Smokey Russian Caravan

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Black Tea
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  • “My first order from Jeeves and Jericho has arrived and it's full of goodies. I ordered three tins of tea and a strainer shaped like a leaf. I have received three tins of tea, a strainer shaped...” Read full tasting note
    80
    Angrboda 1270 tasting notes

From Jeeves & Jericho

Our exotic gold award winning blend of Russian Caravan is made up of China and Indian black teas taking inspiration from the Silk Road trading routes from centuries gone by.

Our blend is a delicious road to travel down, evoking the images of the long journey this tea would have taken. Using age old flavours of a bold black tea with hints of smokiness like passing through a smoldering alpine forest, courtesy of the Lapsang Souchong blend. This is tea with a sense of adventure!

Ingredients:
A blend of black leaf Keemun, Assam, Darjeeling and Tarry Lapsang Souchong

Tea Facts:
There are many myths and legends surrounding the history and origin of this tea. Although this is a Chinese tea, its name is thought to have originated from the 18th century camel caravans that facilitated the transcontinental tea trade from teaproducing areas (namely India, Ceylon and China) to Europe via Russia. In the early 1800s Russian Caravan was simply a varietal but it evolved from its original flavour identity to become a blend in the late 1800s when tea-blending was exploding as an industry and new blends created and it became the established stronger slightly smoky version we know and love today. Its smoky flavour comes from containing a partial amount of Lapsang Souchong, the most famous Chinese black teas. which undergoes a complex drying process of double smoking over pine or cypress wood fires.

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2 Tasting Notes

80
1270 tasting notes

My first order from Jeeves and Jericho has arrived and it’s full of goodies. I ordered three tins of tea and a strainer shaped like a leaf.

I have received three tins of tea, a strainer shaped like a leaf, three samples of tea, a plastic measuring spoon, a button with their logo and a postcard.

The leaves have a lovely smoky aroma, which I could smell as soon as I got the lid off the tin. Smoky and wood-y and remarkably sweet. Like dark, dark caramel. Not just dark, but daaaaaaaaaaaaaahrk!

After steeping it’s almost the same, although the wood-y parts of the aroma has been rather turned down. Now it’s mostly smoky and dark, dark caramel. I can detect something vaguely floral now as well.

All this bodes quite well for the flavour, I should say.

Surprisingly, the first sip is Darjeeling. Forcefully so. Some of you may remember I had the Samovar blend from Kusmi, which I suspected of containing Darjeeling. I can’t remember, though, if it was merely a suspicion or if it was confirmed to have Darjeeling in it, and to be honest I can’t be bothered to look it up now. (I think it was confirmed) This tea reminds me of that blend, mainly because of that very bright initial meeting with Darjeeling in the flavour.

With the Samovar blend, I was mildly sceptical at first, but it really did grow on me, so in spite of my usual misgivings about Darjeeling in general, I am not concerned. Besides, I did know from the beginning that it would contain Darjeeling. But you see it also contains Lapsang Souchong. And LS trumps all!

Anyway, we have established that it reminds me of the Kusmi Samovar blend. First sip, Darjeeling. Bright and cheerful, bouncing up to say hello to the tastebuds. Slightly grassy and slightly spicy, but not offensively so. Hello to you too, Darjeeling.

Second sip is larger and contains more smoky notes than the first, but also more Darjeeling. That Darjeeling creature really is all over the place in this blend. It’s like a little over-eager dog who’s trying to greet every single family member simultaneously and so is bouncing up and down and around, very nearly actually succeeding in being in five places at the same time.

Let’s ignore the unruly Darjeeling for a moment though, and maybe it will calm down and behave itself.

There’s a grainy note as well here and something floral, which tells me the Keemun is present and accounted for. It’s very subtle though, and easy to overlook if one doesn’t pay attention or if one is overwhelmed by aforementioned Darjeeling. I could very much have wished for this aspect to be stronger.

I should have liked the LS and the smoke to stand out a bit more as well. As smoky blends go, this one is pretty mild. A beginner’s smoky blend perhaps. (I shan’t say a ‘girly kind of smoky’, although it was the first thing that popped into my head.)

CHAroma

So sweet! I’ll have to try out this retailer.

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