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Russian Caravan

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What's the link between tea, camels and campfires?

Our famous Russian Caravan takes its name from the camel-drawn caravans which slowly travelled the ancient trade routes through Russia, taking this tea on an arduous journey from China to the tea tables of Europe. A century in the making, this tea was one of our very first blends, bringing together the rich, malty taste of Assam with the authentic campfire smokiness of Lapsang Souchong from Fujian. We've added high-grown Nepalese tea to balance the smoke-tinged taste with light, bright top notes - all in all, the result is a multi-layered brew with rich, layered tones of spice, sweetness, malt and smoke. It's an old time classic with a real sense of history.
  • Tea Type

    Black Tea

  • Origin


  • Taste Profile

    Sweet, Malty, Aromatic, Rich

  • Tastes like

    Complex layers of spice, smoke and malty sweetness

  • Food pairing

    Try pairing this with dark chocolate dipped apricots

  • When to drink

    Divine at dusk and beautiful for breakfast

Brew the perfect cup

Add one teaspoon (around 2g) of loose leaf tea per cup and always use freshly drawn and boiled water. Allow to brew for 3-5 minutes according to taste. Can be enjoyed with or without milk.

* * * - - (13)

13 Reviews

* * * - -
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* * * * * Love it! by Matt B on 4th January 2017

I never drank the old blend so I can't hop on that bandwagon, but as a non-coffee drinker I always feel like I'm missing out on different interesting blends. So I thought I'd give this a go. I wasn't sure for the first half a cup (I guess my tastebuds expected normal tea from habit) but now I love it. One of the reviews saying "...if you could barbecue tea" is a superbly accurate comment. It's only a fiver a box - give it a go, and if you don't like it, then put it in the office teabag pot and see how many people you can confuse.

* - - - - Russian caravan by Andrew on 30th November 2016

I have been drinking your Russian caravan for many years but now have stopped buying from you since you changed the blend which is far too smokey and not enjoyable

Reply from Whittard, 30th November 2016

"Hi Andrew

The previous blend wasn’t a true ‘Russian Caravan’ because it was from Indonesia and lacked a smokey flavour. This is why we made the change.

You might enjoy our Tippy Assam which is warm and malty, or our English Breakfast that is a 100% Indonesian blend as per the previous Russian Caravan blend.

You can also return your tea for a refund or replacement under our taste guarantee"

* * * * * Love this tea by J on 5th November 2016

I really like the smokey taste. So far my favorite tea.

* - - - - Horrible ! by helen smart on 24th October 2016

Please please could you go back to the old blend, which i enjoyed for many years. The new blend is truly horrible.

Reply from Whittard, 25th October 2016

"I'm sory you don't like this Helen, however the old blend was not a true Russian Caravan as it was Indonesia and lacked the smokey flavour. I'd recomend our Tippy Assam which has a warm malty flavour or English Breakfast which is 100% indonesianas an alternative,



* - - - - Please go back to original blend by swazapter on 17th October 2016

I've been drinking your Russian Caravan tea for 20 years with great enjoyment and am VERY disappointed you've changed the recipe. If I wanted such smokey tea I would have bought Lapsong Suchong. PLEASE change back to the original recipe as I will not be buying any more. Such a shame to change something so good.

* - - - - Not all change is for the best by E. Tonnard on 11th October 2016

I could literally quote some of the previous reviews here, with the difference that I have been drinking this (my favorite) tea for about 15 years now. In those years I noticed the blend change a bit before, but the latest tea I bought while visiting the UK was greatly different, more smoky than warm and malty. Already smelt this in the shop when they took it from the big batch, but the lady working there knew nothing about it having changed so I took the gamble anyway. It was by the way much more expensive than before. Sad that this tea had to change, and also sad to see the limited knowledge of people working in the shop.

Reply from Whittard, 12th October 2016

"Dear Elisabeth

Sorry to hear you're not enjoying Russian Caravan, I've passed your comments to our buyer. Could you inform my team at which shop you went to as I think it would be good to let them know if there are training issues there too.

Don't forget under our taste guarantee you may return your purchase for a replacement or refund.


Daniel Clear
Customer Services Supervisor
Whitard of Chelsea"

* * * * - What's happened ??!! by helen on 7th July 2016

I've enjoyed this tea for years, but you've changed the blend ! It's now powerfully smoky and very weak. Please please bring back the old blend !

* - - - - Has the blending changed by Brian on 9th June 2016

I've been drinking Russian Caravan tea for over 10 years and some years have been better than others but this year's loose leaf tea is disgusting - I'm just lucky that they only had 400g in the shop otherwise I would have wasted money on 2kgs. The tea bags purchased at the same time have the 'normal' taste of Russian Caravan tea

* * * * - If you could barbecue tea... by Ray Jones on 9th June 2016

I agree with the previous reviewer that the current batch of Russian Caravan has a more smokey aroma than before. However; I do enjoy it and it reminds me of sitting by a camp fire. Lovely tea for drinking outside on a summer's eve. Wonderful smokey aroma but this does not reflect the taste. The taste is rounded and fresh with just a hint of smokiness.

* - - - - Russian Caravan Tea - not as good as it used to be by Frank Baines-Holmes on 4th May 2016

Have been drinking your Russian Caravan Tea for over 5 years and really enjoyed it as a special tea.The last consignment is not the same. It has far more smoke and is missing the rounded maltiy tones that makes it a complete tea. Also the price has been dramatically increased. Great disappointment.

* * * * * Brilliant tea by Anna on 30th November 2015

Strong, but not overwhelming smoky flavour. Beautiful and tasty tea with a difference.

* * * * * Good brew by Dave on 2nd November 2015

I like this tea as my early morning cups... A good strong flavour to start the day. Re the previous review.. Sorry I got mine in store

* * * * * Like it by Ade on 13th October 2015

Bought this in bags when visiting Bath after trying Russian Caravan in a tea room. loved the tea, real shame you cannot get it in store now, and do not see bags as an option online.

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Ever since our founder Walter Whittard weighed out tea leaves behind his high mahogany counter, we’ve been experimenting with our own inventive blends. The Chinese were the first to try blending tea leaves with fruits and flowers and it takes time, skill and imagination to master the art. It’s all about creating the perfect balance of flavours: we blind taste at least 20 different variations before settling on the perfect recipe. Just as some musicians have perfect pitch, an expert tea blender needs to have some pretty perceptive tastebuds…

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