Dear Friends & Readers,
When you are brought up in Italy, you learn to appreciate espresso very early. I probably had my first espresso (macchiato to be precise, with a dash of milk foam and sugar) when I was 10 years old. At home we were not tea drinkers, there was the occasional Twining tea bag in the pantry but nothing sophisticated because we had out “wakeup” potion in the form of a shot of espresso. From time to time my grandma would make iced tea with mint and lemon. But tea was not a tradition nor a ritual in the Palumbo household. I was exposed to tea during the summer when my parents would send me to the UK for English Camp. “Cream tea” with warm scones, jam and whipped butter was very decadent and British, but I loved the zesty smell of Earl Grey so much that one summer I came back from Yorkshire with a tin of the “the real deal”. It took some time for tea to become a ritual but today a cup of tea has become the calorie free midmorning pick me up. I have graduated from the pedestrian brands to something more sophisticated: Kusmi Tea.
I first saw the colorful tins at Bloomingdales when I was picking my wedding registry. I grabbed a tin of the detox tea. You know how brides-to-be are: they want to look at their best on the big day and I was no exception. Kusmi Detox is a blend of green tea, yerba Mate’ and lemongrass, it has a very lemony taste and it has now become one of my favorite teas. Granted it is not “tea” in the British sense but nothing in this brand comes from the UK at all. Kusmi is a Russian-French brand with a story that could easily compare to War and Peace.
The colorful tins are the playful and collectable part of the product but they hold some creative, gourmet tea that is second to none. Every Kusmi tea I have taste is a fantastic blend with tea and ingenious combinations. Algae, check. Strawberry, check. Chocolate, check. My favorite blends are Detox, strawberry green tea, bouquet des fleurs and …. I drink Detox around 11AM and strawberry around 4PM and they curb my sweet tooth too!
Since it is summer time and I am sure the thought of a mug of hot tea makes you cringe, I can tell you a couple of tricks to make some great guilt free iced teas that you can drink all summer long.
Serena’s Kusmi Detox Mojito
- 1 mug of freshly brewed Kusmi Detox
- 4 slices of cucumber
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- a sprig of mint
- 1 tsp of agave nectar
- 1 cup of ice cubes
Mash the mint, lemon, agave and cucumber in a heatproof glass. Add the ice cubes and pour in the freshly brewed tea. Enjoy all summer long!