This is a blend of China Black, Lapsang Souchong & Ceylon black tea. It has a full, heady, smokey aroma and flavor.
Compliments well rich desserts!
Cup Characteristics: Memories of camel trains across the desert. Full flavored with distinct notes of pine and
Infusion: Bright cup with hints of coppery orange.
Presenting a tea that owes as much to politics and diplomacy as it does tea husbandry. The existence of Russian Caravan, a
smoky blend of black teas, (traditionally comprised only of Chinese teas, in ours a blend of Chinese and Indian) is the direct
result of a 1689 treaty between the Qing Dynasty China and Russia. The treaty brought an end to decades of border conflict
between Russian Cossacks and the Manchu people of Northern China. As part of the treaty, Russia agreed to give up its
expansionist push eastward to the Sea of Japan but gained direct trading access to Beijing. The treaty forever changed the way
business was done between the two countries and produced a famous tea blend in the process.
The trail from the Chinese border to Russia covered more than 6000 km, (3728 miles) through harsh and unforgiving mountain
passes, deserts and rivers. Caravans comprised of horses, camels, mules and men took more than a year and a half to complete
the journey with many men and beasts perishing along the way. Even so, the route was a popular and lucrative one – in 1696
alone more than 50,000 rubles worth of furs made the voyage, a fortune in today’s dollars. In addition to furs, one of the most
important commodities on the trail was Chinese tea, imported to fulfill Russia’s growing demand. As can be imagined, the tea
took quite a beating on the grueling trip and often had an entirely different character by the time it was unloaded in Moscow.
One of the most notable was the rich flavor of smoke, absorbed from a year and a half of campfires along the caravan trail.
Russians grew to love the smoky tea and dubbed it caravan tea. Eventually, with the advent of rail travel, the old trading
routes died out and with them, the naturally smoked tea.
To compensate, tea blenders began to create blends of Lapsang and
other black teas to fill the void. The
heady mixture of Lapsang, Chinese black, and South Indian teas offers an assertive cup with smoky depth rounded by thick notes of
malt and a long finish. To diplomacy!
Hot tea brewing method:
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of
loose tea for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water
into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Add
milk and sugar to taste.
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart):
Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼
cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving
pitcher straining the tea or removing the tea bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and
diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality
and nothing to worry about.)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving):
Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per
serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the
tea or removing the bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving.
Sweeten and/or add
lemon to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be
poured over ice and diluted. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury
quality and nothing to worry about!)
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend the use of our ‘1 Cup of Perfect Tea
’ measuring spoon for best
More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), the longer it is brewed….and
the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
FOOD SAFETY ADVISORY:
We strongly recommend using filtered or freshly drawn cold water brought to a rolling boil when brewing all types of tea.
Today’s water has been known to carry viruses, parasites, and bacteria. Boiling the water will kill these elements and reduce
the potential incidence of water-borne illnesses.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100ºC/212ºF.
Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90ºC/194ºF