An intriguing blend of tea, one which I'd not come across before but the name stirs up whimsical and exotic imagery alongside a curiosity to the tastes within. Twining's Russian caravan tea sits happily amongst their vast range of black tea's in a delightfully dark blue packaging that merely hints to the wonders you'll taste within.
This Russian caravan blend is a combination of Oolong and Keemun tea's which together create a unique taste. As always with Twining's teas there's a wonderful history behind this blend, made for the Russian market it took several months for this tea to make it's journey from the heartland provinces of the south east and the southern coast of China right the way into Russia. According to the story the blend went through different tropical and cold climates on it's journey causing it to start to condition. Along the way the bundles of tea were very often left around the traders' camp-fires overnight. The overwhelming smoke coming from the damp logs would be sucked in by the tea, giving it a very delicate, camp-fire, smoky aroma evident in some of the texture and taste as well. The process today that goes into creating and distributing this tea is of course very different but the technique used to create this blend aims to bring the flavours from the original blends journey together.
As for the tea itself it is a loose leaf blend with each box containing 125g of tea, you can certainly make a lot of cuppa's from that. Described as "a black, wiry tea which produces a black, amber liquor. It's easy on the palate and makes a lovely breakfast tea - a wake up call and treat for the taste buds." Of course as this was a loose leaf blend I've tried it both brewed in a pot and in a tea strainer for a single cup brew, best brewed for 3 minutes to allow it to diffuse, left for too long it can become a little too smokey a taste. Naturally being a black tea a dash of milk add's to the teas unique flavour.
It has a delightful heavy scent with a light aromatic taste, it doesn't leave a bitter after taste and it goes down rather smoothly. It has an almost sweet taste to it, not too strong but you certainly can drink it without the addition of sugar.
Certainly an intriguing blend, one which we admittedly hadn't come across before, it's great for an afternoon brew when you need a refreshing pick me up.