Russian Tea is best made in a samovar, but you can devise a pretty good substitute. A samovar is just an urn containing hot water. The top part holds a large quantity of water, poured in from a lid in the top. At the bottom is a faucet to pour the water out. Just below the urn are charcoals to heat the contents. On top of the samovar sits a tiny metal teapot with a very strong brew of tea. Any kind of tea can be used; Russian tea is grown in the Soviet Republic of Georgia and tastes like a cross between Indian and China teas.

Russian Tea

Russian Tea
Recipe type: Tea Drinks
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: 10 to 12 servings
  • 4 teaspoons tea leaves
  • freshly boiled water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • sugar or preserves
  1. Place a small metal teapot near a large tea kettle.
  2. Bring the kettle of water almost to a boil, but stop it before it boils.
  3. Pour a little water into the pot, swill it round, and pour it out so the pot is warmed. Add the tea leaves to the pot.
  4. Bring the water in the kettle to a full boil (the steam will pour out in a straight line) and immediately pour it into the teapot.
  5. Put the pot in a warm place and let the tea brew for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Put a teaspoon into a tall glass with a holder. Pour about 2 tablespoons of brewed tea into the glass, then top off the glass with freshly boiled water. The tea should be a rich amber color. Add a slice of lemon.
  7. Western Russians sweeten their tea by placing a sugar cube between their teeth and drinking the tea through the sugar. This is not good dental practice, and is not recommended. Eastern Russians eat preserves with the tea to sweeten it.
  8. When the tea from the little teapot is finished, make a fresh brew; never add more boiling water to used tea leaves, or else the tea will be bitter and weak.


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