Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Russian Caravan

as promised, i am going to review any new teas that i try. so, here we go, tea #1. RUSSIAN CARAVAN is a tea that i bought one, maybe two, weeks ago by Choice Organic Teas. Of course, i only bought it because it said "'russian caravan" on it, and it is a black tea, of which i am running low. anyway, so the back of the box informs us that "organic russian caravan tea features the bold flavours so highly sought by the 19th century Russian Czar. Camel caravans laboured over a perilous route from China, and months of nightly fires added a heady aroma to the tea cargo. Our select black tea blend combines rich yunnan with distinctively smoky lapsang souchong"
alright, so once i saw this tea had yunnan in it, i was pretty excited, since golden heaven yunnan is my favourite tea ever (see post: sweet elixer of life!), but i had never tried lapsang souchong. after doing a little bit of research i found out that lapsang souchong is a smoked tea, which is where this tea gets its strong aroma. upon opening the box, i was assaulted with the strangest smell. at first, the smell is mild and nice, but then the overpowering smoky pine smell is enough to knock you off your feet. it smells like wet, burning wood... not that pleasant. so i was a little apprehensive, but i made a cup anyway. i thought maybe once i poured the tea, it would smell better. no such luck, once it was steeped, it still smelled pretty awful. but, once i put a little milk in it, the smell was neutralised somewhat, and the scent became more of a subtle smoky aroma. surprisingly, the taste was alright. with milk, the tea tastes more like a mild black tea, with the faintest smoky aroma, and its not that bad. all in all i would give this tea a 3.5 out of 5. not terrible, not great... im sure i will finish the box. if anyone is thinking of trying it, dont be mislead by the offputting aroma before theres milk in it. the milk really settles it down.

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