Monday, April 7, 2008

Beluga Tea

I have heard of people who discovered L'Occitane while browsing in Knightsbridge and of others that never knew Crabtree and Evelyn existed until they stumbled upon one of their shops in Paris. How funny that one can discover something wonderful so far away from its motherland. I seem to be doing just that with tea. Can you believe that I had never had Mariage Freres tea until I found the black tins in Bergdorf Goodman in New York? Or that I really came to love Laduree in London, despite multiple trips to Paris? And this year I've done it again, I have fallen for a hybrid Russian/French tea (it's really Russian, but they are based in Paris) while browsing groceries in New York's Zabar's. I was taken by the beautiful tins, because, after all, everyone knows that for everything important it is style and not substance that truly matters, but as it happens with this tea, it's not just the tin that grabs you. The contents themselves are absolutely gorgeous. None of that rusk one finds in gauge-like bags, none of that mono-smell that reminds me of nothing other than stale university residences where lingering mugs are left to sprout fungi. This tea (and indeed Laduree teas and Mariage Freres tea) are something else entirely. When some of my philistine friends (and, bless them, I have got loads) feebly claim that they just 'prefer PG tips', I smile wistfully. You know what, I quite like PG tips myself, but choosing them over Kusmi is not unlike favouring trout roe over Beluga caviar.

Buy it here and read about it here.
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