Normally I like green teas better than black. But this is seriously good enough to override that. It’s smoky and warm and lovely and says “WAKE UP!” when I drink it.
“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
“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
“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
“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
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.
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.
CaravanThe Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants
Russian CaravanPeet's Coffee & Tea
Russian CaravanInfinitea Teahouse
Russian CaravanThe Drury Tea & Coffee Co. Ltd.
Oh heavens to betsy… as my first official tipsy lady edition to steepster, I officially give my seal of approval to this tea~
Let me explain.
Basically, I have always, without even a modicum of irony, given zero credence to Russian Caravan. The most I’ve given to Russia, as far as any sort of credit, has been the suggestion, to my husband, that we could roleplay Czar NicholasXme, without batting one eyelash.
But this tea has taught me what is what. I have always been a fan of the bitter, dark brew…. which all before have always left me half fulfilled, always wanting more. But this tea has given me what a woman wants, what a woman needs, in every sense of the poplular phrases. I am satisfied, slightly more sober, and happy, happy as I have ne’er been before.
Maybe it’s that it’s my first, but I will never ever forget this Caravan. It is my new favorite and I will bring it to my workplace tomorrow if only to remember the glory….
My enjoyment of this tea is frankly baffling to me. I don’t like smoky teas at all on the whole, but there’s something about this one that’s just good. There’s not too much smoke (and what smoke there is isn’t too in-your-face), and the base is smooth and lightly sweet. It’s a well-rounded and interesting sip, and I’m finding myself getting through a pot of it in one sitting easily. Nice!
This was in the sample bowl and there was enough for one cup, thanks Stephanie!
There is a lot of value in finding both what you like, and what you don’t like. Unfortunately, this one fell into the latter category. The leaf smelled ok, so I went through with it. But then as I was carrying the mug down the stairs, I kept smelling smoke and I kept thinking that I should have known better. With a name like “Caravan” it was bound to be smoky.
Then I started sipping and to drink it wasn’t as bad as to smell it, so I kept at it for a while. But around the halfway point I just had to dump it. If you like smoke though, this is probably great!
This might be my favourite Andrews and Dunham tea so far. It is a nice moderately smoked tea where the smoke is strong enough to leave a slight tingle at the back of the throat but not enough to overwhelm the rest of the flavours of the tea. Instead it contributes a certain spiciness to the tea as well as a certain depth to the flavour ranging from roasted smoke notes, pine and pine tar. It is not as smooth as you would find in a straight Lapsang Souchong. The base tea is slightly tart from red fruits and has a bready note and texture. There is a hint of molasses heading towards a maple note, and a bit of cocoa. There is a bit of sharpness and astringency to the tea.
I did two steeps of this tea at around 95°C at 3 and 4 minutes. The resteeps was flavourful, and was slightly sweeter and fruitier. This makes for a nice cozy and flavourful tea. Thanks boychik for the opportunity to try this tea!
So I am looking at the picture and thinking, why is there a pentagram on the label? Then I read the description and I am all like index and pinky in the air screaming (in my head) Yeah! – Let me just say Dio would be pleased. Then references to Burn and Smoke on the Water keep bouncing through my skull. As you can tell I am amused. Where is my Paranoid album?
Opening the bag, this is not fire and brimstone. I first notice sweet smoke with light hints of cinnamon and vanilla (there isn’t any in the blend – just my perception). While the brewed cup is pine smoke bbq scented, the sip is sweet and not at all overpowering. I can even taste the tea. Just like in the movies this bad boy has a tender side.
Despite my initial inclination this would be a sensory assualt, it actually turned out to be a very pleasant caravan tea. Smoky yes, but not offensively so. Quite enjoyed this one. Thanks Terri
Like an old lover you don’t fully remember until he’s an inch away from your face, and then it all comes rushing back… this tea is disarmingly familiar, sweet and smoky, my favorite of A&D’s current offerings. I’m a Lapsang Souchong lover, so the discovery of this smoky tea is a revelation.
They’re not random about their 4 minute steep time, but I discovered by accident yesterday that I prefer to max out the steep time on this one and load it up with milk and a dollop of my black tea sweetener of choice, pure maple syrup. Strong and solid and yes.