Typically, people in the U.S. consider England to be the major tea drinking country in Europe, but in 2005 a study found that 82 percent of Russians drink tea daily.
(Interesting side note: evidence shows this is causing an iron deficiency among women and children. Tea contains tannins, which reduces iron absorption into the body).
Normally, black tea is the tea of choice for Russians, but green tea has been growing in popularity.
Tea drinking in Russia dates back to 1638 when Mongols introduced the drink to the area. Since then, most likely thanks to Russia’s cold climate, tea has remained a popular drink Russia.
In Moscow, there is even the Moscow Tea Museum. There, a “tea master,” hosts tea ceremonies for visitors. A team master is responsible for knowing how to prepare the water. Also, they need to know all about the six different kinds of teas – where they grow, how they are gathered and how they can influence people.
Most importantly, the tea master is in charge of creating the necessary tea atmosphere. The goal is to immerse the tea drinker in the ambience, and to create a strong emotional reaction while drinking the tea.
What separates Russian tea culture from others is the brewing process. They use a two-step brewing process. The first step involves brewing a portion of dry tea in a small teapot. The second step involves pouring the brew into teacups, allowing each drinker to add as much or as little water as wanted (so each drinker can make their tea just as strong as they would like to).