The hotel explained that while less expensive brands are usually stocked in the rooms, Kusmi is brought out for "high-end" guests and ambassadors staying in suites (the hotel is next door to the UN Building, so those guests are probably more frequent than you think). So in multiple ways, we really were getting a treat. Lucky us!
As other tea drinkers know, Kusmi is an all-star tea company based in Paris that sews up its tea leaves in delicate muslin sachets. The tea selection itself is pretty standard, but the presentation is fancier (and more colorful—get a load of that packaging!) than other brands. And it's not just us who love Kusmi.
The attendant who wheeled in the tray explained to us that recently, a Chinese mayor who was visiting spotted the pretty-looking Kusmi tea box and asked for six others to take home to friends. Obviously, the hotel obliged and sent the epicurean mayor on his merry way.
So if you show up here looking for a cup of Kusmi of your own, take our advice and ask nicely. You might not go home with a whole box—unless you govern a city in China—but the single tea bag alone will be worth it.