Tea was brought to Russia from Northern China, where it was called ‘cha-i’ or ‘cha-e’, that is why in Russia the drink got the name ‘chay’ (tea). Originally, though, in Russian records, tea was often called ‘the Chinese herb’ or ‘the Chinese dry herb’. Two kinds of tea were brought from China: brick-tea and loose tea (baykhovy). The etymology of the word ‘baykhovy’ is connected with the Chinese ‘bai hoa’ (‘white eyelash’). According to the most wide-spread version, Chinese merchants called so tea with a large amount of tea tips — bud leaves on a tea bush. Russian merchants applied this term for any non-brick tea.

Black Tea is the most Popular Tea in Russia, but Green Tea is becoming more popular. Tea is a very popular bevarage in Russia with over 82% of Russians drinking tea daily. Russia is known for its two step brewing process. First a strong tea concentrate is made, using dry tea sufficient for much more tea than is initially made. Then this strong concentrate is added to a person’s cup along with hot water. A person who likes strong tea would not add as much hot water as someone who likes weaker tea, thus accommodating various tastes.

Many varieties of Black and Green tea, popular in Russia, are available from our extensive Tea Menu

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