Teapots are available in a myriad of materials starting from nearly infrangible cast iron to frail and fragile glass or porcelain. However, ceramic pots are the most common for daily use. It is because they are typically cheap, relatively durable, and can retain heat well. They are also relatively easy to use, though you need to take a note on a few points.
Any lover of tea out there, who has ever been bothered by a dribbling spout, knows best that there is a lot more to a tempting teapot with a beautiful pattern on its side. Remember that it is not just the quality of the tea that counts but there is also a pleasure in the pouring. It means you will need to take into account the shape, functionality, size, and the material from which it is created to ensure an all-around wonderful brew. If you have no idea of how these elements affect your tea experience, purchasing a humble teapot can be a frightening experience.
Russian Teapots, Samovar
You cannot talk about samovar without talking about tea. And actually, not only the tea leaves themselves, but also everything that goes along with them starting from the ambiance to the setting, the taste, and the warmth.
Russia is a nation known for its tea-drinking practice. No Russian household is complete without the typical Russian teapot, samovar bubbling away in the kitchen. Ever-present in the house interiors of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy novels, the equipment remains a fixture of Russian contemporary life ranging from Moscow to Siberia. The tea-drinking practice is a very social Russian thing to do. They often invite friends and relatives over for tea, and sit, talk, and drink tea for hours. Usually, it is done while eating baked sweets with jam.
The one claim to modernity is that in today’s era, the tea is usually heated electrically rather than by burning coal underneath it. And nobody can blame Russian people for not inventing many changes to a winning formula. The Russian teapot, the samovar is a simple but wonderful way of serving tea as well as being a source of cultural pride.
Russian teapot, the samovar is, by nature, a large, vase-shaped kettle for holding hot water, with a tap on the side to dump the water. Its upper surface has a flat area, pierced with steam holes, on which a teapot roosts.
The word “samovar” means self-cooking. An appropriate name, given that the boiling of the water and the preparative of the infusion are all held in one free-standing contraption. For further knowledge about Russian tea-brewing practice, here are 7 steps on how to use famous Russian teapot, samovar.
- Step One
Fill in the kettle with water that has been filtered beforehand. What is the use of filtered water? Filtered water grants your kettle to be free of water residue that comes from using tap water.
- Step Two
The next step is to turn on the contraption. Turn it on to the highest setting which is “boil”. It is either you plug it in or burn your coals. Either way, you need to turn the thermostat to the highest setting to get the water boiling as fast as possible. In no time, you will get heated water that is at the boiling point.
- Step Three
Add six or more teaspoons, depends on how much you need, and of your favorite of loose tea leaves to the teapot. Put the tea leaves in the tube-shaped infuser that descends all the way to the center of the teapot.
When brewing a Russian tea, it is usually made with any black tea, and sometimes sweetened with some teaspoons of jam. For example, Russian Caravan Tea mirrors the original smokey flavor of the long history the Russian tea has. However, any quality loose leaf tea will work beautifully.
- Step Four
Once the water has boiled, add more water to the teapot to about three or more quarters of the teapot are full. The dilution allows you to control the strength of the tea. After that, open the kettle’s tap and place the teapot underneath it to fill it in with water.
- Step Five
Put the teapot containing the water on top of the samovar to boil for about four to six minutes. The water will proceed to boil and the heat will brew the tea inside the teapot above it. Lower the thermostat so that the water inside the kettle will remain simmering for however long you need it to.
- Step Six
After four to six minutes have passed, check on the tea inside the teapot. If you see a few tea leaves have appeared on the surface and the contents of the teapot are relatively in dark color, then your tea is ready. In the cup of your favorite choice, add approximately 30% of the tea from the teapot and add water for the rest. You can adjust the mix, depending on how dark you like your tea.
- Step Seven
The tea is ready to be served. Additionally, the cups in which the tea is served in Russia are often stylish and have diminutive things decorated the glass with metal handles on the sides. How to enjoy tea as Russian people do? Some Russian people like to pour their tea from the cup into the saucer and slurp it up.
Those who like their tea sweeter than average will sometimes hold a sugar lump between their fingers or serve the tea with some jam on the side rather than actually putting sugar into the tea.
So, those are 7 steps on how to use famous Russian teapot, samovar. There is something very nervine about the design of a Russian teapot, samovar which complements perfectly the great experience of drinking tea. It somehow marries the otherworldly elegance and a homey sense of comfort such as a quiet, soothing presence in the background of life.