Toward the end of the 17th century, caravans of camels often called "ships of the desert" were transporting chests of tea across the great plains into Russia. Varieties of black teas were very often the primary cargo. In China, tea makers - ever responsive to growing demand - were creating black teas and blends to meet this increasing demand. Our China Caravan well exemplifies a blending of a traditional black tea, Keemun, offering enriching flavors with a medium-oxidized Oolong to create a wonderfully sweet black with orchid aromas.
The flavors and subtle notes offered in this traditional blend are just too good not to ensure you can enjoy it. It is a traditional blend – one offered for many years - combining two wonderful varietals, each tea contributing unique, widely appreciated taste characteristics.
If there is an origination date, it may be in the late 1800s as this is the date Keemun is generally considered to have been first produced in Quimen County, in Anhui Province. The blend combines a high-grade Keemun, the "King of Red Tea' or the "Burgundy" of China's teas and a medium-oxidized Tieguanyin-style Oolong from AnXi Region, Fujian Province.
Look for enriching flavors - soft notes of pine and cocoa as contributions from the Keemun leaf. The Oolong compliments its black leaf mate to offer floral, orchid aromas and flavors. Note the rich burgundy color of the liquor.
Use 3-4 grams or a rounded teaspoon of leaf for each 8-12 ounces of water at a boiling temperature. It is important that water is high temp as the Oolong leaves will be slow to awaken and open. Steep for two minutes and taste. It can be steeped for 3 minutes to gain more body. The second steep may yield a fuller, richer taste profile. Multiple steeps are in order.