Russian Country

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves, Lapsang Souchong
Flavors
Not available
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Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Patrick G
Average preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 16 oz / 473 ml

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45 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.

45 Tasting Notes

92
3 tasting notes

Tasty! A blend of various black teas, the smokiness from the lapsang souchong only comes in at the very end. A nice lightly smoky tea that offers something different than usual.

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75
361 tasting notes

I was cleaning out my tea cupboard when I came across a whole set of Harney & Sons samples I had forgotten about from ::mumblemumble:: years back. So I might be reviewing a bit more in the near future. However, I must note that even though the packets are air tight, this tea is a few years old and therefore maybe not the most accurate.

Not a lot to say about this tea. If it were my first smoky tea, then I think that I wouldn’t be very impressed. It’s fine and held up after I oversteeped it a bit. It has a distinct earthy aftertaste — not bad. It’s fine, but I won’t order a full tin. NE

Preparation
4 min, 45 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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86
98 tasting notes

Really nice lapsang. My stomach says it’s strong, but there’s a nice mellower aftertaste, but yeah still smoky. I think I encouraged Shmiracles to get this one because of the name, and because it’s Harney, and because I know she likes lapsang too. I like all novel Russian things, and I have a few Kusmi tea collections in my Amazon wish list that are kind of a dream buy. Someday!

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451 tasting notes

Ah I’m posting this note hours after consuming this tea, which feels a bit wrong because I want to do it justice. I do remember, however, my first experience with a smoky black tea-it was the keemun hao ya a (which is somehow different from a keemun hao ya b, etc…?), and it was from art of Tea. I remember the distinct impression that the tea smelled of barn yard, and unfortunately that association persisted until I finished the sample. I posted about it to you fine folk, and one of you implored me not to give up on smoky teas, and so I did my best to soldier on. I loved the Queen, and she’s got a smoky element to her, and this one also came highly recommended from ifjuly whom I like a great deal.

This tea did smell predictably smoky as soon as I opened the package, although I can’t say I immediately envisioned a barn, which I suppose is a good thing. Once brewed, it retained its smoky smell, but I was also getting hints of burnt chocolate, along with…another smell that I can’t really place. It sort of smelled as though a house was burning-you know that smell that will drift about a most unfortunate neighborhood when a house is burning down? sort of that salty smell that, if not for being born to you on crisp fall or winter air, might actually be more upsetting? I mean, of course it’s upsetting-the thought of anyone’s home burning down is very tragic…oh my god, how the hell did my tasting note feature a burning family home? aaahhh. But basically, there’s an almost salty aspect to the burning chocolate smoke smell of this tea. That particular facet of the smell doesn’t translate into the taste, however. The tea tastes lovely, with hints of dark chocolate, malt, and campfire, and I loved it. I don’t actually know what’s Russian about smoke, but hey, I’ll take it. I also realized that for me (and others, I imagine), enjoying a good smoky tea is a bit of an acquired taste. Mr. Keychange took a sip of my tea this morning and said that it seemed weird but that he could get used to it. I pretty much inhaled the cup alongside my double vanilla buttercream cupcake, and would be happy to have a tea like this in my collection. There’s probably enough left in the sample for another cup.

Courtney

Hahaha omg I know I shouldn’t have laughed at the “oh my god, how the hell did my tasting note feature a burning family home…” but I did. And good for you for soldiering on into the territory of smoky teas.

keychange

I’m glad I soldiered on also! and yeah…I was like, trying to describe a burning home for the sake of the tea, but then I was like am I really using a tragedy to describe how this tea smells? and then I was tripping all over myself and aaahh!

Cavocorax

Ahahaha. This made my day. :P

keychange

Haha I’m glad!

CharlotteZero

Yeah, I felt bad laughing, but this note cracked me up…!

keychange

Well, if it makes you guys feel any better, I felt awful comparing my tea to a burning house, too…but that really is what it smelled like! ha

ifjuly

I think the Russian element comes from the common name for smoke tea blends, Russian Caravan, which was a reference to the way lapsang souchong, keemun, and other Chinese teas used to be transported (in Russian caravans) for the long journey to the West by land (which took ferfarkingever of course, so associated only with teas processed to withstand such long routes, like smoky ones). But like most tea trivia and lore, that might not be accurate—just a common explanation though (IIRC I learned it from an Upton catalog).

I enjoy your notes. (:

keychange

Hey, that explanation souns as good as any! :D

OMGsrsly

Oh goodness your note made me laugh. :)

Kamyria

LMFAO kechange… this was so random and hilarious at the same time.

keychange

hahahaha!!

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100
1 tasting notes

A substantial blend with just the right amount of smoke for my tastes. This is one of my go-to teas when I need a sturdy cuppa, something comforting and consistent. It’s a really perfectly balanced tea.

Additive note: I used to drink it with some rock sugar and milk and it was brilliant. Recently I went off dairy and sugar, have severe nut allergies and as yet, I have not been able to recapture the previous perfection. It isn’t bad with agave or honey, but it isn’t the same. And coconut milk is really not a great addition to the flavor profile. Neither was soy. We’re going to try some rice milk in this and see how that works.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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25
197 tasting notes

This tea smells very strongly of Lapsang Souchong, but doesn’t deliver it in the taste, which surprisingly had a bit of licorice to it. As it cools, there’s more smoke, but it’s not a particularly good tea

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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