London’s tea revolution continues apace and newest pretender to the throne is Russian tea house Kusmi. The company founded in Russia 1867 and established in Paris since 1917 has just opened its first London shop and tea salon on Marylebone High Street. It promises to reinvent Britain’s time-honoured tradition with exotic variety of blends and infusions, all presented in colourful, Baroque-style metal tins.
The 140 year old Russian tea company was founded by Pavel Kousmichoff and it rapidly became the Tsars’ tea of choice. The Kousmichoff family fled the Russian revolution for Paris in 1917 where they set up their business in avenue Niel. Thhe family firm proceeded to open up outlets in the most glamorous cities in the world, from New York to Berlin.
Kusmi Earl Grey teas are a particular speciality such as Bouquet de Fleurs (Earl grey, flowers and citrus) was created especially to celebrate the birth of the founder’s daughter and Earl Grey Anastasia (lemon and orange blossom) named as a tribute to Grand Duchess Anastasia who disappeared under mysterious circumstances when she was 17 years old.
Tucked away within the shop’s signature red and white interior, there is a 20 cover tea salon where you can retreat to try out new infusions alongside a pastry or a piece of homemade cake. All the teas are blended and packaged in France and can be purchased loose, in muslin bags or in those colourful metal tins.
Kusmi Tea has over 30 shops worldwide in New York, Montreal and Milan and a flagship in Paris.