Tea: Caravan Triad
Reviewer: Alex Zorach
✓ 1284 teas reviewed
✓ 3 of Russian Caravan
✓ 1 of Brooklyn Tea Blends
✓ 110 from China
Review of Caravan Triad
March 3rd, 2015
This tea was singular, and was not only the best Russian Caravan blend I've sampled, but one of the best of any blended teas I've ever tried. Incredibly complex, and eminently pleasing to drink. Brooklyn Tea Blends compares this to single malt scotch, and I definitely see the connection; it even has some of the unique "peaty" quality that a lot of Scotch does.
The dry leaf has a pleasant smoky smell that is not overwhelming, but with a lot of other interesting aromatic qualities.
As soon as water hits the leaves, the complexity and subtlety of this tea becomes evident, and the longer it steeps the more interesting aromatic notes come out. The smoke is even more subtle in the brewed cup, and it reminds me a lot of unburned wood. There are some malty qualities as well, and a peaty quality, like moss and earth. There's a hint of wintergreen in there as well.
This tea provides a delightful mix of warming and cooling sensations. The aroma is ever-evolving. The smoke vanishes as I sip it, but re-emerges in the finish, leaving a cool, clean sensation of pine on my palate. The finish is pleasantly astringent.
Brooklyn Tea Blends recommends very brief infusions. I find this allows exploration of the aromatic complexity of this tea more thoroughly, although if steeping as short as they recommend, I'd use much more leaf (like Gong Fu Brewing). I don't think they exaggerate at all on saying this tea can make 5 or more infusions when brewed this way.
I preferred brewing as I usually do, with a little over a teaspoon of leaf (the leaf is big and intact, and takes up a lot of space), and steeping for 3 minutes, then 5-8, then 12+ for a third cup. Easily steeps three cups although the third can be a bit thinner-bodied by this method.
When looking at the price, keep in mind how easily this tea resteeps. The leaf also goes quite far.
I can see this tea having broader appeal than other smoky black teas, as the smokiness is subtle. I also definitely would recommend this one to lovers of the more peaty examples of Scotch, as it bears a striking resemblance.
on March 24th, 2015
I enjoyed this tea a lot. I am not a big scotch drinker so I don't know if I could make that comparison, but I did enjoy the many layers of flavor that this tea offered as well as the delicate nuances beneath the smoky note, which is also pleasantly subtle.