Not your average cuppa
March 2, 2004 11:16 AM   Subscribe

The Russian cup of tea is a marvelous triumph of quality over schedule. It is also remarkably similar to the way the Turks make tea.
posted by leapfrog (13 comments total)
My mom taught me how to cheat at making Russian Tea. It sounds nasty but tastes really quite excellent.

Mix more or less equal parts of instant iced tea mix and Tang, to taste, of course. And pour hot water over it.

Sure, its not as fancy as the site shows but its quick and good. And reminds me of home.
posted by fenriq at 11:29 AM on March 2, 2004

As a lad, I visited Soviet-era Russia, and quaffed tea like nobody's business, thinking "Man, this stuff is great, I'll have to drink it all the time when I get back to the US." Back home, I started drinking American and English tea and gagged. This explains why.
posted by Faze at 12:14 PM on March 2, 2004

It is now my quest to have a cup of Russian tea! I'm apparently a hopeless tea-dunce (i.e., an American who starting drinking tea in England at the age of 7 and has been making it the same way ever since), but perhaps it's never too late...
posted by scody at 12:17 PM on March 2, 2004

Proof that linux-style documentation can make any task seem monumenta, and goes way overboard describing the different configuration options :)

Russian tea, is, however, the bomb.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:28 PM on March 2, 2004

Fun reading. Lots of interesting links in the Google image search for samovar.
posted by roboto at 1:04 PM on March 2, 2004

I grew up with russian tea, but I personally don't like it as much as just making tea the usual way - I feel making tea the Russian way hides some of the character of the tea. What Russian tea is good for, however, is making crappy tea drinkable (which was a priority for many Russians), since it tends to mellow it out the harshness of bad tea a bit.
posted by kickingtheground at 1:23 PM on March 2, 2004

I never thought I'd have occasion to use the phrase refreshingly geeky, but by the time I got to the Troubleshooting section, it was all I could think of.

That and actually setting out to make some of the stuff, when time and providence shall permit.
posted by chicobangs at 1:26 PM on March 2, 2004

This is ridiculous. The author is using Russian words instead of perfectly acceptable English translations (really, chainik just means tea kettle - nothing more or less) in an effort to add an air of mystery and enchantment to a quite mundane task of making some tea. I could write a 20 page FAQ on preparing an American-standard cup of coffee too, elaborating on supposed taste differences of pouring hot or cold water into the coffeemaker. So what?

This page reeks of practical joke to me, akin to making a manual for the use of a matchbook. Really, there is not much to making "Russian tea". Put some leaves into hot water to make a concentrate. Pour a bit of concentrate into a cup and top off with hot water. Done! The reason Russians traditionally used tea leaves/concentrate method as opposed to instant tea bags is because there were no tea bags available until the Western imports started flowing in. Russian industries weren't big on single-use disposable items (certain military equipment excluded. Now many Russians use tea bags and like the result just as much.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 1:38 PM on March 2, 2004

Hey, speak for yourself, blindcarboncopy. It's exactly the inclusion of the Russian terms that made this so valuable for me; it's not easy to get that kind of specialized vocabulary. And the point of every written document is not to be as simple as possible. (Or perhaps you think 25-word condensations are as good as the original novels?) If you don't enjoy sentences like "You, in turn, may face lawsuits or vendetta depending on the culture you live in," I guess there's nothing you can do about it, but I feel sorry for you.

Oh, and great post!
posted by languagehat at 1:47 PM on March 2, 2004

Compare and contrast the comments of Douglas Adams on the English tradition.
posted by leapfrog at 1:48 PM on March 2, 2004


what did you think about the "beysbollka: Baseball cap in Russian" thing?
I think it's genius
/former C - Russian student
posted by matteo at 6:46 PM on March 2, 2004

Loved it. It's on my list of culinary experiments. Thanks!
posted by Samizdata at 1:07 AM on March 3, 2004

matteo: Yeah, Russian has a nice way with borrowings.
posted by languagehat at 7:01 AM on March 3, 2004

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