Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Samovar - The Russian Tea Machine

Last week I visited a lovely antique shop in Romeo, MI called, Matters of Taste, and a Russian samovar immediately caught my eye.  I've always wanted one, but never saw one in my price range.

This one isn't an antique because it's electric, rather than having a fuel pipe to fill with coal, charcoal, wood chips or pine cones as the heat source.   It's beautiful nonetheless.  I asked the price and the owner told me $135, but because it needs to be adapted from Russian electrical standards to US standards before it can be functional, she reduced the price to $100.  Sold!  

The samovar is nickel plated brass, and the owner even included a tube of polish in the deal. It polished up beautifully, and won't tarnish like silverplate. Samovars and tea-drinking are an indispensable element of Russian culture - a symbol of warm-hearted hospitality.

A samovar is an appliance traditionally used to heat/boil water for tea.  Samovar translates into English as "self-boiler."  The small teapot on top is used for tea concentrate.  The concentrate is poured into a cup and diluted with the boiling water.  

I already had six Russian tea glasses [Podstakannik] that I bought when my hubby and I visited Niagara on the Lake a few years ago.  They will go perfectly with the samovar.

So far I only have one Lomonosov Russian porcelain teacup in the Cobalt Net pattern, but I think I foresee a teapot in the future!  ;-)

Several years ago when my pastor [who was also my boss] went to Russia on a missions trip, he brought me back a Matryoshka doll [Russian nesting doll].

I love collecting things from other cultures - especially if they're tea related. 


  1. How pretty! I really like that teacup/saucer and your nesting dolls, too.

  2. Hi Phyllis, what a beautiful samovar and it goes so beautifully with your tea glasses! I've always loved the Russian teacups and their vivid color. I hope you are able to get a teapot to match!
    Hugs, Nancy

  3. Now I cannot believe the price you paid for that beautiful samovar -- I would have thought it would be $500 or more. My goodness, what a great find!!!


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