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Caravan Blend
Caravan Blend

Caravan Blend

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Part Number:Special 280.28

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PROFILE : Caravan Blend

Country of Origin: China
Region: Fujian Province
Shipping Port: Fuzhou
Altitude: 1500’ ft. – 6000’ ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Infusion: Bright cup with hints of coppery orange.
Ingredients: Luxury  black china tea
Presenting a tea that owes as much to politics and diplomacy as it does tea husbandry. The existence of Russian Caravan, a smoky blend of black teas, (traditionally comprised only of Chinese teas) is the direct result of a 1689 treaty between Qing Dynasty China and Russia. The treaty brought an end to decades of border conflict between Russian Cossacks and the Manchu people of Northern China. As part of the treaty, Russia agreed to give up its expansionist push eastward to the Sea of Japan, but gained direct trading access to Beijing. The treaty forever changed the way business was done between the two countries and produced a famous tea blend in the process.
The trail from the Chinese border to Russia covered more than 6000 km, (3728 miles) through harsh and unforgiving mountain passes, deserts and rivers. Caravans comprised of horses, camels, mules and men took more than a year and a half to complete the journey with may men and beasts perishing along the way. Even so, the route was a popular and lucrative one – in 1696 alone more than 50,000 rubles worth of furs made the voyage, a fortune in today’s dollars. In addition to furs, one of the most important commodities on the trail was Chinese tea, imported to fulfill Russia’s growing demand. As can be imagined, the tea took quite a beating on the grueling trip and often had an entirely different character by the time it was unloaded in Moscow. One of the most notable was the rich flavor of smoke, absorbed from a year and a half of campfires along the caravan trail.
Russians grew to love the smoky tea and dubbed it caravan tea. Eventually, with the advent of rail travel, the old trading routes died out and with them, the naturally smoked tea. To compensate, tea blenders began to create blends of Lapsang and other black teas to fill the void.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help enhance the character o this tea, it is perfectly acceptable consume d ‘straight-up’
Traditional Iced tea-brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or ‘milky’ when poured over ice - a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!

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