Russian Tea - Facts & Recipes
Tea tauted as “Russian” has evolved as a result of the history of tea in Russia. Most of the Russian Tea Recipes
you will find in cookbooks and on the internet are a dry mix tea or Instant Tea Mix from Russia that actually involves using Tang! (Tang is an instant orange drink / beverage powder).
Of course this wasn’t always the recipe for the tea, as Tang has only been available since 1960. Russia was slow to get on the tea drinking bandwagon considering it is a European country. Tea was introduced to Russia from China in the early 17th century.
Prior to Chinese Tea being introduced, the Russians drank a beverage or tea called sbiten.
Sbiten was a brew of herbs, honey and of course water. Today in Russia, tea is the most consumed non-alcoholic drink.
Russian culture and the Tea Ceremony that evolved in Russia included the use of a unique device for keeping the Tea hot, it is called the Samovar. The Samovor can be very elaborate and the Tea Ceremony was one that involved social gatherings.
We have put together some further information for you about Russian Tea.
Tea History - Russia
There is some great history to the drinking of tea in Russian, and here is a little bit more info.
When tea was first introduced to the then Czar and Russian Elite, the drinking of tea was limited to elaborate tea ceremonies or tea meetings reserved for the most elite and powerful in Russian culture.
It is part of Russian culture that a pot of very strong tea is brewed and presented with another pot of boiled water. This allows the tea ceremony participant to water down the tea to their personal liking. It is also how the Samovar evolved. The Samovor has the ability to keep the tea and the water hot in one unit.
Russia struck a trade deal with China and as tea became more readily available and the supply constant, the drinking of tea moved down through the Russian classes. Tea in Russia is traditional drank out of stakans or podstakanni (glass with metal holder) rather than what we deem a traditional tea cup in the western world. Drinking Tea from these types of cups is also popular in other cultures.
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