Russian Teapot Samovar
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May 17, 18:00 PST
Any Russian's best friend. No, not a person, but in the past that's how the Russians treated their samovar.
Our continental cousins have never mastered the art of the tea ceremony. Some of them still offer a cup of warm water with a limp teabag on the side. The water must be added to the tea, not vice-versa. And here's the tricky bit - the water must be boiling when added to the tea. That's a major difference between tea and coffee. For coffee, water should be hot, but not boiling, because it scalds the coffee detrimentally. For tea, water must always be boiling - and not just-boiled. At the point of meeting the tea: boiling. The folks who devised the Hadron Collider still haven't grasped that essential element of tea technology. I was once instructed in how to make tea by Mr Sam Twining, whose family has been associated with importing tea for yonks. First, he drew attention to the teapot. A teapot should either be (a) fine bone china (b) silver or (c) aluminium. A teapot, by the way, should never be put into a dishwasher for cleaning: the tannin that it accumulates should be gently wiped off with warm water, by hand, and no chemicals should be involved. Before making tea, the teapot should be rinsed with hot water, then the tea placed in the teapot, then add the boiling water. If using loose tea leaves (always favoured by the tea connoisseur), it's usually a spoon for each person and one for the pot. The teapot should then stand - to allow the tea to infuse - for two-and-a-half minutes before the tea is poured. A word about loose tea: it does provide a superior taste, but most people find tea leaves too much of a bother. I think we have to concede that the teabag has won the battle for convenience. Top-quality teabags have improved in recent years, although the tea expert still regards them with suspicion, and sometimes with contempt. They'll tell you teabags are often just the sweepings of tea. I have accepted the teabag: yes, old tea leaves are a nuisance. Nuns would once clean the corridors of convents with used tea leaves, but as there are neither nuns nor convent corridors anymore, this recycling is no longer apt. However, I think the teapot is essential for brewing a decent cup of tea. As mentioned, tea needs to infuse. A mug is fine for drinking tea - but it should be bone china (advised Mr Twining). There's also the controversial question of whether milk should be poured into the cup first. Mr Twining taught that tea should be poured first, because that gauges the consistency of the beverage, and milk (or lemon, according to taste) subsequently added. I personally prefer milk in first, which Nancy Mitford, that arbiter of what was posh and what wasn't, considered "common". She even had an acronym for those she considered common - "MIFs" - Milk In First people. Originally, a coating of milk prevented your bone china teacup from cracking. As to tea flavours: Darjeeling for a delicate Indian tea. It's great to see the spread of herbal teas - peppermint (a fine digestive after a meal), chamomile (soothing) and nettle. Green tea is also gaining popularity. These are caffeine free, so they don't provide the pick-me-up element of the true cup of tea, but they all have a place. A herbal tea doesn't need a teapot - it can be a teabag in a mug - yet even herbal tea is improved by serving from a teapot. The decline of the teapot, as a matter of general use, is undoubtedly a metaphor of the decline of the collective experience and the rise of individualism. The "Brown Betty" teapot was a symbol of families sitting around together, sharing a pot of tea - the pot itself was also a symbol of hospitality, like the Russian samovar, which stood sentinel to welcoming the stranger. The individual teabag in a mug, by contrast, represents individual choice: "I do my own thing. Well, we certainly drink tea by the gallon. COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Source: www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk
The "Brown Betty" teapot was a symbol of families sitting around together, sharing a pot of tea - the pot itself was also a symbol of hospitality, like the Russian samovar, which stood sentinel to welcoming the stranger. The individual teabag in a mug
A small teapot can be placed at the very top of the samovar to keep steeped tea warm. This made the samovar very practical compared to Russian stoves that took a lot of firewood and time to heat up. "It was an economical way to heat water very fast
It's Russian samovars, or teapots. Simple refineries that process crude into fuel oil are scaling back, because when oil prices slump, the government reduces the discount that these refiners -- known as teapots to those in the industry -- get for
ANTIQUE RUSSIAN CLOTH DOLL TEAPOT WARMER SAMOVAR MATRESHKA http://t.co/m0L0VKagdl http://t.co/YHPYXaTZ7E 08/17/15, @sentiesmacedon5
Check out this item in my Etsy shop https://t.co/fUNxqm9nzH postcard 08/15/15, @VintageCardBook
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Regardless, it was in Russia, a sprawling country whose northernmost boundaries reach into the Arctic Circle, that the samovar became entwined with national identity. A samovar is essentially a glorified self-heating kettle. Its base features an area where ...
A small teapot can be placed at the very top of the samovar to keep steeped tea warm. This made the samovar very practical compared to Russian stoves that took a lot of firewood and time to heat up. "It was an economical way to heat water very fast," says ...
A monumental Russian silver samovar, the first of its kind to go through ... A Carl Poul Petersen sterling silver teapot, with stand and warmer decorated with lovely large foliate designs sold for $3,900. Strong interest in Brian Coole paintings continued ...
A samovar (literally "self-boiler", Persian: Samāvar, Turkish: semaver) is a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in and around Russia ...
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