drank Russian Caravan by Twinings
14 tasting notes

Since experimenting with oolong teas in the last few days, I’m finding that I’ve gone off my old Twinings favourites a little bit. Maybe because I’ve been fooling around with my usual tea-to-water ratio.

In the past, I’ve always gone for one kitchen teaspoon (ie. a more generous measure than a measuring spoon) of tea per cup, plus “one for the pot”. After tasting some oolongs, I tried one measured teaspoon per cup with my Twinings teas, which seems fine for the Russian Caravan but a little on the weak side for the Earl Grey. Tonight I went back to the old one kitchen teaspoon plus one for the pot, and found the strength to be okay but found the aftertaste of the tea to be a little… well… “papery”.

Does anyone else feel that Twinings loose teas have a bit of a “papery” or “cardboardy” aftertaste? Maybe it’s always been that way, and I just didn’t notice until I started drinking some more subtle teas. Or maybe it’s because I just use plain old tap-water (which, judging by many of the discussions on this site, appears to be a big no-no). Or maybe I’m just making the tea too strong.

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I inherited the tea-drinking gene from my mother and my grandparents. My sister inherited the coffee-drinking gene from my father – unfortunately I couldn’t save her!

In my teens, I thought that Twinings loose tea was the pinnacle of quality tea. It wasn’t until my wife stumbled across the Lupicia store in Melbourne and brought home some Lapsang Souchong (the Twinings loose tea variety seems hard to come by around here nowadays) that I realised there’s a whole world of quality tea out there.

I drink tea every day, although I’ve been trying to limit my intake of black tea – I recently realised that I was downing eight-to-ten cups of strong black tea a day! I love the rituals in tea-making as much as the tea itself, and I always look forward to sharing new teas with friends over a chat at the dining table.

My father was given a gift of some oolong tea in Hong Kong, which he hands out very sparingly, and I’ve just started to explore oolong teas myself.

Generally, however, my taste in tea leans towards black teas that are big and bold, such as Lapsang Souchong. I do also enjoy green tea, but I fear that Lapsang has ruined my tastebuds forever! Ah, Lapsang, you are a fickle friend…

I live in regional Victoria, Australia, with the missus and three little ‘uns. Coming from an Italian background, my wife prefers coffee to tea, but will occasionally try a new tea with me. My tea rituals seem to have captured the imagination of my two oldest children, and the highlight of 2011 (apart from the birth of our third child) was when my six-year-old was asked what he’d like to drink with his evening meal, and he replied “I’ll have Russian Caravan please!”


Victoria, Australia

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