Russian Caravan

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Tobacco, Wood
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Riley Boughton
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 8 oz / 250 ml

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18 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I discovered an old tin of this while I was clearing out some of my clutter. It was almost full! I have no idea when I bought it, but I know it hasn't been available in the States for a long...” Read full tasting note
    88
    mamamiau 123 tasting notes
  • “I was in the ED today and found a box of this in the breakroom. It swells smoky dry. I used water from the zip kettle so it was boiling and maybe even a little superheated. I brewed it for...” Read full tasting note
    67
    sandragon 61 tasting notes
  • “I've been drinking this quite steadily at work these past few days. The mornings have got pretty cold, and this is just the tea I need to get the day started once I arrive. I know there's some...” Read full tasting note
    85
    Scheherazade 1088 tasting notes
  • “Twinings Russian Caravan has been my everyday "quaffing" tea for many years. It has a smooth but robust flavour that is perfect for any time of day. It doesn't leave your palate feeling bitter,...” Read full tasting note
    100
    Rofey 14 tasting notes

From Twinings

Russian Caravan tea is not in fact a tea grown in Russia, but a Chinese tea. Until the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 the way of tea from China to Europe had been long and arduous. Tea could be shipped by sea, which was a four month trip with an inevitable loss of quality. Alternatively it could be taken by land, which could take up to 16 months across Middle Asia with much less loss of quality.

Russian Caravan tea originated from the land journey on a camel caravan and in the process the tea would become scented by the nightly campfires. Historically, Russian Caravan tea was the most important drink after vodka in Russia and was the blend cherished by the Russian aristocracy!

Twinings Russian Caravan tea is a fragrant blend of Keemun and other fine China teas producing a delicate nutty flavour that is easy on the palate.

As a robust, full bodied blend, this tea will serve you well after the silly season as a filling tea to drink instead of snacking on left over Christmas cake. Also, how appropriate at this time of year that Russian caravan pairs well with your barbecued meats, as it shares the same lightly smoked characteristic.

About Twinings View company

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18 Tasting Notes

88
123 tasting notes

I discovered an old tin of this while I was clearing out some of my clutter. It was almost full! I have no idea when I bought it, but I know it hasn’t been available in the States for a long time.

This was the tea that, years ago, turned me into a tea drinker although not a very steadfast or adventurous one. At one time this was my breakfast beverage of choice, and when I started looking for a replacement I hit upon Taylor’s of Harrowgate’s Scottish Breakfast blend. To my faulty memory, the Scottish Breakfast was reminiscent of my late lamented Russian Caravan, unlike other teas I discovered that were called Russian Caravan, Russian Country, etc. I had absolutely NO memory of the slight smokiness of the Twinings Russian Caravan. Which was still there when I finally brewed a cup!

I think this is mostly Assam with a small proportion of Lapsang Souchong. Others say it’s Keemun, and the recent copy above says its Chinese tea, not Indian, so either the blend has changed or I can’t tell because the tea in this tin is so old and my taste buds are, too! It’s a much fainter smokiness than any of the other Russian Caravan teas I’ve tried, but since I have no memory of that from earlier days I don’t think it has deteriorated in the case of my aging tin. I suspect I was drinking a bit of full-strength Lapsang Souchong (probably also Twinings’) in those days as well.

Anyway, this long ramble comes down to several things: it was nice to revisit an old friend, and I will be sorry to empty the tin, but good to know how well the tea apparently held up. I also know now that there are newer friends out there that can fill the place this tea once held in my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
K S

I enjoyed reading your rediscovery of an old friend. I had this years ago but so long ago I really don’t remember anything about it.

Barb

I have been AWOL again! Thanks for the comment. I wish Twinings would sell it in the States again, but at least I know there are other possibilities out there now.

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67
61 tasting notes

I was in the ED today and found a box of this in the breakroom. It swells smoky dry. I used water from the zip kettle so it was boiling and maybe even a little superheated. I brewed it for probably over 5 minutes while I was talking to Orthopaedics in Townsville. It has a pretty mild smoky flavour, just detectable. It is also on the sweet side without any additions. While it wasn’t the most interesting Russian Caravan, it is a nice changed from the bagged ceylon I have been drinking at work.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Bagged Ceylon? Oh, what has become of you in the Outback? Hurry back so you can have loose leaf again!

Sandy

I know, it is sad. I will have to be re-educated about good tea. I don’t really have any personal space at work so I don’t bring my infuser or leaf. But I do have loose leaf in the mornings before I go to work so it’s not a complete tragedy. :)

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85
1088 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking this quite steadily at work these past few days. The mornings have got pretty cold, and this is just the tea I need to get the day started once I arrive. I know there’s some confusion about the origin of this tea, but my bag says chinese keemun.

