Russian Country

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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41 Tasting Notes View all

From Harney & Sons

A blend of four teas along with an additional touch of Lapsang, this is a softer version of Smoky Lapsang Souchong. This tea is reminiscent of the teas that were carried by camel across the Asian deserts to Russia. As Norwood Pratt quips: “the only choice was one hump or two.”

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

41 Tasting Notes

91
2310 tasting notes

I got this because I was missing my Russian tea from the Covent Tea Garden. It smells smoky in the tin but not overwhelmingly so.

There is a bit of lapsang blended in this tea. It has a slightly smoky flavor but is very slight so it reminds me of the Scottish Breakfast blend from Peet’s I like so much. This is an easy one to drink plain. I am finding it smooth and mellow with not a lot of astringency. It’s true this tea is a bit on the lighter side so I might try a 5 or 6 minute steep next time. I found it very enjoyable, nice for the morning time. I wonder what else is in here, someone mentioned keemun perhaps. It isn’t as sweet or intense as the Baker Street Blend or Hu Kwa for sure, but whatever it is, I like it…

I used to not be a fan of smoky teas at all, I guess they are growing on me a bit. I do find the lapsang blends to be less intimidating than a straight lapsang.

Update: I did try this with soymik and I don’t recommend it that way, seems a lot better plain.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I wasn’t wild about this one, but they used to have a really great one called Wuyi Shan Lapsang. Shame they don’t sell it anymore. But Baker Street can take its place!

TeaBrat

I liked Baker Street too but this is better for the morning time, IMO. :)

Scott B

Hearing long saxophone solos right now!
I bought a Russian Caravan last year at the Loose Leaf Lounge in Chicago and it tasted like it was 100% Lapsang.. Maybe “Russian” is perceived as a better term for marketing?

TeaBrat

I didn’t know what the connection was between Russian caravans and lapsang but evidently it has its’ own wiki entry – for the curious here’s the link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Caravan

The DJBooth

Sounds great!

ScottTeaMan

Yes I like Baker St, but haven’t tried this one. Sometimes Keemuns can be a lil smokey.

ashmanra

Thanks for the link! Interesting!

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84
951 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 30 of the year 2014.

Revisiting the delights of tea after some time away feels in some ways like being a tea virgin all over again. I remember the first time I encountered smoky tea and was blown away that tea could taste like that.

I’m getting flashbacks to that experience drinking this. This is an easy smoky tea to drink. It’s mild in its smokiness and not resiny or piney, but still enough to make you think of walking through the neighborhood while folks have wood fires burning in their fireplaces. I tend to drink smoky teas when its overcast and rainy for this reason, but I’m enjoying this one just fine on a sunny, warm-ish day.

Kat_Maria

I really gotta try some more smoky teas. The only ones I’ve had were Twinings Lapsang in bags and The Republic of Tea’s loose leaf lapsang (Which was worse than Twinings, to be honest).

__Morgana__

This might be something you’d like. It does have lapsang in it, but that’s only part of the blend so the lapsang smoke isn’t overpowering. I’ve had lapsangs that made me feel as though I had burnt pine resin stuck in my nostrils for days. This is nowhere near that. ;-)

Kat_Maria

Yeah, it sounds like a step up in the right direction. I added it to my “shopping list” :)

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87
6770 tasting notes

Special Thanks to Amy Oh for this one – I got your envelop today! Thanks so much!

This smells like a gentle LS. I agree with Amy Oh on this completely!
With the gentle LS – it seems to be paired with something else…like…maybe, a Breakfast Tea…Scottish or English, maybe…or something slightly bakey-cakey, even…not sure.

I like the mystery, tho.

And this is tasty. I like it! It’s satisfying without being overly smoke.

TeaBrat

I’m glad you liked it!

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508 tasting notes

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped six minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

Yep, lost track of time again. The tea did not get bitter. It did get POTENT. I am very awake right now. Holy snappin caffeine kick.

Excellent blend of black teas with lapsing souchong. Smoky, but not overpoweringly smoky. A big leap from India black tea. I can see this one becoming a favourite.

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90
4323 tasting notes

Backlog:

A really good blend that has just the right level of smokiness for me. I don’t generally like a heavy smoky tone … I have come around to enjoying an occasional Lapsang Souchong now and then but I don’t really consider them a favorite, and I find that I prefer it when I find a tea like this one, that utilizes Lapsang Souchong as part of a blend so that the smokiness is subdued.

This is flavorful and satisfying … a nice cup for first thing in the morning. Brightly flavored with nice caramel undertones and that lovely wisp of smoke.

