This Fair Trade Certified organic loose tea blend combines organic Chinese tea and Lapsang Souchong tea to produce a blend with a rich, smoky aroma. Its medium-bodied cup has a generous smokiness, but does not mask the organic black tea flavor. Aptly named "Russian Caravan," this blend is reminiscent of the long tea caravans that traversed Asia centuries ago, scenting their cargo by their nightly campfires.
Ingredients: organic Chinese black tea
Serving Size: one rounded teaspoon (1.25) per 8 oz cup of water
Aubrey Says: This blend is always a hit at tea tastings, both for its historical significance and distinctive flavor.
Jeremy Says: Excellent with a touch of lemon!
Posted by Yen-Wen on 14th Nov 2016
This tea slowly grows on me.
It's slightly smoky and light. It's complex taste yet pleasant. My taste buds have found a new sense that did not exist before. It's the slight pleasant tart taste that gives a well rounded overall taste.
It's like the tea has very little bite to it, it's unusual character! Worth trying!
Posted by Kara on 12th Apr 2016
Lapsang Souchong tea is too smoky for me. How fortunate that this Russian Caravan tea is less smoky but enticing enough to imagine I'm traveling on the Silk Road with every sip. The only disappointment is that it's not a deep, dark brew, like I was expecting. However, I plan on purchasing a full-size bag soon.
Posted by Charles on 18th Nov 2015
Just received my shipment of Russian Caravan. Very Smoky aroma, apparent even before I opened the package. Brewed my first cup and I must say, what a revelation! Assertive aroma perfectly balanced by a surprisingly mellow taste. This tea glides across the palate and leaves your mouth filled with just the slightest hint of smoke. This is a wonderful blend that is transformative. It just feels good to drink. Thank you so much!
Posted by Ben L on 3rd Feb 2015
This is my go-to tea for the winter months (and enjoyable beyond, for that matter). It has a hint of smokiness like a balanced Scotch but not to the degree of a Lapsang Souchong.
It's also tolerant of longer steeping times. Where lighter black teas starts to turn bitter, the Russian Caravan blend just gets bolder.
Posted by Nadia B on 22nd Sep 2014
This is my favorite go-to black tea! It is very strong with the smokey/roasted sweetness - gives you a real kick in the pants if you're drinking this as a breakfast tea. The flavor is so unique and delicious. Sometimes I can't tell the difference between certain black teas but this flavor is not like the rest! If you're looking to change things up I highly recommend it. Its strong flavor also makes it very good iced, too.
Posted by KH Rose on 20th Nov 2013
I have MCS, which means that as much of what I intake as possible has to be organic. This meant it had been years since I had had a cup of Russian Caravan.
There was a tea I had in mind to blend, but it needed Caravan as a base, so I began to search the internet. And found Arbor Teas. And this tea.
The test cup not only gave me back one of my favorite teas, it put every variant of it I had had prior to shame.
Posted by Unknown on 8th Dec 2011
I have always enjoyed (plan to continue enjoying) Arbor Teas products. Unfortunately, it is just way too smoky for me. The aroma puts me in mind of a campfire or strongly smoked piece of meat.
Posted by K Gaffney on 5th Feb 2011
One of the first teas I ordered from this site and I'll definitely be back for more when I finish it up. When I first opened it and put it in my tin I was bowled over by the strength of it's scent. This tea is a joy to experience rich and woody and full of smoke and it has enough body to make an excellent latte too!
We at Arbor Teas firmly believe that tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. With that being said, here are some recommendations to get you started, but please remember you can make adjustments based on your own personal taste.
There are three main considerations when brewing tea: quantity of tea, water temperature and steeping time.
Quantity of tea: one rounded teaspoon (1.25) per 8 oz cup of water
Water temperature: use water that has been heated to a full rolling boil (212° F)
Steeping time: 3-5 minutes
Tip #1: Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may impart a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.
Tip #2: Keep in mind that brewing your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time matters! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea.
Learn more from our step-by-step guides on how to brew loose leaf tea, how to make iced tea, and how to make tea lattes. And don’t forget to check out our Eco-Brewing Tips, too!
There are five significant components found in all tea from the plant camellia sinensis: essential oils, which are the source of tea’s delicious flavor and aroma; polyphenols, which are antioxidants that provide the tea’s brisk flavor and many of its health benefits; phytonutrients, which are small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids including L-theanine (a very rare molecule that has been found in only three sources including camellia sinensis!) ; enzymes; and methylxanthines, which are a family of alkaloids that include caffeine. Each of these components work differently in the human body and a full description is best left to a medical journal. However, recent research exploring the potential health attributes of tea is leading many scientists to agree that tea, may contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Health Benefits check here.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Caffeine check here.
BBQ season is upon us! Will you have a vegetarian to feed in your group? Often meatless patties are dry and disappointing, especially the ones that come packaged from the grocery store. Veggie burgers are so easy to make in your home kitchen, requiring fairly minimal forethought and prep work. Check here to view the full recipe for Smoky Yerba Mate Lentil Burgers!
Butter tea, known as Po cha in Tibet, is made from churning tea, salt and yak butter. Butter tea is not for the faint of heart, but might be just the thing for your next expedition! The authentic ingredients used to make po cha are hard to find outside Tibet, but you can still get a close taste using the following recipe. Check here to view the full recipe for Butter Tea from Tibet!
Have you ever wanted to capture the smoky fragrance of Lapsang Souchong black tea into something edible? Here is a delicious way to try it in an appetizer served with a plum dipping sauce. For a less intense smoky version, try with Russian Caravan Black Tea. Check here to view the full recipe for Smoky Lapsang Souchong Spring Rolls!
Given the significant influence Asian culture has had on Russia through the years, it is no wonder that Russians are big tea drinkers. The samovar, which is somewhat of a cross between a hot water heater and teapot, is one of many examples of this influence - it is presumed to have evolved from the Tibetan hot pot. The function of this unique apparatus, and the Russian method of taking tea, is rather different than we are accustomed to in the west. Instead of heating tea water on the stove, wood or charcoal is traditionally burned within the samovar itself to accomplish this task (modern samovars often use an electric heating element, however). A small teapot sits on top of the samovar, in which a dark, concentrated brew is made, called zavarka. Hot water from the samovar is used to dilute this tea when served. Dark Indian or Chinese black teas are commonly used, often coupled with herbal or fruit teas. Russian Caravan, a blend of black teas with a slightly smoky flavor, is a favorite. To this day, samovars remain a focal point of the Russian home.
For information on other traditions or to submit your own tea tradition visit our Tea Traditions section.