Saturday, October 17, 2015
We recently held a Russian themed event in the tea room. The Russian Samovar was taken off the mantle and polished to a shine for the day. Samovars were originally made in Russia around 1780. This one is from the 1800's. It has a central core that is filled with charcoal to keep it hot throughout the day. Water is added to the bottom unit, the charcoal is placed in the central core, and a very strong concentrate of black tea is placed in the tea pot. The charcoal will also help to keep the tea warm. Samovar means 'self-boiler'. And the samovar and tea pot would be available all day to enjoy tea as you like it. Electric samovars are now available for convenience.
Samovars may be made in copper, brass, bronze, silver or gold. The samovar provided a permanent source of hot water in a Russian home. Once the tea and water were poured from the samovar, to sweeten the tea, the Russians would either put a sugar cube between their teeth and let the hot tea run over it as they sipped the tea, melting the sugar as it passed over it. Or, they would put some jam directly on their tongue, and let the hot tea melt the jam as they sipped their tea. Two clever ways to sweeten tea!