Chip wrote:First off, welcome to TeaChat.
Russian (Caravan) tea is usually some form of smokey black that has some historisity linked to it, though likely not much real application today. Often the tea had a smokey character.
In the past, the smoky black tea in Russia is from Wuyi call Lapsang Sauchong. I have a Russian friend who is really crazy over this tea. Some times we butter-trade this tea with the lovely Russian wild honey. The name Lapsang Sauchong is from Chinese word of Chen Shan Xiao Chong literally translated meaning as Real Mountain Small Type ( Small Type refer to the tippy leaf). The smokiness comes from burning of the native pine tree leaves to dry the tea leaves. It was discovered by accident, just like the botrytis wine, when the soldier came to celebrate victory, the tea leaves are dried in a hurry by burning pine leaves, and the rest is history. This tea is rare now as the base is use for producing the Jin Ju Mei tea which cost thousands per kilo. Lapsang Sauchong is a great tea for smoking food too, some great cold smoked duck is smoked with this tea.
The are some other good black tea in China like Qi Men Hei Cha ( Kumming Black Tea). Most black can be aged beautifully if kept in airtight canister.