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!