Last year, I became a Kusmi Tea fan just based on their packaging. I saw the tea online, and just I loved their tiny tea tins with their original ornate printing. I decided to get them as gifts (The Miniature Russian Collection) for my coworkers and even I ended receiving a whole collection for myself. It took about a year, but I finally ran out of all my tea. Luckily, the Kusmi Tea shop opened up this past July in the Upper East Side, which I stopped by at this past Sunday.
The store is one long rectangle, with white shelving lining the walls. The store is broken up into about five sections, which the perky and adorable sales woman named Kourtney (she seemed like a Kourtney with a "k" type of girl) happily explained to us. Along the walls were an assortment of teas, black, green, herbal, and their special blends of the season such as Christmas Red. You can purchase tea bags, large tins filled with loose tea, tea accessories, and even small amounts of loose tea from their huge tea canisters. In the center of the store, there are tea tins opened so you can feel and smell the tea you are purchasing. The best part is the back counter where you can sample a cup of their tea, which was Detox that day. It was truly delicious and refreshing, so much so that I bought a large tin of it. The detox teas I have had in the past have always also had too many flavors going on, this one was a lovely mixture of mate, green tea, lemon, and lemon grass. I also bought Samovar, this lightly smoked black tea that is really wonderful too.
If you live in New York, I would definitely recommend stopping by the store. This is one place I would prefer to go to instead of shopping online. If you don't live in NYC, have no fear, because you can get everything could want online too. I think these teas make wonderful gifts. You can buy sets and divide them up. Slip a tin in a stocking, or a tea bag in a holiday card :)
Click here to read more about Kusmi, they do a much better job explaining their history (founded in 1867 - whoa), than I ever could.
p.s. I also bought an assortment pack, and I am totally falling in love with their Bouquet of Flowers blend. Really lovely. Click here to see last year's Thanksgiving.