This brand is from Choice Organic Teas. The tea is called Russian Caravan: a black tea blend that "marries rich Yunnan with smoked Lapsang Souchong".
|So... still black tea, just smoked|
Interesting, no? I thought so.
Choice brand flavor and aroma
This tea is the Mama Bear of the three Lapsong blends as far as aroma. It's nowhere near as strong as the Taylors (thank goodness). I wonder if that's because this of the addition of the non-smoked tea. And here is where things get confusing for me.
Yunnan is a region in China where (according to this), you can find China's oldest wild tea tree. There are different types of tea produced or from Yunnan. This box label doesn't let us know anything specific about the Yunnan tea they blended the Lapsang with. But okay. All I really care about at this point is whether or not I like the tea. And I do.
Like I said, I'm beginning to notice differences in quality. This tea is pretty decent. I can tell that this one and the Taylors brand are probably better than the Twinings. If I were to drink this tea on a regular basis, this one would win for aroma (not so strong), but Taylors would win on flavor. So, yes, I have done an about face and decided that Twinings is now my least favorite.
3rd place - Twinings of London
2nd place - Choice Organic Teas (came very close to a tie with the winner)
Winner - Taylors of Harrogate
Trying these teas was an interesting experience. I can't afford to try more brands unless I am offered more to try for free. If I do get to try other brands, I will do updated postings. For now, I will give Taylors the winning ribbon.
Stay tuned for my review of non-smoked black teas. I bought those myself because they are affordable and I drink black tea on a regular basis. Cheaper than coffee, I will tell you that!