Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Michelle Otter
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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109 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Backlogging. 11 days ago. Wednesday morning. I've been reading about people blending two teas to create the smokey cowboy earl grey. But I've put off trying it even though I was intrigued. I did...” Read full tasting note
    82
    chrine 545 tasting notes
  • “Still watering the garden. I planted 5 different varieties of Sweet Potatoes this year. Some of them are showing great signed on productivity! Others don't appear to be all that robust. No matter,...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2971 tasting notes
  • “Since Steepster is featuring Andrews & Dunham today, I thought maybe it was time for yet another debut for me. Because their Caravan is the third of the smokies that *Auggy* shared with me. I can't...” Read full tasting note
    96
    Angrboda 1281 tasting notes
  • “I'm seriously in love with smoky teas. No, correction: I'm seriously in lust with them. It's a physical craving. None of this emotional, touchy feely crap. We're talking pure, visceral...” Read full tasting note
    93
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes

From Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

If even half of the stories are true, let it be a testament to the durability of rock musicians that Carävan lasted as long as they did. With a ticket paid in full by the charms of singer and guitarist Ian Black, Carävan rode the mind-numbing rhythms of Phil Steep (bass) and Gryph “Smoke” Upley (drums) down dark highways for four years. Black’s bizarre and tragic death in 1979 put the brakes on this trio’s wild ride. The surviving band members and their music have since been plagued by personal, legal and (by some accounts) supernatural misfortune to such an extent that the survival of their master recordings is a remarkable feat in itself. What remains today is a body of work that reveals a surprising sweetness, albeit richly draped in the fiery brimstone of Carävan’s legendary hard-rocking sound.

Carävan is a smoky blend of black teas. Steep in boiling water for four minutes — more if you can stand it. It is best enjoyed in an 11-ounce mug.

About Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea View company

Andrews & Dunham knows that nothing beats a perfect cup of tea, and a great tea needs no explanation. We love the romance of tea. We love that tea might just be the healthiest thing you’ll ever drink. But if the tea you’re drinking doesn’t taste fantastic, you’re missing out. Only a few teas meet our mysterious, rigorous standards and we’re proud to offer them to you. We’re always looking for that perfect cup, so you don’t have to.

109 Tasting Notes

94
361 tasting notes

205F 8oz 3min
Its so nasty outside, drizzly and windy. I needed some hot tea. Since my last review I fell in love with Lapsang Souchong, so smoke is not an issue anymore. In fact I like it, its very well done in Caravan. Enjoyed with croissant and cheddar. Yum!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

The only Lapsang Souchong I’ve had is Zen Tea’s, and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it… I’m wondering if the smoky thing can really grow on you. Maybe I should give it more of a chance.
And, the croissant and cheddar sounds lovely!

Stephanie

This sounds great! And so does croissant and cheddar droooooool

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88
328 tasting notes

This is my third smoky blend. This one has just enough smoky flavor to not be overhwelming.. If I compare, Samovar Russian Blend is like a roaring fire, Upton’s Caravan is a wisp of smoke, and this one is right in the middle and perfect.

SoccerMom

LOL Lori your post reminded me of the story Goldilocks!

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67
411 tasting notes

Bom bom bom! Bom bom bom-bom! Bom bom bom, bom bom….
Smoke on the water…. and fire in the sky

I’m working from home today, so I can finally get to try one of my Damn Fine Teas (I don’t drink caffenated teas after work, or I don’t sleep). So I decided to start with Caravan. I opened the tin without reading the description and WOW, it’s smoky. Like I’m outside by a campfire, smokey!!

It was a lighter color tea than I expected once brewed. The aroma – still all smoke.

This to me is a real man tea. It’s not soft, sweet, or flowery. It’s warm, and slightly mossy (in a good way) and rugged.

If there are other flavors in here other than tea and smoke, I’m losing them, but you know? The smoke and the tea? It works. I don’t know that I’d drink this every day, but I’ll definitely have days where I’ll want this tea. I’m definitely liking it today.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
LENA

ooh, excellent. i was waiting to read a few reviews on the 3rd series before buying.

wombatgirl

Second steep, less smoke, more tea.

@Lena – I’ll probably try the green later today too – so that will give a little more feedback too. :)

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92
38 tasting notes

I’m so annoyed with myself that I’ve fallen for this one. I knew better than to buy a limited edition. I love it. What am I going to do when it’s gone? It has a fullness and sweetness, along with the smokiness, that made me guzzle down my first pot yesterday. I woke up at midnight and got up and made myself another pot, even though I had to be up at 5. All day I looked forward to getting home and guzzling some more.

I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face. I’m trying to blend my own replacement. My first attempt is 1 part Lapsang Souchong, 1 part Keemun, and 2 parts Andrews and Dunham Holiday Blend. I refuse to fall in love again.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

I sooooo hear you! I love their Caravan, and random cravings for Captain Assam’s High Seas Elixir visit me like ghosts.

Howeverm I;m gonna fall over and over. I just know it.

pinky

Ha ha, I read your tasting note on Captain Assam. You and the free shipping are responsible for that one being on it’s way here.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Hee hee, I’d apologize, but you’ll thank me later.

