It's a story pulled straight from the pages of a Russian novel. The year was 1867 when Pavel Michailovitch Kousmichoff opened his teahouse in St. Petersburg. Born into a peasant family, Kousmichoff had pulled himself up by the proverbial bootstraps to marry the daughter of a wealthy merchant. As his family grew, so did his business: by the turn of the century, Kousmichoff owned eleven teahouses and sent his eldest son, Viatcheslav, to London to learn about tea. Viatcheslav took over the family business after the death of his father and then transferred the business' operations to Paris on the eve of the Russian Revolution. To make a long story short, Kusmi Tea continues to be a favorite of cosmopolitan tea lovers more than 140 years later.