Russian tea - tea drinking in Russia
It is often said Samovars, glassholders, russian teapots for strong tea and ones for boiled
whater are traditional at Russia.
It is true, but - how all that could be combined at one table ?
Answer is simple - different social groups at different times of history had different habits as of tea drinking.
Historically, first - tea drinking have became popular among Russian elite.
They used expencive porcelain, big tea services.
Process of tea drinking was similar to any other procedure at Czar palaces - i.e. it was rather meeting not tea drinking.
Next, tea drinking spreaded to wider group of reach people.
At that times tradition to separate small teapots for strong tea and teapots for boiled water appeared.
Later, tradition to drink tea penetrated into middle class.
That is when Samovars appeared. Tea drinking often happened at open air, not inside palace or house.
So - Tibetian invention was changed to fit needs of drinking hot tea.
The procedure itself was somehow alike modern barbeque party, but more formal.
Note, as well - tea was not considered as food by orthodox church.
Thus, it was Ok to drink tea during religious lent.
Trick was - one can drink tea with sugar, sweeties, different additions,
like liqiour - at lent time.
Step by step tea drinking turned into time consuming procedure with a lot of additions and sweeties used.
At that times porcelain have became less expencive, a lot of factories produced it at Russia.
Later this tradition have became popular among all citizens.
For now series of porcelain teapots for different occasions and few tea services exist in virtually any Rusian family.
Anyway - step by step tea drinking tradition penetrated into government agencies and offices.
But, government agencies and offices had not that budget to allow Samovars and porcelain made tea services.
It considered immoral to spent money on such things, which was luxury.
Thus, at government agencies tradition to have common source of boiled water and to use usual,
cheap glasses appeared.
Only problem was - once you will filled glass with hot water near common source of boiled whater -
it is quite difficult to travel back to your cabinet or office department.
So metal glass holders ("Podstakanniki") was used.
It became great gift for officials - they should not use expencive china at their offices, but glass holders was perfect.
So one could see silver and even gold made glas sholders - given as a gift.