Russian Samovar Selected Blend Loose Leaf Black Tea Traditional China Widely Drunk In Eastern Europe And Russia


Tea drinking in all strata of Russia came surprisingly late, not being widely drunk until the 19th Century, prior to this Sbiten or сбитень had been the staple for both Czars and the people. Sbiten was first mentioned in in Slavonic chronicles in 1128, interestingly it is being revived in the 21st Century as a prepared mass-produced drink. It is a simple drink combining honey and spices which are boiled down then water or red wine if you wish it to be alcoholic are added, mint is often used as a garnish.

Black tea rapidly gained precedence and started to be served in the large Samovars previously used to keep the Sbiten warm. This keeping of the tea warm for long periods of time meant having a tea that would not stew and become bitter although honey, solid chunks of sugar and indeed jam were still often added.

This Chinese tea blend is based on an old Russian recipe and is perfectly suitable for using in a Samovar although obviously a tea pot or infuser would work just as well. It makes a delicate cup, somewhat soft but with I feel quite enjoyable notes. An afternoon tea I would suggest also probably best alone without milk. I brewed for five minutes at 100oC.

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