Monday, March 19, 2007


Russian Tea Service, original watercolor, 9" x 11"
The New York weather report today says 31°F (Feels like: 25°F) so I can still talk about tea...
Russian tea..Kusmi Russian Tea in fact.

I first encountered Kusmi Teas at the Salon du Chocolat (they have a chocolate tea) and a day later at Le Festival de The.

They had this fantastic "sniffing" display so you could easily find the tea you love.
Kusmi Tea was founded in 1867 in St-Petersburg, by P.M Kousmichoff, supplier to the tsars. In 1917, at the time of the Revolution, they moved to London and Paris.

They're boutique is at 56, rue de Seine and they've just opened a tea room, so I'll be doing research next week...
Kusmi Russian Teas begin with big-leaf teas from Ceylon, India, Java and China. They uniquely blend these tea leaves with scented aromatics originating from Grasse, France's perfume center.
For example:
Anastasia Tea is a Russian blend of Ceylon and China teas scented with orange, bergamot, lemon and lime
Prince Vladimir is a blend of Ceylon and China teas with scents of orange, lemon, vanilla, grapefruit and spices
The Bouquet de Fleur blend is a blend of China, India and Ceylon teas with 8 different aromas, including lemon, bergamot orange, lime and mandarin orange
Petrushka Tea is a blend of Ceylon, cardamom, cloves, almonds and rose

For research purposes I visited The Russian Samovar on 52nd street to taste a Russian tea with blinis, sour cream and sour cherries...

Here's the demise of my research = YUM!
You put the sour cherries into the tea as well as in the blinis...

My research was to gather info on Russian Tea Service for another menu cover for The Russian Tea Room.

Podstakannik is Russian for tea glass holder and means "under the glass" or "for the glass"
Chai is the word for tea
Chainaya lozhka is teaspoon
Sahar is sugar
Zavarka is strong tea
They have a huge collection of rare Russian Samovars at RTR...
Vetka is the handle of a samovar's faucet. Literally "branch" (as of a tree)

So now you're ready to go for tea at The Russian Tea Room!

BTW I noticed Paris weather today is 39°F (Feels like: 32°F)
Do you think they heard I was coming and are trying to make the transition easy for me? :(


  1. Who knows Kusmi can only love their teas...


  3. Anonymous9:34 AM


  4. loveitaly9:43 AM

    Love the samovar here--very pretty! Have a great trip to Paris--you won't care about the cold there!

  5. Anonymous10:44 AM

    Beautiful paintings as usual. The cold weather has only made your painting ideas better. ;-)
    Cris in OR

  6. through your influence, I have purchased two Kusmi teas online and am eagerly awaiting trying them. Thank you!

  7. Dorie1:44 PM

    I'm drinking a cup of Prince Vladimir, a favorite of mine, while I'm looking at your always wonderful watercolors. I think they make terrific teas and I love their new shop -- can't wait to see your paintings of it.

  8. Last night I dreamed of little gold-covered chocolate bunnies. Tonight it may be visions of tea. Thanks ever so for the pleasant dreams!

  9. Quick I need paper towels! I'm drooling all over my computer. Your watercolors are smiles on paper. :)

  10. Absolutely gorgeous!

  11. What a post, and such beautiful images!

    It's strange, though, how small the world is: For the first time in my life I bought a can of Kusmi Tea last week (at Meinl's, where I shot the bunny pictures). The box was too pretty! Thanks goodness, after brewing a pot or three, I now know I still prefer the Harrowgate Earl Grey (for the price difference I can et another Gold Bunny!). :-)

  12. Totally love this parent brought me a samovar just like that one from Istael....I treasure it!!!

  13. I got up this morning to a wintry landscape! I just hope that winter is only passing on its way out, and that he has left your side of the ocean by now.
    I am having my cup of tea, looking at your beautiful painting of that Russian tea cup. Thank you!
    Life is good! :-)

  14. I love blinis! this post makes me want to visit my local tea house and you know what since I am celebrating my 1 yr. blog anniversary I think that's reason enough to go!I continue to ~love your water colors~ that you post!Come see my rose bud perhaps there's inspiration to paint one!
    hugs NG

  15. Anonymous9:14 AM

    I love tea too!!! I love Pearl Jasmine :) I get mine from

    another one i like would be their creme caramel black tea..

  16. That is the most beautiful menu cover I've ever seen. The details on the tea cup are simply wonderful!

  17. everyone seems to be wild about this stuff, will have to get me some. And lord knows I'm a fool for pretty packaging (must be a libra thing).

    I love your rendering of the Samovar...

    Can't wait for our swim, when do you get into town?

  18. i love this painting of yours. It almost looks like it's on some sort of stationery but you painted the logo on the top didn't you? It's fabulous!

  19. Pandamama9:57 AM

    I'm not very familiar with Russian teas, but a good source of Chinese teas is They have quite a good selection.

  20. I came across Kusmi Tea in Montreal, actually. At first I was hesitant ($15 for a box of 20 teabags!?) but the woman in the shop gave me a complimentary cup to try out, and, my god. It is the most exquisite tea!

    I got a tin of their chai tea for Christmas and I've been using it sparingly... amazing stuff!

    I'm so glad that somebody else knows and appreciates the wonder that is Kusmi!!


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