Russian Caravan Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Bergamot, Black Tea
Flavors
Apricot, Bergamot, Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Molasses, Orange, Plums, Sweet Potatoes, Toast, Tobacco, Lemon
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Kosher
Edit tea info Last updated by tadurling
Average preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 13 oz / 384 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “So, for those of you who may not know, Simpson & Vail is one of the most established tea merchants in the United States, having been around in one form or another since the turn of the...” Read full tasting note
    81
  • “This tea is not bad and not incredible, it falls somewhere in between. It is not, however, a traditional Russian Caravan blend, which I didn’t realize when I bought it. It is really a Russian Earl...” Read full tasting note
    80

From Simpson & Vail

One of Mr. Vail’s 15 original tea blends.

This creation of Mr. Vail’s combines teas from China, Taiwan, India and Sri Lanka and has a dash of Earl Grey. This Russian style tea brews to a bright copper cup with a mellow, flavorful, medium-bodied taste and a lemon-citrus aftertaste.

Ingredients: Black teas from India, Sri Lanka, China and Taiwan and bergamot oil.

Brew tea at 212º – steep for 3 minutes.

Certified Kosher

Note: This blend of Mr. Vail’s differs from standard Russian Caravan blends on the market. Standard Russian Caravan tea includes Lapsang Souchong, which this blend does not. If you prefer this standard version see our Smoky Siberian Blend

About Simpson & Vail View company

Company description not available.

2 Tasting Notes

81
943 tasting notes

So, for those of you who may not know, Simpson & Vail is one of the most established tea merchants in the United States, having been around in one form or another since the turn of the twentieth century. They are still going strong today and continue to be renowned for their numerous high quality blended teas. This Russian caravan blend is one of the company’s original blends, having first been formulated at some point in the early 1900s. If one were to compare this blend to other Russian-style blends, however, one would notice something unique about this blend immediately. It does not contain any lapsang souchong. Rather, it is a mix of black teas with a dash of Earl Grey added for additional character. Think of it as something like Kusmi Tea’s Russian blends, only lighter, simpler, and more restrained.

In the glass, the infused liquor shows a clear, dark amber. Mild, layered aromas of leather, tobacco, caramel, cocoa, honey, toast, malt, lemon zest, and bergamot are most noticeable on the nose, though if I really focus, I also get subtle impressions of sweet potato, plum, orange, and apricot. In the mouth, the tea is nicely balanced, offering smooth notes of honey, toast, malt, molasses, mild cocoa, leather, tobacco, and caramel underscored by subtler notes of lemon zest, bergamot, sweet potato, orange, plum, and apricot. The finish is mild, and to me, a little clipped, with pleasant citrus, stone fruit, honey, malt, toast, and leather notes.

Okay, so this is really mild compared to the Russian blends available from many other vendors, and the fact that this is labeled a Russian caravan blend is a little misleading since it lacks the smokiness and woodiness of traditional Russian caravan teas. It is, however, both unique and pleasant. Overall, it is a subtler-than-expected blend with a nice layering of aromas and flavors. I rather like it and would recommend it to those looking for an afternoon tea with a little bit of kick, but without a ton of sharpness and astringency. Just don’t expect a heavy, smoky blend.

Flavors: Apricot, Bergamot, Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Molasses, Orange, Plums, Sweet Potatoes, Toast, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
1758 tasting notes

This tea is not bad and not incredible, it falls somewhere in between. It is not, however, a traditional Russian Caravan blend, which I didn’t realize when I bought it. It is really a Russian Earl Grey with bergamot added. It has a relatively nice lemony citrus taste to it. I wouldn’t rush out to buy more, I will probably finish it before it goes bad in about two years or so of storage. Fans of Earl Grey might really like this tea.

I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.

Flavors: Bergamot, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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