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612 tasting notes

This is quite a pleasant smoke blend. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m a plebe or what, but I’ve noticed most of the smoky blends I’ve tried since joining Steepster all please me (provided I’m in the mood for smokiness) in pretty much the same way, to roughly the same degree. It’s as if the smokiness takes care of any concerns about smoothness, astringency, bitterness, body, etc.; perhaps it’s just that the tea types used as the foundation to make smoky blends (lapsang souchong and keemun usually) tend to have qualities aside from that (medium-thick bodies, a sort of vanilla/chocolate-y thing underlining everything) that sit well with me. Whatever it is, anything more nuanced than the musty SMOKESMOKESMOKE one dimensional over-the-top feels-like-the-whole-tea-table-must-be-covered-in-soot lapsangs we drank at Crumpets years ago seems to get my approval. This is no exception. I have a big tin specially labeled for my “decent afternoon smoke break” teas—it’s got bits and bobs from lots of places: Upton Imports, Della Terra, New Mexico Tea Company, Harney and Sons, Lupicia, Samovar—and I like them all just about the same, where they’re interchangeable to me when that’s what I want. This will do nicely in that collection, one of the best of the lot, as compulsively drinkable as Upton’s Baker Street. It’s got that subtly sweet, choc-vanilla undercurrent I love and associate with keemuns, and the smoke is definitely present but it’s warm and gentle, not acrid or musty. The ashy quality of lapsang only comes out full strength in the aftertaste, and it’s kind of nice if you like that sort of thing because you’ve been primed by the sweet warmth at the front of the sip.

I keep saying it but I really appreciate Harney’s vast “strong black tea blends” collection and how impressively decent-to-great they are given there’s about a billion of them. They do a great job catering to legacy-style morning tea tastes but sourced and blended to be flavorful, smooth, balanced, and lovely.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
keychange

I am finding that I am falling in love with h and s teas as well. I am a fiend for strong breakfast blends, so I intend on trying several of them. My current affair is with the Queen herself, though.

ifjuly

sounds like we are on the same path! it’s been a delight trying so many and finding i like or at least appreciate just about all of them on some level. i’ve yet to find any as charming as the queen (hee) but eight at the fort and big red sun were especially nice too (big red sun seems perfect for when you’re eating a big greasy diner breakfast—sausage, eggs, biscuits, the whole shebang). high five to you my fellow strong-morning-black-blends fan! (:

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736 tasting notes

nooooooo my note just got erased :(

bullet points!
- i love lapsang blends when i feel like drinking a lapsang blend
- this is an uber drinkable lapsang blend. it has poetry.
- meaning it makes me wanna read a book and tuck the quilt under the bottom of my feet to keep the heat in. this tea is like the honesty of paper.
- so glad i decided to order it.

Bonnie

Poetry is good. I’d like to meet a Sean Connery type with lapsang souchong, poetry and a private jet. Why not fly off to St. Petersburg for Christmas. I’d need furs and diamonds though (on loan is ok). I want to ride in a Troika!

ifjuly

ooooh i just got a sample of this yesterday. excited now!

keychange

I love this tasting note.

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81
1798 tasting notes

This is in my cupboard thanks to DOULTON. :)

I wanted something with a little body and heft today since we are having our first chilly weather. Youngest is joining me at tea table so I chose a Lapsang, since she really enjoys them, which blows my mind. Kids like Lapsangs?

This is good and I am enjoying it. It was a little thin for me so I added milk and a wee sprinkle of sugar. Now it is quite good. The tea base is better, in my opinion, in Baker Street Blend by Upton, or perhaps it is just more flavorful, but it has a chewy, pipe tobacco quality that is quite engaging. When I repurchase my Lapsang, it will almost certainly be Baker Street. ( Which was also thanks to DOULTON!)

LiberTEAS

I miss Doulton… I wish she would visit Steepster more often!

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80
429 tasting notes

This is a good smooth tasty tea, but I think it could use just a little more lapsang souchong in it. Thats just my tastes though, I like smoky tea. It is an enjoyable tea and I could drink it everyday.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Gander

I’m looking to try some smoky tea, and for some reason all those teas with “Russian” in it sounds appealing… Thanks for the review.

Dan

This is a mild tea, smoky but not overly so. Its not expensive either.

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79
314 tasting notes

Hmmm…I can taste the keemun and lapsang most distinctly. The pinewood forest campfire flavor is tempered by freshly baked biscuits. Yum….smoky biscuits! :)

There is a refreshing tang of astringency with each sip. Not bitter but tannic, in a good way—“brisk”.

Russian Country can be considered the “gateway” to much bolder teas. Or a lapsang blend for the uninitiated. The smokiness is there but its boldness is tamed by the other yummy black teas.

Interesting…but not too complex—pretty good choice for a lazy weekend!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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