Recent Tasting Notes
Another of the teas that Jillian sent me. Actually, this is the one I was curious about when we discussed a tea-swap, and with guests in town and PAX and all sorts of craziness, this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and actually try the stuff.
At the time I’d asked for it, I’d not had another Russian Caravan. Now I’ve had A&D’s, and while I can say that I prefer that one, this is a pretty good alternative in a slightly different way.
It doesn’t have the same ‘bottom end’ as A&D’s Caravan. It’s a milder, brighter tea with more lapsang at the front end, but less on the tail end, of the sip. It feels thin but not watery; I never forgot that I was drinking tea. Maybe the additional brightness and general ’tea’ness comes from the darjeeling?
A good cup, all in all, though I think when I turn to smokey teas I’m specifically looking for something more robust and full-bodied, not necessarily gentle and on the weaker side, so there are probably other teas I’d reach for in order of preference…but it was an interesting tea to try!
Night and stars above that shine so bright
The myst’ry of their fading light
That shines upon our caravan
I don’t care if that’s supposed to be a desert caravan and not a russian one, it still pops into my head whenever I see the name of this blend. Rather like JacquelineM’s River Shannon blend inevitably makes my brain go Oh Shenandoe, I love your daughter… Even though it’s not even the same river. Or the same country. Or the same continent. Can’t help it.
This one was put in the to-be-finished-off pile due to it being sample-sized and, I’m sorry to admit, quite forgotten.
The aroma right now just after pouring is pure bonfire and a hint of what I think Auggy and Takgoti mean when they say ‘burnt sugar’. Just a little bit. Not so much that you really recognise it as sweetness, but it’s enough to make me stop an wonder what that was. The more I sniff at it, the more clearly it comes out along with a note of dark chocolate.
I steeped it only four minutes (using the phenomenal steep.it site), and the flavour here strikes me as rather smokey. There’s something else too. I can’t quite identify it but it’s sort of like a middle thing between nuts and flour, or perhaps borderline cocoa-ish. Which weirdly is an entirely different flavour from both nuts and flour. Yeah, I don’t know either.
It certainly has a good kick, but I do think it’s a shame I did that shorter than usual steep just to see what would happen. I’m wondering what would have happened with that sweet note in the aroma if I hadn’t done that.
ETA: As I make my way down through the cup and it cools off a little bit, the unidentifiable flavour is turning out more and more cocoa-y, I think.
The weather outside can’t decide whether it wants to snow or rain so it seems to have comprised by doing both of those. The result is that it’s very wet, cold, and foggy outside and I have absolutely no desire to move from the couch where I’m snuggled up under a blanket with a mug of this tea. It seems to have become my go-to Miserable Weather tea. :D
Okay, so tidy-ness plans for New Year’s? Not gonna happen. But Lexitus should be used to the level of chaos that constitutes as ‘tidy’ around here, so he’ll just have to deal with it. I’ve only had that foul dentisty christmas tea so far today and I want something proper.
So I’m jumping into the last of my Jillian-teas. I can’t remember where or what the situation was, but Jillian said something somewhere at one point about what actually went into a russian caravan blend and it made me think that if you took a russian caravan and stuffed a measure of green tea in it, you would get something similar to my dearly beloved Gunpowder blend (which, again, has nothing to do with the green tea known as Gunpowder), so now I’m probably going to have a few difficulties with not imagining this containing an unknown green tea and comparing. Did any of this make sense?
It’s a golden colour, much lighter than I had expected. I was expecting something reddish. The aroma is dominated by Lapsang Souchong and the smokiness. It’s not as prickly as a plain Lapsang, but I still can’t really find anything else in the aroma. Maybe the best way to describe it is that it smells a bit like a Lapsang Souchong with milk in it as opposed to a Lapsang straight up.
Nope, it’s definitely nothing like my gunpowder blend (which has nothing to do with Gunpowder as in the green tea). This seems thinner and weaker for one thing. It doesn’t have the same kick in the backside. I’m picking up some strong Darjeeling notes in the flavour and the Lapsang seems only barely there. I’m only getting the smokey prickly sensation in the very beginning of the sip and after that it’s just Darjeeling.
It’s been a good while since I’ve last had a russian caravan, but this tastes nothing like I remember it. It’s good, yes. But it’s not really what I was looking for.
ETA: The second cup, somewhat harder steeped, now THAT’S what I’m looking for. It’s much more pronounced on the smoke and the Keemun is coming into play too instead of just being dominated by the grassy Darjeeling.
Note to self. Oversteep on purpose in future.
The first real snowfall of the year fell last night, covering everything with a cold, white blanket. I’m not a fan of winter and there’s something I find satisfying about being snuggled up in a warm house with a mug of tea when it’s chilly outside.
I don’t have a wood-burning fireplace but this tea calls one to mind, so I suppose it’s the next best thing. :D
It might not be my absolute favorite, but this is a great tea to drink on a cold, blustery day when I can practically feel winter stretching out it’s hands.
This is the first time I’ve tried brewing tea with those little T-Sac pouches. It’s less cleaning-up and fewer stray leaves left in my cup but I think it maybe ‘blocks’ some of the flavour a little bit.
Steeped for 2.5 minutes and added skim milk.
The smell might be BBQ-y but the taste is ever so faintly that of a campfire; there’s a trace of ash and smoke and hot embers in each sip. It’s not really unpleasent, just sort of intriguing, even if I’m not sure if I like it or not.
Specifically Tea had to order this in from their supplier, The Tea Center, because they don’t keep it in stock.
This tea smells and tastes and lot smokier than I was expecting given that it’s a blended tea. It wasn’t bad but it smelled like it would be almost on par with some straight Lapsang Souchongs I’ve seen. The addition of skim milk dampened down the BBQ flavour somewhat, so it still made an enjoyable morning cuppa.