Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bon Thé Place
A smokey, strong tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve never attempted to downplay my previous dislike for smoky teas. In fact, dislike may be too gentle a word! I disliked them so much that I couldn’t even have them in my house because the smell was so repulsive to me.
I have since come to appreciate them a little more than I once did (which wouldn’t be hard because I had no appreciation whatsoever for them before! haha) but it’s been a long, hard road to get to that point.
Russian Caravan – like this one from Bon Thé Place – was one of the first smoky teas that I came in contact with … and I remember being so disappointed that it was so strong and smoky. I had big hopes for a tea called Russian Caravan. (I’m part Russian) It was a horrifying experience for me.
Since then, I’ve come to enjoy smoky teas, including Russian Caravan, but I do have my own method in brewing the teas so that they can be enjoyable. First, I steep them for about 10 seconds (a 10 second rinse) and then discard the liquid. This helps remove some of the strongest smoky elements as well as the sort of smoky “dusty” taste that I found most difficult to consume. Then I steep it as usual, using boiling water and steeping for 3 minutes. A perfect cup of tea!
Sure, it’s still smoky, but some of the smoky tones have been eliminated by the rinse. And Now, I can enjoy the sweet, caramel-y undertones (and I love how the caramel notes and the smoky notes mingle together to create a smoky caramel taste … its such a tantalizing flavor!)
The tea is rich and satisfying, full-bodied, with intriguing fruit tones just beneath the smoky layer of flavor. It is an invigorating cup – one that works well to get you going in the morning, it also works as a pleasing afternoon cuppa when you need that little something extra to cast aside the mid-day doldrums.
If you’ve a sensitive palate to the strongly smoky teas, I suggest trying my brewing method for them. You may find out that you, too, can enjoy smoky teas!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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