I tend to judge luxury food items this way: I must want to eat the packaging along with the product inside of it. The Kusmi Tea company has been making its traditional Russian style tea for 140 years, but I only just discovered them after they announced they will be available in the Bloomingdales in Manhattan (they also have a U.S. flagship store on Third Avenue). The tea bags are lovely — they come in a muslin bag with a delicate string, and they seem almost too nice to be disposable. I am also drawn to the colors of the packaging, which are bright and floral but not overtly feminine. The entire design is very modern and clean, right down to the teabag tag which instructs you how long to steep the bag and at what temperature.
I sampled the best-selling Detox, a blend of mate, premium green tea, and lemongrass flavored with lemon. I usually make my own lemongrass tea, after I got hooked on it during my trip to the Seychelles, but this balance of other flavors had more body and depth. Although I added some artificial sweetener, I don’t think it really needed it, and I look forward to trying this ice-cold on a summer day. The tea is available online and at retail stores. A 4.4 ounce tin of Detox loose tea starts at $19.50; A box of 24 muslin tea bags is $21.95.