Merry Christmas! Last year I had the chance to try Kusmi Tea Paris’ countdown advent calendar, featuring a huge range of their best-selling teas. Among them was Kusmi Tsarevna tea, one of their most festive blends.
At this time of year, I cannot go a day without a thickly spiced and sweet black tea blend. That’s exactly what this fine loose leaf tea is all about. Along with Whittard of Chelsea and English Tea Shop, there are some tea brands that go all-out at Christmas. If you have a chance to buy Kusmi tea, I highly recommend you bite the bullet in time for December.
And if you’re looking for a tea advent calendar this year, you can read my list of the best tea advent calendars in the UK (it’s updated yearly).
Kusmi Tsarevna Tea at a Glance
Full Review – Tsarevna Spiced Black Tea
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Black tea
- Additives: Ginger, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, orange peel, liquorice root, orange essential oil, natural ginger flavour, natural cardamom flavour, natural flavours
- Flavour Notes: Light spices, rum, brown sugar, orange peel, mellow, musky, warm
- Aroma: Black tea, dried orange, hazelnuts, candied fruit, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Amazon
What a wonderful tea! From the moment you pop open the tin to finishing that last sip, this tea is a wholesome and warming experience. The aroma from the dried tea and ingredients is very festive. The black tea and dried orange are most dominant, with a hint of candied fruits and hazelnuts. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas tea without hints of spices too.
It brews into a bright yet cloudy tea – mellow orange auburn – which is an indicator that the black tea base is smooth and gentle rather than bold and brisk.
Spices mingle in the steam, and you’ll want to spend a few minutes inhaling the aroma of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and apple. Although no apple is listed in the ingredients, it really does seem to emanate from the cup!
The flavour is a mellow festive heaven. It reminds me of lightly spiced rum, but without the alcohol note. The sweetness is rich and warming, just like brown sugar, with small hints of orange peel peeking through. In 3 words? Mellow, musky, marvellous! This is such a warming yet light cuppa that doesn’t need milk or sugar to complete it.
How to Brew Kusmi Tsarevna Tea
The instructions from Kusmi are usually spot-on. For their Tsarevna blend, they recommend a 4-minute brew time with 90°C water. This is a spiced black tea, not unlike a chai, so you are welcome to add milk and/or sugar if you’d like, to taste, but I found that it’s perfectly good without.
I use a generous teaspoon of loose leaf tea and follow Kusmi’s instructions closely. They’re perfect.
I’d also recommend this tea for baking with. It would make some lovely spiced chai biscuits or an afternoon tea loaf for Christmas eve!
Why Kusmi Tea Paris?
Kusmi tea are a French tea brand, and they make a great range of loose leaf teas. They’re available to buy in these cute tins, or as a refillable pouch. I have a limited-edition tin design (it came with my Kusmi advent calendar) but you may find your Kusmi Tsarevna tea tin a little different.
Tsarevna is inspired by the roaring 1920s (not a Russian princess) and is described by Kusmi as the star of the party:
She enchants Charleston dancers with her fragrance of orange peel, spices, and licorice, all on a base of organic black tea, staying with them late into the night.
The ginger, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, orange peel and liquorice are all organically grown, which is good… although it would have been nicer if all the ingredients were organic instead. Nonetheless, it’s all natural and gets thumbs up from me!
The quality of the black tea is pretty good. Large leaf pieces are used, but they are broken rather than whole. There’s also a lot of inconsistency – I found some 2cm leaf pieces as well as small specks and even a stalk or two. You’ll spot the other ingredients as well, as Kusmi have left the dried orange peel, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon as fairly large pieces.
Overall, Kusmi Tsarevna is a charming festive tea that’s light, sweet and warming. It makes a great change from heavy chocolate drinks (many brands go overboard with cacao this time of year) and is perfectly fine to drink without any additional sugar or dairy. It has my stamp of approval.
If you want to browse all the teas I’ve reviewed that are great for the Christmas period, use the Christmas tag or use the search bar on our website. You can always use my tea review index to find something more specific as well.