17 December 2018
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MainRussian tradition Tea drinking ceremony

Tea drinking ceremony


     Tea is very popular drink all over the world but each country has it’s own tradition of drinking tea. First time Russian people knew about this kind of drink in 1638 when ruler of Mongolia presented such gift to Russian Tsar (King). Before this time Russian people usually used drinks based on honey.  In Russia tea always served after meals. Also Russian people like to drink tea during mid-afternoon breaks. Some people may say that tea drinking ceremony in Russia same as English “five-o’clock tea” and actually they are right, but in Russia we have one difference, tea break may occur in any part of a day and any place – at home, office, car, café etc. 

     When Russian people visit each other, a host usually invites visitors to have a cup of tea. Tea usually serves with sweets such as candies, cookies, cakes. Often guests are offered honey or “Varenie” (a kind of jam made of berries or fruits).
     Tea drinking tradition in Russia is a strongest one. We use it everywhere at any time. Every meal supposed to be ended by drinking tea or coffee. Foreign people often surprised when during parties of occasion for example of somebody’s birthday after many shots of vodka and nourishing meal guests are offered tea with huge pie or cake.
     Russian people prefer to prepare tea in old classical way. We put tea laves into a kettle and pour it with boiling water. This way is the most simple in making tea but this classical way is the best variant to provide good taste of tea. Here are some rules for preparing good tea in russian style: first of all one need to boil water in tea pot. Then kettle is heated a bit with some hot water. After that one need to put tea leaves into the kettle in accordance with such rule: one tea spoon of leaves for each person plus one spoon for tea pot.  After about 5 minutes tea is ready to drink. Tea in a kettle is well concentrated, so everyone poure tea from kettle in a cup in accordance with their preference. Some people prefer strong tea, some people don’t.   The rest part of tea cup is filled in by hot water from tea pot.

     As for tea kettles, so there are lots of variants… Small size, big size, with different decoration. Usually family has kettle for every day drinking and for special days which is more decorated. Kettles with interesting ornament are always decorate table. Nowadays we boil water in pots, but  in the past, when people had no electricity,  there were “Samovars” which boiled water by heating on hot coals. It helped to keep tea water always hot and to serve a tea break at any time. “Samovar” is a part of Russian tradition and even russian history. Nowadays it also became popular, but of course now we heat it  with the help of electricity but not coals.  


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