Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Damn Fine Tea
You might think that it’s hard for a classic tea to keep its fans wide awake and screaming for more, year after year, tour after tour. Maybe you wonder if a blend ever grows weary of trashing countertops the world over? Perhaps you think that following an exhausting after-dinner encore in Sioux City, this tea is not prepared to demolish breakfast in Wichita the next morning?
We’re proud to welcome Carävan back into our lineup. It’s long been one of our favorite, hard-rocking teas, and now it’s bigger, bolder, and better than ever. Hold on to your biscuits and let this custom blend of strong, smoky black tea from China rock you — you won’t regret it!
Learn more about this tea here.
The first time I tried this Caravan Black Tea Blend, I tried the original batch (not the Ressurrected version!) from Andrews & Dunham’s Damn Fine Tea third series. I didn’t review it back then, because I was more than just a little put off by the smokiness of the tea. Back then … I didn’t know how to brew a smoky tea. I have since learned a few things on how to best brew a smoky tea for my taste buds, which tend to be a little put off by a really strong smoky presence.
I know I’ve mentioned the “secret” more than once on this blog, but for those that may have missed it, the secret to brewing a very smoky tea (like a Lapsang Souchong or a blend with Lapsang Souchong leaves in it – like this blend) is to do a quick “rinse” of the leaves. Pour the hot water over the leaves, allow the leaves to steep for 15 seconds, and then strain off the liquid and discard it. Then resteep the leaves for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes. This process will produce a tea that is still smoky, but not so smoky that it tastes as though you’re drinking tea from a dirty ashtray.
Because … I like some smokiness to a tea … I just don’t really care for the full-boar, robust smokiness of a tea like this one has when the above brewing method has not been employed. Some smoke = compelling. Too much smoke = NO.
But now that I’ve brewed this tea to cater to my taste buds, I’m really enjoying it. It’s still smoky, sure, but, I can taste other flavors in this tea now that the smoke isn’t overpowering the cup. The smoke is still the strongest note to the cup, but there are other delightful tastes to be discovered.
It is sweet and caramel-y. There are deep fruity notes that meld deliciously with the burnt-sugar caramel. There is some drying astringency toward the tail, but it’s what I’d categorize as moderate. Overall, this is a very enjoyable cuppa, and certainly worth the little bit of extra effort it takes to rinse the leaves!
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!
Latest posts by liberteas (see all)
- Wow – We Just Hit 5K! (5,000 Posts, That is!) #TeaGiveaway - November 16, 2016
- The Holiday Season Approaches! - October 5, 2015
- Please Help to Keep the SororiTea Sisters Going! - June 30, 2015