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Can you put milk in Russian caravan tea?


Can you put milk in Russian caravan tea?

Posted by Pumphreys Coffee ,12th Apr 2023
Can you put milk in Russian caravan tea?

Russian caravan tea can be somewhat of an acquired taste as its flavour profile is very distinctive, so it can be a case of you either love it or hate it. If you’re new to this type of tea and are wondering how it is best prepared and enjoyed, then you’re in the right place!

In this guide we will be exploring whether you can and should put milk in your Russian caravan tea as well as the most common way to brew it. Before that though let’s quickly have a quick overview of what Russian caravan tea actually is.

Defining Russian caravan tea

Russian caravan tea is a blend of different types of black and sometimes oolong teas. These teas were traditionally used because they were able to survive the long journeys around the world in the camel caravans and they can withstand harsh weather and climate conditions.

When Russian caravan tea first came onto the market it was made with Chinese teas like Lapsang Souchong which was renowned for its smoky, fermented type of flavour. Nowadays however, other blends can be featured in this tea including Assam, Darjeeling, and Nepalese. Oolong teas bring in different notes that are lighter and more floral with touches of honey and fruit.

How to prepare Russian caravan tea

Russian caravan tea is fairly straightforward to brew as it should provide a full-bodied infusion and be as flavourful as possible. Before we get into the steps involved in brewing this type of tea, it’s important to note that if you want to get the absolute best flavours from this tea, or any tea for that matter, use fresh spring water if you can.

Hard tap water in particular can have a detrimental effect on the tea and mask the more delicate notes, so you’re not getting the full picture and the best from the tea. Equally, using distilled water can result in a flat brew that lacks the exciting flavours from the tea.

If you have tried Russian caravan tea before and haven’t enjoyed it, it could be that you just don’t like that particular blend. There are many different blends of Russian caravan tea out there and it might take some experimenting until you find one that suits your flavour palette.

Steps for brewing Russian caravan tea

  1. Boil your fresh water in a clean kettle
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of the Russian caravan loose tea leaves per cup of water
  3. Add almost fully boiled water to the cup(s) and cover with a lid
  4. Leave it to steep and the flavours to infuse for up to 5 minutes
  5. Strain the tea and enjoy with or without milk

Should you add milk to your Russian caravan tea?

There isn’t really a specific answer to this question as it largely depends on the blend of Russian caravan tea you use. If your blend has the more traditional black teas like Lapsang Souchong, it will probably be best not to use milk unless you really feel that you need to.

This is because the smoky and deep flavours from the different teas might clash with the milk and make for a strange taste, plus you won’t be experiencing the tea in its full effect. If you’re using a sweeter Russian caravan tea with black and oolong teas, then it will probably go well with a splash of milk and a hint of honey.

Even if you are using milk in your Russian caravan tea though, it is typically advised that you don’t add too much of it so as not to detract from the natural flavours of the tea.


To answer the question of this article, yes you can put milk in Russian caravan tea if you want to, depending on the type of blend you are using, but most commonly it is consumed without it. Some blends of this tea will be complemented by a little bit of milk, but most don’t need it and rely on their natural depths of flavour that won’t benefit from the sweetness and thicker consistency of milk.

If you want to give Russian caravan tea a try for yourself, you can find it here at Pumphreys. We have a wide selection of loose leaf teas to suit various taste preferences and palettes. Buy yours today and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.