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Tea probably is not the first thing that springs to mind when you picture Russia. Boris and Natasha, borsht, vodka and a host of other things are associated with this large northern country, but few people think of tea. Yet, Russians began drinking tea in earnest in the 1700's and developed a specific Russian tea recipe that people in modern Russia still enjoy.
One popular Russian tea is the Russian Caravan. This tea blend should be steeped in 200 degree Fahrenheit water for approximately three minutes. To drink it in the traditional Russian manner, add a slice of lemon to the cup. Next, place a lump of sugar in your mouth, holding it in place with your teeth. Drink the tea, allowing the lemon and sugar to add flavor as the hot liquid flows over them.
For an authentic Russian tea brewing experience, you'll need to brew tea leaves in a very small amount of water for at least five minutes to form a special concentrate called tea essence. The essence can be steeped for as long as 24 hours. A spoonful of the concentrated is then placed in a glass and hot water, which has been boiled in a samovar, is added to the glass to create a finished cup of tea.