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.