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93
40 tasting notes

This is an amazingly well balanced tea. I’ve only had one other smoky tea, and as much as I enjoyed it, this puts it to shame. The smokiness is there, but it’s not strutting up to smack you in the face in some odd culturally obscure greeting. It greets you kindly with a nice firm handshake, but before you can ask about how it’s been, you’re already being introduced to it’s friend sweetness. Even straight, the balance between smokey and sweet is really impeccable. I’m already struggling to figure out how I’m going to not just destroy this and the Earl Grey. No milk and sugar are needed, but I did add just a bit to the second steeping and it was delightful. I imagine I’ll handle the rest of the tin in the same fashion (naked on first steep, dressed for prom on the second).

Damn Andrews & Dunham and their Damn Fine Tea. I want to order every single set of this series they’ve got left (9 still? Maybe 7-8 by now?) but I just don’t have the money for that. I now officially hate limited edition teas. I’ve only fixed one cup of this and the Earl Grey (not counting re-steeps), and I’m already having separation anxiety over the thought of running out.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Dylan Oxford

There’s some show or book or something where they do the whole handshake-with-slap thing, and I can’t remember what it is. Made me laugh though.

I get the same anxiety over Frank from 52teas’ blends, which is part of why it was so long before we put our first order in. Though, Missy read somewhere that if he has the materials, and you offer to buy a pound, he can reblend a lot of stuff that’s otherwise ‘out’.

Blake

That’s very cool of him. I hope A&D ends up remaking some stuff at some point, because they may have ruined all other Earl Grey’s for me, and I’m not sure I can live knowing my favorite Earl Grey is unavailable once my tin’s out.

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96
1592 tasting notes

I have been drinking this the past 2 mornings. Delicious! As soon as I opened the tin, I noticed the the smokey scent. I am not sure if it is lapsang souchong in there, but thats what I think I’m smelling. In the cup, it brews a dark amber/brown liquor. The scent is still there. Upon tasting it, it was delicious! The first time I brewed this, it was too long and it ended up turning bitter on me. Nothing a little milk couldn’t fix. The second time was better! The smoky flavor is overpowering or strong, which is a plus for me. I am not a fan if it is extremely smoky. It also has a slight lingering sweetness and some nutty flavors to it. Great with a little sugar and/or milk!

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186 tasting notes

I’m not a smoky tea fan. I haven’t had a lot, and my first experience with a smoky tea was a very strong Lapsang Souchong with my grandmother. I still remember the scent, and the horror, to this day. It was with trepidation that I approached Caravan. This is the first of my Christmas teas to be opened, and I decided I should have it first—a sort of “suck it up, buttercup” moment.

On opening the tin I was assailed by the strong smoky aroma of the lapsang souchong in it. Not just smoky, but meat-smoky. Like smoked bacon. I don’t eat bacon. It isn’t my favorite smell. I had my doubts, given how overwhelmingly smoky the tea smelled. But I soldiered on, undeterred. On pouring the cup, I had my doubts again. The smoky smell was still readily apparent, if not as in-your-face as in the dry mix.

The taste? Lightly smoky, not nearly what I was expecting. Not quite as smooth as others have commented, it seemed a bit harsh, but the harshness fit the tea. It isn’t my favorite Andrews and Dunham, but it isn’t bad. I’m definitely going to have more, and I’m on my way now to have a second steep. I just have to get over the smoked bacon smell.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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1
42 tasting notes

This mugged me. It’s so smoky for me that it reminds me of a barbecued pig, i finished the cup I made, but since, it’s been sitting on the shelf collecting dust, perhaps I will try it again someday…

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Jillian

Aw that’s a shame, you might be better off trying something a little less smokey.

JacquelineM

You can also trade it in the discussions area for something more to your taste. That is what I did (more to trade for Thomas Sampson rather than because I didn’t like it – I hadn’t tried it yet – but some people LOVE it and you will get something you like more too!

Dan

While I love this tea, I can certainly see why others do not. Have you tried lowering your steeping time? It should cut down some of the smokiness.

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1829 tasting notes

Sandy couldn’t stand it and ordered tea while she was in NZ and had it shipped to Texas, from whence she brought it HERE to my house in ole’ NC! Today we made our trek up to A Southern Season in Chapel Hill to stock up on a few teas and things. She brought a tin of this for me to try and to tote in my JoeMo XL. (Seriously, order this puppy from Teafrog and get their Chocolate and Cream tea while you are at it! You really should since you are paying shipping anyway!)

Smokey! Smokey smokey smokey! But also sweet! I like lapsang teas okay, I will drink them if offered, but if you are a fan you will LOVE this one. I think I detect a fruity note in the tea, and the smoke is strong without feeling like you are breathing in a whole campfire. Sandy resteeped and still had plenty of smoke!

Preparation
Boiling
gmathis

Sounds like some well-traveled leaves :)

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87
190 tasting notes

Wow, I was hesitant to try this tea but i’m glad I did! It isn’t too smoky, as there is a sweetness that rounds the smoky flavor out. I’m really diggin’ this one, a lot. As usual, i’m not surprised by the quality of Damn Fine Tea, they are awesome!

Stephanie

I know! I’m amazed by this brand too! Those A&D guys know their stuff. It’s not just pretty packaging, I tell ya! :)

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