course of the last two hundred years, the tea ceremony has become one of the
strongest and most pervasive cultural traditions in Central Russia.
Since its introduction from China early in the seventeenth century, tea has
the Russians' favorite drink. The tea ceremony has become not only a cultural
tradition but also has developed into a strong communicational bond for the
Russians have developed an interesting system of
teapots, cups, caddies and other accessories for the tea ceremony.
The original Russian teapot has an egg-round shape with a long, beautifully
spout and a strong handle. Russians drink two or three different kinds of tea at
They mix herbal and black teas together and dilute the mixture with hot water.
two or three teapots all are used at once. Sitting on top of each other, the
teapots serve to keep the teas warm for a long time. The bottom teapot holds
hot water for diluting the tea and it is the largest one. The next one contains a
black tea, brewing a very strong tea. The top and smallest one usually has a
herbal or mint tea.
The whole composition of the complete teapots structure is reminiscent of a
architecture - perhaps the Russian orthodox church with its whimsical pattern of
onion-heads roof. Frequently leads, the spouts and handles of the teapots, have
been decorated with images from daily life. At the turn of the eighteenth
century, there were more than one hundred little porcelain and ceramics factories
producing tea-sets in Central Russia. Each of them had different patterns and
traditions of decorating ceramics. But in general, the tradition of decorating
the tea services with little figures of people and animals, scenes from everyday
life or scenes from popular folk stories and songs were most popular. The major
part of the decoration was often a script with a teaching proverb or a line from
a song. Beautiful landscapes were also often depicted on these teapots.
Some of the teapots and also tea caddies were also made in a shape of
human bodies. The tea caddy or jar for storing whole leaf teas became very
popular in Russia, with
the top of the caddy also serving as a measuring cup for dispensing the tea.
Each tea caddy represents a different type of black or herbal tea. There are teas
for health, prosperity, general well-being, romance and other affairs of human