Tuesday 16 June 2009

China Tea from a Russian Shop in Paris

Kusmi Tea Jasmine flowersI was recently invited to dinner by a friend who is an amazing cook. Needless to say I was quick to accept the offer, not least because she is also a tea fan and I knew she'd have something interesting for me to try. Well, she didn't let me down. She had made the most amazing Asian food with dim sum, noodles, gyoza, pak choy, tofu and an absolutely delicious mango dessert. And the tea offering was pretty darn good too.

Food shelves kitchenAs I had recently started Afternoon Tea Total she asked me to pick a tea to go along with the meal from her beautiful open shelves. My eye was immediately drawn to a rather lovely tin of Jasmine Green Tea which I thought would complement the food nicely - and I wasn't wrong. There is something just so right about jasmine tea with Chinese food. And this particular tea was really good.

It came from a shop called Kusmi Tea in Paris which, I discovered when I got home, was set up by a Russian in 1917. It has a pretty extensive website which, as well as giving a history of the company, has a rather tempting online shop. Obviously, I very quickly found my cursor hovering over the "Add to Basket" button but having somewhat overstretched myself on the tea buying front lately I managed to resist. Although I must admit I did wonder if this could form the beginnings of an excuse to pop across on the Eurostar... Actually the tea is pretty reasonably priced: €10.70 for 125g tin - and a rather attractive tin at that - so if I do decide I can't live without it I wouldn't feel too guilty about putting in an order.

Kusmi Tea green jasmine tin cupThe only problem is that it's hard to know if the tea would be as good without the accompanying banquet. And that set me wondering: do you have particular teas that you love only when drunk at a certain time or with particular food? I'd love to hear about them. In the meantime I think I'll just have to prevail upon my friend to invite me round for tea again, but this time without the delicious food - unless she insists of course; well I wouldn't want to be rude would I?


  1. I may be lowering the tone here but a cup of good strong 'builder's' is ideal with fish and chips!!

  2. Not lowering the tone at all. I'm with you when it comes to a fry-up (veggie of course) but that's not what I fancy with fish and chips - in fact that's the only time I ever fancy a fizzy drink. Must be something to do with getting as much unhealthy stuff into my body as possible...