Russian Caravan Original China Blend

Tea type
Black Tea
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Smoke, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by Janefan
Average preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 11 oz / 325 ml

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From Grace Tea Company

Being a pure China tea blend, our Russian Caravan comes close to the luxury teas that were transported by camel train from the tea-producing areas of India, Ceylon and China to Europe, via Russia during the 18th century. Our Russian Caravan contains chiefly Keemun tea for body and flavor with the addition of Lapsang Souchong tea for an exotic and smoky overtone

About Grace Tea Company View company

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8 Tasting Notes

2048 tasting notes

I have liked everything I ever bought from this company. Hesper June generously sent me this sample of their Russian Caravan, one of the few of their blends I have never tried.

It was rainy and chilly (for here, fifty degrees is chilly until we get used to it!) today, with flocks of birds mobbing my dogwood trees and stripping them of their berries. Very much a wet, fall day that begs for comfort foods! It stayed gray and overcast all day.

I served this with homemade Snickerdoodles today, but first we had Morgan Blend by Simpson and Vail, which was rich, layered, and smoky, while this tea didn’t smell nearly as smoky, but I guess Russian Caravan teas usually are not as smoky as lapsangs. From the aroma of the two teas, I thought the Morgan Blend was going to take all the awards.

But the first sip of this GRT changed my mind! Yes, it was much less smoky, but the tea base was delicious! And just as complex! My guest, the owner of the puppy we keep every Tuesday, had only had Lipton until a few weeks ago when we asked him to join us for some tea. He has liked everything we have given him so far, and he declared this one his favorite of the day.

What surprised me most was that my youngest daughter, who loves smoky tea, liked this one better than the Simpson and Vail, too. She said the Morgan Blend was very good, but that the Russian Caravan had “personality.” LOL! I think I know what she means.

It was rather like meeting someone that you had no idea you would enjoy talking to, and then you find yourself in lively conversation, surprised at this person not being quite what you anticipated.
What a fun tea tasting we had today!

Thank you, Hesper June! We have several more still to try!


Sounds awesome!


love these moments in life when tea brings people together :-)

Hesper June

I agree, this tea has quite the personality.
When I first opened the tin on this I thought I was going to be disappointed, it did not smell all that remarkable.
But, like you, the first sip certainly changed my mind:)


@Hesper June – I want to try this! Would you like to swap for anything in my cupboard? :-)

Hesper June

Sure! I will browse through your cupboard and message you:)


I am having some right now! :)

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168 tasting notes

I like this tea.
Dry leaf smells like a good quality black tea.
The tea itself has a very pleasant smell, almost like leathery smoke.
But, its in the background, not in your face.
This is my first Russian Caravan tea, so I am not sure if I am a expert on saying what it should taste like, but I like this tea.
This is my kind of breakfast tea.
Taste is a bright black tea, then a hint of smoke, then a little honey-like sweetness lingers on the tongue.
This tea is worth getting up for in the morning.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I may have to buy this one. I have liked their other teas and this sounds like it is pretty much right up our alley!

Hesper June

I thought I would be disappointed when I first smelled the dry leaf, but I am quite pleased with it:)


mmmm Russian Caravans are so good =)

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2784 tasting notes

Thanks again to Hesper June for this one. I’d never heard of Grace Tea Company before and went to their website which looks a lot like Mark T. Wendell’s.

Anyway I am living dangerously by having this for breakfast, as it looks quite strong. I’m not a HUGE fan of keemun but I think the lapsang in this blend is quite nice, I like the combination of the two together. For me this is quite a strong cup of tea, I used about 2 tsps. in a big mug of tea so I likely could have gone with less. I’ve had a few Russian caravans and some seem very smoky, while others not at all. I admit I added soymilk to this just for an experiment, although not bad it’s probably better plain.

Recommended if you like a strong cup of semi-smoky tea. I might have to buy myself one of the Grace Tea Sampler packs now! I have so many teas but the straight black ones I drink in the morning disappear the quickest.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Hesper June

Good eye:) the same folks that own Mark T. Wendell do own Grace Tea Co.
Glad you enjoyed it!


Really? Interesting… I wonder why they have two different labels?

Hesper June

They bought Grace Tea Company but its still running independently carrying the rare teas they are known for.
Grace Tea Co. has been around since 1959, I believe.

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20 tasting notes

This is my first Russian Caravan tea. It has a good tea base with a layer of smoke on it, but not so much smoke that it overpowers. I like it, but not enough for everyday drinking. I much prefer it to lapsang souchong and I can drink this as a stand-alone tea.

Flavors: Smoke, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 11 OZ / 325 ML

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