Review of Original Blend Russian Caravan

4 of 103 of 52 of 547 of 100

A disappointing blend from a company that usually impresses me with their black teas. The one thing this tea had going for it though was that it was hearty and warming.

Dry leaf doesn't wow me, it has a mild, almost stale smell.

Upon brewing though, becomes much more pleasant. Aroma is oolong-like, like a dark, moderately-roasted oolong, with strong woody notes. I wonder if this blend includes a dark Formosa oolong in the mix, or if it's just an oolong-like black tea? Only very lightly smoky; I've had much smokier Russian Caravan blends that are still not too much for me.

Very full-bodied. Low bitterness, but a lot of astringency, especially in the finish.

Very warming.

I thought this tea was overpriced relative to how much I enjoyed it, which I found surprising because Upton usually impresses me with their prices. If you want something that is a little bit like this, but I think all-around better, from Upton I recommend TB05: Mincing Lane Breakfast Blend. It's in the same price range and I think an all-around outstanding tea. If that tea is too edgy, maybe blend that with an oolong, Upton also sells some very good inexpensive Chinese oolongs and I think blending them with a more robust black tea would produce something like this blend, but just tasting better (at least to me).

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