Russian Caravan is not necessarily Lapsang Souchong
I used to adore Twinings’ Russian Caravan. It is a shame they do not sell it here in the United States anymore. Curious though that they do sell Lapsang Souchong considering that the two taste nothing alike. Ye Olde Russian Caravan had a hint of smoke, and had a sweeter taste much like Darjeeling. Sorry to say, like most Lapsang out there, its just smokey.
Thus, looking for a tea that is comparable (or better) than Twinings’ Caravan. I noticed Upton has a version and wondering if that good ole Russian-style company Kusmi, has a version. I looked but unsure if that is it.
Not to mention, it would be a pleasure to begin a Russian Caravan-Lasang Souchong Debate. For, to me, they are not the same!
Well, they aren’t the same thing at all. Comparing them directly is a bit like comparing apples to apple pie. Lapsang Souchong is a single tea, whereas Russian Caravan is a blend containing Lapsang Souchong. The actual ingredients of the blend seem to vary from brand to brand but it often contains Lapsang Souchong, one or two other black teas (I’ve seen Ceylon, Keemun and Assam) and some times also some oolong. Many Russian Caravans come across a bit like a hearty breakfast blend with some LS mixed into it. If you are feeling experimental you could probably easily blend your own. :)
Lapsang is one of the teas used in the Russian Caravan blend so it definitely is not the same tea. Our blend at Culinary Teas also contains an Orthodox Assam and Ceylon. Lapsang can also be very tasty if a good quality tea base was used so you get that full flavor with just a hint of smoke in the flavor instead of just tasting smoke.
Oh I know full well that Lapsang is only a part of Russian Caravan.
A friend and I once smoked a blended tobacco which contained a local leaf- Perique. It tasted wonderful with a bite we had never experienced before. The pipe guy told us that was perique.
Since my friend was a die-hard purist of all sorts, he wanted to try the perique alone. We all warned him that perique was a blending tobacco. But to no avail, there he went.
He never did lose a strange Vulcan- green tinge to his face.
Lapsang is only a part of Russian Caravan, I’d say the smoke part. I did some digging on the internet and found this curious recipe:
Russian Caravan Tea
1 part Lapsang Souchong
1 part black tea (English Breakfast, Assam, Ceylon are all good, but don’t use anything flavored like Earl Grey)
2 parts Oolong tea
Dang got to find some oolong!