Saturday, January 23, 2016

Etiquette and Russian Tea

"A Russian tea will be given this afternoon by Mrs. W. L. Hardison of South Pasadena. Russian laces imported by Madame Vera de Blumenthal will be on exhibition and girls In Russian costumes will serve tea. Two hundred and fifty invitations have been issued and the proceeds will be given to the peasnnt women of Russia." —Los Angeles Herald, 1906
As it's International Hot Tea Month, try some tea from a Russian samovar. — There is a beverage called "Russian Tea" which likely originated in the Southeastern United States, where is it traditionally served at social events during Advent and Christmastide. This U.S. "Russian Tea" probably has no link to actual Russian tea customs, though. Recipes vary, but the tea is served hot and often as an after-meal beverage. Prior to the revolution in Russia, "Russian Tea Rooms," "Samovar Tea Rooms" and Russian restaurants flourished, and were quite fashionable, throughout the United States in the early 19OO's. 
January is International Hot Tea Month so try the Samovar Tradition

Since the 17th century, when the custom of drinking tea migrated to Russia from China, Russians have taken the tradition of enjoying tea to heart, focusing on the samovar. Tea is an extremely significant part of Russian culture. In Russia is not just a beverage – it’s a social activity with a long-reaching tradition behind it.

A samovar is a large metal urn that heats water with burning charcoal or wood, or, more recently, electricity. On top rests a teapot in which a strong tea is brewed. Each cup is served by diluting this concentrate with hot water from the samovar’s spigot, then sweetening it with honey, sugar or jam.

Supremely functional and almost ubiquitous (in homes, offices and restaurants, aboard trains, even on street corners), samovars are beloved works of art.

A samovar in the center of the table symbolizes home, comfort and good times. Families traditionally gathered around their tables on Sunday afternoons to share strong tea, a meal and news of their week. Modern samovars are heated electrically.


Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia