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Once upon a time … A tale of tea and traders

once upon a time


1867  The beginning

The tea company founded in Saint Petersburg by Pavel Kousmichoff was an enormous success. Customers flocked to the store to listen to the water gurgling in the samovar while enjoying “fragrant elixirs” from China. But these were no mere teas… The peasant’s son, who would soon become the official provider to the tsars, added bergamot, lemon, sweet orange, and grapefruit to create irresistible blends.


2003  A new lease of life

Brothers Sylvain and Claude Orébi, the latest generation in a long line of traders and merchants, discovered the story of Pavel Kousmichoff and his descendants a little over a century later. After conquering London, Berlin, and Paris, the old company had fallen behind the times and been forgotten. The pair were instantly smitten! Driven by the same high standards as the brand’s founder himself, Sylvain decided to restore the tea company to its former glory by blending know-how and innovation.


Made in Le Havre, artisanal know-how

The alchemy of blends was first set in motion in this port town that – believe it or not – is in fact twinned with Saint Petersburg. Tea leaves are imported from plantations all over the world, and the specialists in the Le Havre workshops mix them with natural essences from Grasse, Calabria, and Madagascar, as well as a whole host of other secret ingredients! This is also where the final, beautifully-crafted blend are encased in muslin sachets and placed in the sublime, baroque boxes that have become one of the brand’s signatures.


90  Blends and original creations

The brand’s 74 boutiques now offer a range of treasures, including green tea with incredible antioxidizing properties, black tea whose completely oxidized leaves lend an inimitable, powerful flavor, rooibos picked from a shrub that looks like gorse, maté, nicknamed the “tea of the Jesuits,” and matcha, a finely-ground powder of green tea leaves. These creations and others are sourced from China, India, South Africa, Brazil, and Japan. And whether picking, drying, or maturing, every stage is carried out with meticulous patience and a passion for exceptional products.