Caravan tea is a special blend taken by camel from China to Russia before modern transportation.
Russian Caravan is a blend of oolong, keemun, and lapsang souchong teas, all produced from Camellia sinensis the Chinese tea plant. It is described as an aromatic and full-bodied tea with a sweet, malty, and smoky taste. Although a Chinese tea, its name originates from the 18th century camel caravans that facilitated the transcontinental tea trade from tea-producing areas (namely India, Ceylon and China) to Europe via Russia. “It took at least half a year to make the six-thousand-mile journey from the Chinese border to Russia, and the voyage was harsh.” Some varieties do not include lapsang souchong, thus having a less smoky flavor.
Anecdotal evidence had it that during the camel caravan journeys, the teas took on the smoky taste of the campfires. Only the lapsang souchong (if present) in the blend, however, is actually smoke-dried. Some blends use yunnan black tea, together with keemun and lapsang souchong to achieve full bodied, strong copper colored, smokey, and heavy flavored tea with a smooth and mellow aftertaste.