A few months ago my younger brother got to go on a trip to Paris with his school year and, being the golden-hearted young boy that he is, he brought me some gifts from the duty-free section of the airport on his way home. One of those gifts so happened to be a selection of teas!
France has many exports of interest to me: Pain au Chocolat, Brioche, BN biscuits, Acker Bilk, and indeed, the list goes on, but the most recent addition to this list is the products of “Kusmi Tea” – a Paris-based company producing Russian-styled teas. I first discovered the company after a friend purchased a tin on their trip to the city and posted a photo of the packaging online. After noticing how beautiful and elegant the tin containing their tea was, I visited the company’s website to see how the Russian-styled teas were different from the Chinese and Indian flavours that I was especially used to at the time. The flavours on offer sounded so exquisite and almost-experimental in nature that I decided I would put some money aside and treat myself to a tin or two when I had the expendable funds at the ready. You can imagine how pleased I was when my brother gifted me the set of 5 mini-tins from his duty-free haul on return from the company’s home city.
The best thing about this gift is that I had actually forgotten about my intentions to purchase the tea so it made the surprise all the better when I realised I was now the proud owner of Kusmi’s Detox, BB Detox, Sweet Love, Be Cool, and Boost blends.
“Wellness teas” and their detoxifying qualities have been heavily advertised and promoted on social media recently as the new sort-of-diet-fad that people are turning to. I agree that tea can have these benefits but I have always drank tea for the taste so I surprised myself when trying the Detox blend as it seemed almost out of character but when you’re enticed by the promise of the taste of lemongrass in a mate and green tea blend, who can resist?
My only previous experience of lemongrass is from some of the Lush soaps and bath bombs that have made their way into my home over the years, so I think that my senses were expecting to be left drinking foamy bath water when I first opened the pale Kelly Green tin and had my nose blasted with the calming aroma. The Lush products that I know to have lemongrass as an ingredient typically have an oceanic theme to them and so I have come to associate the smell with calm blue waters; making it appropriate that the gentleness of this tea (though mid-green in colour, not blue) is able to recreate the sensation of a calm afternoon on a sailboat as the taste sways from cheek to cheek.
The Detox blend, like some of the others offered by Kusmi, is a mix of mate and green tea. The mate brings a pleasant sweetness to contrast the calm, almost muted, green tea which in turn compliments and really highlights the lemongrass flavour, which I found to be very subtle upon the first few sips, before getting about halfway through my first cup when the taste grew in strength. To touch upon the topic of detoxifying, it is easy to appreciate the purifying connotations of this tea as it produces such a fresh, clean, flavour and aroma that one would not be considered wrong in associating the experience of drinking this tea with health and wellness. This tea did come in the “Wellness Teas Assortment” after all, so I’ll be sure to keep this title in mind when reviewing the other blends!
For anyone looking to try something from Kusmi tea, I would say that this is definitely a good option and I believe this is backed up by the company’s own opinion as it is the second listed blend under the “Must Have” section at the foot of their website. The teas on offer from this brand are more expensive than most other teas so for some first time buyers it is understandably daunting to pay out but for these “designer teas” with their rich flavour and alluring presentation it is the perfect treat for yourself or gift for another. You could always keep your eye out for a tin or two in the duty-free section if you ever find yourself leaving France and wanting a little discount.