A Road Well-Travelled

reblogged from la Vie Sirene

In 1730, construction began on The Tea Road, the nickname for the Siberian Route, as originally decreed of Tsar Ivan V back in 1689.  Camels laden with bricks of tea traversed the trail going from China through Russia and ultimating in Europe, until their work was rendered obsolete by the advent of the Trans-Siberian railway in the 19th century.

The 6000 mile highway took a good 6 months to traverse, with conditions as harsh as the word Siberia conjures. Russian Caravan tea captures the romance of its storied origins, bringing forth imagery of travelers huddled around warming campfires, as the tea they toted absorbed the smoke of the fires, giving the blend of Oolong, Keemum and Lapsang Souchong its characteristic smoky flavor. As distinct a taste as that of Earl Grey, tea-drinkers tend to have very strong feelings about the brew, either yay or nay.  Traditional Russian Caravan is a full-bodied and aromatic tea that pairs well with Russian Tea Cookies (those powdered sugar snowballs of buttery deliciousness) as well as sharp cheeses, smoked salmon, heavy sweets, and quiches.

Russian Caravan is not to be confused with ‘Russian Tea,’ an American invention from the 1920’s. The hot holiday beverage is made with black tea, orange juice, pineapple or lemon juice, orange peel, cloves and cinnamon.