Russians are known to drink two things: vodka and tea. The number one hot drink in Russia, tea consumption tips at over 170,000 TONS per year. So what are some Russian teatime traditions?
Loose leaf tea is brewed in a small teapot with high concentration of tea to water. The concentrate, called “zavarka” is poured into individual cups and hot water is then layered on top. Traditionally, a “Samovar” (literally a ‘self-boiler’) was used to maintain the temperature and volume of hot water. It remains of the most iconic and widely recognized image associated with Russian tea-drinking culture.
Russians often visit each other for a “cup of tea”. These social gatherings can last for hours and as conversations flow, so does the tea. During Soviet days when loose sugar was scarce, sugar cubes were offered to sweeten the tea.
It’s considered rude to serve tea without something sweet or a small snack. Typical teatime sweets include waffles, cookies, gingers biscuits, chocolate candy and cake. “Sushki” (small hard dried bagels) are often accompanied by a home-made marmalade or jelly preserves made with the berries harvest during the autumn months. Crackers, bread, cheese and dried meats or sausage can also be served as a savory snack in the morning or afternoon.
Our 2015 Calendar features illustrated Russian Tea Drinking Traditions. Get yours today!