7 chapters of Tea invasion in Russia
by Nikita Mittal on Jul 28, 2023
But unlike capitalism, tea certainly made a special place in the hearts of the people of Russia.
How did it happen? Read on
(Source: Apollo magazine)
Chapter 1: The First Sip - Tea Arrives in Russia
The story of tea in Russia begins in the late 16th century when Altyn Khan, the Mongol ruler, sent gifts of tea to Tsar Michael I. These early introductions sparked the curiosity of the Russian court, and tea slowly began to establish its presence in the land of the Tsars.
Chapter 2: The Noble Luxury - Tea at the Russian Court
In the 17th century, tea was considered a luxurious and exotic commodity, primarily enjoyed by the Russian nobility. The long and arduous journey from China made it an expensive and sought-after indulgence, reserved for special occasions at the grand court gatherings.
Chapter 3: The Diplomatic Brew - The "Tea Tax" and Trade Relations
During the 18th century, tea became more accessible to the Russian population as trade relations with China strengthened. Tsar Peter the Great played a significant role in promoting tea consumption by imposing high taxes on coffee and encouraging the drinking of tea instead.
Chapter 4: The Iconic Samovar - Tea in Russian Hospitality
As tea drinking became more widespread, the samovar, a traditional metal kettle used to boil water, became an integral part of Russian households. The samovar gatherings fostered a sense of hospitality and warmth, where tea was served alongside a variety of sweet and savory treats.
Chapter 5: Russian Caravan - The Journey of Tea Blends
During the 19th century, the popular "Russian Caravan" tea blend emerged, comprised of various Chinese black teas transported overland to Russia on camel caravans. This unique blend acquired a distinct smoky flavor, evoking the sense of distant travels and adventures.
Chapter 6: Tea in Turbulent Times - From Revolution to Soviet Era
The 20th century brought significant changes to Russia, including the Russian Revolution and the Soviet era. Despite the upheavals, tea remained a steadfast companion to the Russian people, offering comfort and solace during times of struggle and uncertainty.
Chapter 7: The Modern Brew - Tea in Contemporary Russia
In the modern era, tea has become an indispensable part of Russian life, transcending social boundaries and generational gaps. Whether enjoyed in traditional samovar gatherings or as a quick brew on the go, tea continues to be a symbol of hospitality, connection, and comfort in Russian culture.