Russian Caravan/Grace Tea Company

Photo Credit: Grace Tea Company

I am a fan of smoky teas, whether they are smoked over a fire like lapsang teas often are, or whether they are teas with natural smoky notes like some Keemun teas.

Russian Caravan teas are usually less smoky than lapsangs. As tea traveled the great distance from China, India, and Ceylon to Russia in camel trains, the evening campfires of the caravans would gradually scent the teas with a light smoky flavor, and this flavor was so delectable and such a part of the tea that it is recreated today.

Too often, tea companies use inferior leaf for teas that are going to be flavored or scented. I find many lapsangs to be weak and watery as far as the base goes, for instance. While I love my smoke, I don’t want to sacrifice quality in the base. Russian Caravan by Grace Tea delivers with this pure China blend, consisting of mostly Keemun with a bit of Lapsang.

Normally I would review this as a fall tea because I always reach for smoky tea on the first chilly or darkish days of autumn. The campfire/fireplace vibe is so comforting. But I made quite the discovery a couple of weeks ago.

SMOKY TEA IS AN AWESOME PAIRING WITH ICE CREAM! Granted, the first ice cream I tried it with was a s’mores flavor one, so there you already have the suggestion of campfires. It was the power of suggestion when eating the ice cream that made me jump up and make a pot of Russian Caravan to have with it. But I have now tried it with other flavors of ice cream and must declare it to be an awesome foil for the rich, cold sweetness. One bite of freezing sugary decadence, one big sip of smoky, hot comfort.

Alas, I have emptied my tea tin before I ran out of ice cream, so tomorrow night I will be trying a nice, strong lapsang with my vanilla chocolate chip.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Grace Tea Company


Being a pure China tea blend, our Russian Caravan black loose leaf tea comes close to the luxury teas that were transported by camel train from the tea-producing areas of India, Ceylon and China to Europe, via Russia during the 18th century.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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