First off, I have to say that this isn’t quite what I thought. From what I’ve read about Russian Caravan I was expecting a slightly smoky taste, which I can’t detect at all. I find myself mildly disappointed by this. That being said, I think this is a fabulous breakfast tea — strong and dependable. I’m actually considering replacing my usual English Breakfast with this, because, while not very exciting, it is a fabulous tasting tea.

I think I’ll continue to experiment with Russian Caravan blends from other manufacturers, because I’d really like to find one with the fabled smokiness. For now, though, this is really hitting the spot.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
CrowSister

DELETEless than a minute ago
I started drinking russian caravan in high school in the 70s…ahem. I can recommend http://steepster.com/teas/upton-tea-imports/10276-finest-russian-caravan-tb70
The trick is to limit steeping time as it becomes bitter (?)quickly. I simply love this as my afternoon black tea when I indulge.

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100
14 tasting notes

Twinings Russian Caravan has been my everyday “quaffing” tea for many years. It has a smooth but robust flavour that is perfect for any time of day. It doesn’t leave your palate feeling bitter, unlike the rough ride you get from a lot of the budget brand supermarket teas.

There is simply no comparison between the loose tea and tea bags in Twinings Russian Caravan – the loose tea wins hands down. And fortunately it is readily available on supermarket shelves around here (regional Victoria, Australia), unlike some other varieties of Twinings loose tea.

As with all other teas, I drink mine black with no sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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100
5 tasting notes

I started drinking the Twinings Russian Caravan about a decade and a half ago. I’d only buy the loose leaf in the blue tins but then they stopped selling it in the US. I could find it in teabags every once in awhile but it wasn’t as good. Recently I heard that Twinings still produced it for both the UK and Australia – and that the UK website ships to the US. 4 125g bags cost just under $50 in total after shipping and I’m pleased to report was worth every penny. This is my long lost friend, home again. A perfect balance of flavor, not too bitter, just sweet enough and strong caffeine. This will be my go to tea for as long as I can get it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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95
2 tasting notes

I tried this tea while traveling to south east asia years ago. Found it in Thailand and Cambodia. It was made in the Australian branch of Twinings not available in the northern hemisphere from what I can find. It is my second favorite tea after Chai currently. But every manufacturer other than the Australian Twinnings version I toss out because I don’t like them. If you ever get a chance try out the Australian Twinings Russian Caravan if you are a fan of black tea.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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90
59 tasting notes

How i got it: Bought it

Experience: This is a interesting tea. While it has a smooth and light flavor, it’s not clear and evident; i would say it goes more on the nutty and malty side, with a hint of acidic. At the other hand, in addition to the tea’s own aroma, i can sense a very slight touch of smokiness. The resulting bouquet is notable and adds a special touch to the blend. Really good.

Would i buy it again?: Sure, it’s a good addition to the mix

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80
3 tasting notes

This smells exactly like burning eucalyptus on a guides campfire as a child, a warm, smokey scent mingled with slightly burnt food and memories. It makes me happy, and nostalgic, despite never having smelt it before.

The first sip; a hint of smoke, enough to tickle at the very backs of my nostrils and fill my mouth with faint tastes of something very slightly floral. This is a tea I could happily drink for the rest of my life.

I keep breathing it in, filling my tiny dorm room with smells and memories of being outside. Russian Caravan reduces me to a seven year old, wrapped in my sleeping bag, fishing burnt marshmallows from the embers. It tastes like a part of my childhood I had forgotten.

The second sip is less perfect, the taste of smoke I expected to grow is lessened by my expectation. I take a third, trying not to expect smoke, and a whole new world lights up for me. Yes, there is still the smoke, wrapping the furthest corners of my mind, but now the woody undertones are more present, I feel like I’ve been transported into the middle of a forest, sitting by a campfire sharing old stories and wrapped in a patchwork quilt.

This is my comfort tea, my escape from the world. Each taste welcomes something new, but it is always something I want to sip again.

If this is what bagged tea can be, then I can only wonder what true tea could taste like.

Colour: Reddish Brown
Drunk black, no additives

Flavors: Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86
22 tasting notes

I LOVE this tea. It tastes incredible – not too sweet, not at all bitter, and very special – and it has just enough caffeine to make it good enough for a morning cuppa.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 250 ML

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76
7 tasting notes

I’m usually much more of a fan of green teas, but this is great. Mellow, not bitter at all, could almost be described as sweet. I had it without sugar or milk. My only suggestion is it could use some more smokiness.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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