Yup, still smells like smoked ham. Vaguely bacon-y. A smoked pork product, not just smokey, but edible smoked meat.
I was leary to try this tea, to say the least. I had thought before I got Series 3 and sniffed it that it would be smokey like the Tiger or Jackee, but a step or two up in smokiness. Then I sniffed it and got scared. The Tiger and Jackee did not smell at all like this. Whoa, smokey pork. I did not think I’d like smokey at all prior to the Tiger and Jackee. But with my change in mind regarding those two, I figured I might, just might, like a truly smokey tea. But, as I said, then I sniffed it and was back to thinking I would likely not like it.
So I’ve been putting off trying it. I gave permission to put off trying it. I smelled it occasionally. I commented on it to the husband. He said he’d try it. No, no, I said each time. I’ll drink it when I’m ready for it. And today was that day. I woke up wanting a BOLD tea and thinking about trying Caravan was not off putting to me. So I said to myself, I’m going to go for it while I feel an inkling of wanting to try it.
The Dry Leaves — Are black and of various lengths, some long, some quite short. Smell, well, I think I’ve already covered that.
The Wet Leaves — Are a medium Sierra brown and a richer lighter orangeish-brown. You could tell there were two different teas in this. Smelled of a more tannic typical black tea smell with a hint of smokey that faded into smokey pork.
The Tea — Is an orange-pink-brown. It’s a bit odd colored for a black tea. I didn’t know if I liked it for the first half of the cup. The second half I warmed up to it more. It was okay, I could see myself drinking the rest of the tin from time to time. The tea tasted smokey but not smokey like the Tiger and Jackee, which taste more like smoke in the air that you might breathe in. Caravan tasted more like smoke you might eat, like smoked food stuff, possibly like smoked meat but without the meat. The last half of the cup had a sweetness to it and the taste of this tea lingered in my mouth after I’d finished drinking.
2nd steep: 5 min, 205° F.
The tea looked lighter, it smelled lighter. The wet leaves had become three different teas visibly – the third one looked dark brown and coiled. I sip. GOOD! WOW! REALLY GOOD! I finish the cup really fast. I do not think I could get another steep from the leaves. That makes me sad. The 2nd steep of Caravan is WAY better to me than the first. It could likely take another 30 second to a minute more steeping though.
I may also try steeping the 1st steep for less time. I’d also like to try the 1st steep with milk and see how that changes the taste of this tea.