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Start Your Morning Like a Tsar

March 2011

By Alexander von Mollard, Berlin

I’m actually a devoted coffee drinker, but a rebellious cold forced me to break new ground recently. When I switched to tea as my wake-up call in the morning, I wasn’t aware of how many brands there are on the market. Having absorbed the Francophile spirit that is so special for Berlin, I chose Darjeeling No. 37 by French tea brand Kusmi Tea, which claims to provide a historic hot beverage experience.

Originally founded in 1867 in Russia and relaunched in Paris in 2007, Kusmi Tea cannot only impress with a dramatic business history but also a with a broad variety of blended tea and an excellent marketing strategy. Seeing the product in-store instantly reminds you that tea once was a luxury product. Each flavor is packed individually in colorful, baroque, collect-them-all tins. There are special editions like the 2010 released “Troika“ Edition to celebrate the French-Russian year, carrying historic names like “Prince Vladimir“, “Anastasia“ and “Samovar.“ Here and now, Kusmi provides the typical urban blends like "Detox“, “Be Cool“ or “Boost“ teas.

In Germany, this brand only is available in select stores with an upscale food section like KaDeWe. However, the company runs some major flagship stores in Paris and New York. Furthermore, Kusmi’s lavish online shop offers a wide range of extra gadgets like muslin teabags, specially designed teapots and Swarovski crystal-studded cups—addressing the urban bohemians and nouveau-riche demographic. Personally, I count the days until my cold is gone and I am able to enjoy my bourgeois pot of Nicaraguan French Roast again.

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