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Postby Ti » Jun 21st, '08, 01:06

Hello all. Good forum. I learned quite a bit already from it.

I was reading it the other day and learned that Russian Caravan was synonymous with Lapsang Souchong. I used to enjoy Russian Caravan but I haven’t had any in many years since I could not find it anymore.

The other day I was in a local grocery store that has a loose tea section comprised of about two dozen kinds. I stopped in front of the tea display as I do every time and scanned the names expecting to see only the same, unchanging fruit flavored fare when low and behold, there sat a big can of Lapsang Souchong.

Wasting no time I opened the tin and took a whiff. The smoky aroma was unmistakable, but I don’t remember it being quite that powerful. For a moment I was standing in the woods by a campfire with the smoke blowing in my face. In fact, if I had to rely only on my nose for ID I would have thought I was sniffing a batch of freshly smoked meat, not tea. I opened one of the small bags and dumped a scoop of tea into it and headed for the check-out eager to get home and try it.

At home I got everything ready as soon as I got in. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. When the water was hot I poured it into the cup containing the Lapsang Souchong, then lifted the cup to savor the aroma once again (smelled like my coat after a weekend camping trip). I noticed that on the surface of the tea a bluish oil slick had formed from all the smoke washing off the leaves. Time to take a sip.

What did it taste like? What else? Chicken of course…smoked chicken…no... more like bacon. I’d bet salmon would be good marinated in this tea.

This is a good ‘snowstorm tea’ for people who don’t have a fireplace to sit next to while watching a blizzard. Lapsang Souchong could be called “the beef jerky of teas”. It certainly wasn’t what I remembered. I would have remembered drinking a hot cupful of Liquid Smoke.
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Postby Geekgirl » Jun 21st, '08, 01:25

Bwahaha!!! omg that was great! Welcome to the board. Sorry I can't help you with your hunt, I've never tried either Russian Caravan or Lapsang. Liquid smoke! teehee!
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Postby Chip » Jun 21st, '08, 01:57

Welcome Ti to TeaChat, enjoyed your post!

Russian Caravan is generally a much milder facsimile of Lapsang Souchong. BTW, there is a recipe for Lapsang in the forum somewhere.

VISIT TeaDay!
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Postby chamekke » Jun 21st, '08, 02:51

Great review, Ti - very memorable :wink:

I love reviews like this. Someone commented on another thread (can't remember who) that they find they get a lot of "foodie" impressions when experiencing certain teas. To me it's like a wine review... so much more vivid than the usual descriptions of tea being merely vegetal, floral, etc.!

Anyway, welcome and please keep on posting!
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Postby olivierco » Jun 21st, '08, 06:04

Welcome!
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Jun 21st, '08, 08:55

Welcome to TeaChat! I liked your story.

Try Upton's Russian Caravan. It is the only one that I have tried, but I really liked it. If the Lapsang Souchong is too smokey, you could try blending it with a plain black tea. I believe that is essentially what Russian Caravan is.
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Postby kymidwife » Jun 21st, '08, 09:58

I loved your review, particulary because I also just tried Lapsang for the first time in the past week or so. I made a trade with another teachatter who purchased a sample and couldn't handle the smokiness.

I *LOVED* it... enjoyed it full-strength, but it was very powerful in aroma and flavor. The next couple of times, I mixed it half and half with an assam or ceylon and enjoyed it even more... same great flavor, just turned down a notch. Maybe this is what you are looking for. I suggest picking up some samples and playing around with your own recipe for the perfect blend. If you use samples that are available for blending at Adagio, you can perfect your recipe and then order it as a signature blend. I love blending... its like art and cooking and tea all at the same time.

Sarah
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Postby Ti » Jun 22nd, '08, 08:42

Chip wrote:Welcome Ti to TeaChat, enjoyed your post!

Russian Caravan is generally a much milder facsimile of Lapsang Souchong. BTW, there is a recipe for Lapsang in the forum somewhere.

VISIT TeaDay!



Well that is good to know. Like I said, I don't remember Russian Caravan being that strong at all.

This is a tough forum to search. But that's a subject for feedback.
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Postby Ti » Jun 22nd, '08, 09:03

kymidwife wrote:I loved your review, particulary because I also just tried Lapsang for the first time in the past week or so. I made a trade with another teachatter who purchased a sample and couldn't handle the smokiness.

I *LOVED* it... enjoyed it full-strength, but it was very powerful in aroma and flavor. The next couple of times, I mixed it half and half with an assam or ceylon and enjoyed it even more... same great flavor, just turned down a notch. Maybe this is what you are looking for. I suggest picking up some samples and playing around with your own recipe for the perfect blend. If you use samples that are available for blending at Adagio, you can perfect your recipe and then order it as a signature blend. I love blending... its like art and cooking and tea all at the same time.

Sarah

Don’t get me wrong, I like it. I think it's go great with BBQ ribs. Mixing it with something else is an interesting idea though. I have a pu-erh that reminds me somewhat of fish. Hmm...that's an idea.
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Postby kymidwife » Jun 22nd, '08, 10:42

Lapsang and fishy puerh. Eeek. Sounds like the makings of a custom blend called "Smoked Salmon"... hmmm... let us know how it turns out.

Sarah
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Postby hop_goblin » Jun 22nd, '08, 11:38

kymidwife wrote:Lapsang and fishy puerh. Eeek. Sounds like the makings of a custom blend called "Smoked Salmon"... hmmm... let us know how it turns out.

Sarah



I don't know which pu-erh you've been drinking!
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Postby Victoria » Jun 22nd, '08, 17:49

I love the taste I just can't get past the smell. I would like to try one that has very low aroma.
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