Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Tea Spot, Russian Caravan

The Tea Spot Description:
This classic blend is strong and bold, with an intriguing complexity - just how we like our breakfast teas. Our Organic Russian Caravan's sophistication stems from the careful composition of gour high-quality organic large leaf teas - lapsang souchong, dark oolong, assam, & puerh - perfectly balanced to deliver a kiss of smoke and sweetness to your palate. This tea brings new life to an ancient tradition of flavor.

My Review:
I am learning to never say I don't like a tea. Instead if I come across something that causes me to take a step back upon sipping, I simply think today I do not care for this. The reason I make this distinction is tastes change. Not that long ago simply the aroma of the dry leaf from this blend would have had me quaking in my shoes. Today its scent is awesome.

I received a sample of this from a friend who double baggied it and it still filled the room with subtle traces of smoke before it was opened. This is a blend of lapsang souchong, puerh, dark oolong, and assam. I used one and a half tsp with 12oz of boiling water and steeped for 3 1/2 minutes. The brew is reddish orange. The scent is smoke - yeah baby!

In the cup, I cannot at first distinguish between the different teas in this blend. The smoky aspect is complex and sweet. It does not smell like bacon or BBQ as smoky teas sometimes can. Neither is it like ashes. The base underneath is rich, thick, and almost creamy feeling. I am crediting that to the puerh. As the cup cools I am catching the assam in the aftertaste and the oolong late in the sip.

The second cup has more of the puerh in the aroma. The taste while similar to the first, finds the smoke slightly lighter. There are now notes of pepper and cinnamon. As much as I enjoyed the first cup, I believe I like the second more. I am certain this has at least one more cup in it, maybe more, but I am out of time for he day.

If you are a fan of lapsang souchong, this is an excellent smoky blend.

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