one going well with a slice of lemon or a lump or two of rock sugar.
This appears to be Kusmi’s take on the classic Lady Grey. The bergamot can be a bit strong, but this is how I like my Earl Greys. The taste of the brewed tea was elegant and refined, the sort of tea I’d imagine a Russian princess sipping in the afternoon with a shortbread cookie. It’s a bright, medium-bodied tea that can be sipped throughout afternoon. Please note however, that it has high caffeine content, and for those who are sensitive to caffeine, it may be better suited to early morning.
Kusmi describes this tea as:
A blend of black teas from China and Sri Lanka flavored with bergamot, lemon, and orange blossom.
Delicious as iced tea on hot summer days!
We suggest to enjoy this tea during the whole day.
Main flavor: Citrus fruit and orange blossom
This is a lovely tea that I’d describe as a “safe” crowd-pleaser. While it’s not a bold exotic flavor, it’s one that I can make an entire pot of to entertain guests, and there’s something to be said for that. It was nicely paired with the pecan pie I had made that weekend, and I’m planning to try it with a ginger scone recipe I just found last week!