Upton Tea Imports Russian Caravan offers a kinder, gentler Lapsang Souchong experience. Well, that’s my impression anyway. My understanding is that Russian Caravan is a blend of Lapsang Souchong with others teas, usually keemun and oolong, but some renditions seem more black than others. In all cases, this one included, the smoky campfire aspect of intense single origin Lapsang Souchong is considerably tamed, since it is offset by the presence of the counterbalancing teas.
This is a very good blend, as evidenced by the fact that it tastes smooth and not at all scratchy or bitter even au naturel. The liquor is a rich red brown, but there is no malty flavor (as in Assam) whatsoever. I find that though it is perfectly potable plain, this Russian Caravan is enhanced with cream, which is how I am drinking it right now.
Another fine offering from Upton Tea Imports, my first “real tea” company. I am happy still to have a can of this yummy stuff around, and glad to find today that its flavor has not suffered from old age in the least.
I should perhaps add that my lot is from TB70, which appears to be the “superior” grade of Upton Russian Caravan.