How to drink tea in Russia

The Russians are used to extremes. Their winters are colder, their vodkas are stronger, and appropriately, their teas are so potent that, as Stewart says, “you can get intoxicated on them.” The secret behind their particular brew is the samovar. The heart is stuffed with burning charcoal, wood, or pine cones, and boiling water, which dilutes the concentrated tea (usually black or green leaves, often of Chinese origin) held in the teapot perched on top. Add generous amounts of sugar and you’ll get a tea that, as Stewart says, is an inimitable “balance between smoky and sweet.”

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 Tasting notes: In the nineteenth century, people would sip the tea through a sugar cube held between their teeth,” says Stewart. “Now, you should have your tea alongside a spoonful of fruit preserves and a square or two of cake.” The tea shown here is a slightly black tea blend called Gypsy Caravan.

 

Source: Russia Beyond The Headlines

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