Чай будешь?

1/09/2013 01:05:00 PM

Photo by Olga Gonzalez

I can't speak for everybody, but where I'm from we don't drink hot tea. For one, it's a goddamn desert! and two it's just not very popular. In 'The South' we have the famous "sweet tea", which is liquid diabetes absolutely delicious and my drink of choice at one of my favorite fast food chains; Raising Canes (which I sincerely miss, but more about that in a different post).

I wouldn't necessarily say that iced tea is, "popular" in the country with soft drink cups literally bigger than your stomach...

Nevertheless, it exists and people do drink it. Companies like Nestea and Lipton being some of the biggest distributors.

However, this form of tea isn't anywhere near as healthy as natural tea (OBVIOUSLY!). 

So, as an American (from the Western U.S.) hot tea was not something I was used to. Fast forward to me in Russia, and it's pretty much everywhere, I was a little surprised. I don't like coffee and I only drank hot chocolate in the winter time (remember...desert), so hot drinks in general weren't that popular with me.

During my first few months in Russia, I met a lot of new people, and whenever I met someone new, tea or coffee was almost always offered, whether it be on the street or if I was their guest. Either they would offer to go sit down and chat over a cup of tea or coffee, or as soon as I came through the door of their home "Чай или кофе будешь?" (English translation: Would you like some tea or coffee?)

In Russia, it's a bit of a traditional thing to offer your guest(s) tea or coffee. I asked around about this tradition and got two answers:
1.) Russia is a cold country, and of course when someone comes in from the cold, it's polite to offer them a warm beverage. And...
2.) In Russia, the houses and flats (apartments) are smaller and in older times people didn't go out much either. So, what do you do? You invite friends over and sit at the kitchen table with tea, sweets and/or cookies and talk (really talk) about life and things.

I prefer the latter, it's very intimate, but it's not all about me...

For whatever reason it became popular to drink tea, and I must admit, I have become a tea drinker (I prefer green, red is also very nice). It's healthy too, and a really popular remedy for a cold is tea with raspberry jam.

I mentioned before that Russia has a more British influence in their English than American. Well, the same goes for tea. A lot of people like to add milk to their tea, even I do it, and if you haven't tried it, you definitely should! Remember, that if you come to Russia, you'll most likely drink some tea eventually.

So, I guess that's all I can say about tea for now... I'll leave you guys with this blog post (hope you liked it) and this short video I made...

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  1. I'm sorry Riqo, but what you showed in your video is not TEA. Tea bag cannot make proper tea, though after you add milk and honey the tea doesn't matter anymore... XD

    1. I have to admit that I made this video about a year ago, and since then, I've started drinking brewed tea a lot more often!

  2. BTW. Regarding desert. Did you know that we should drink hot tea (not cold) to feel better when it's pretty hot outdoors?)

    1. I heard that before, but only in Russia)) Try offering hot tea to someone that just came in from 47°C and watch what happens))

  3. Hello, and i'm from Russia. Sorry for my english. Drinking hot tea comes from desert countries( as for me, my friend from Turkmenistant told me this) in older times people there were looking for a way from freaking hot weather, but they hadn't got cold water(hello, its desert it's about 1-2 and more centeries ago) so they do drink tea to start sweating and this sweat were colding ur body. But now its stupid to use it.

    1. The question is not about only sweating. It's also about temperature differences between body and environment.

      Also it's dangerous to drink cold water in such conditionals since it brings a lot of health troubles))

      >>but they hadn't got cold water(hello, its desert it's about 1-2 and more centeries ago)
      Do you think they didn't have cellar to keep it cold?
      Even more, it's pretty possible to keep not cold but warm and drink it. However they make it hot...

  4. It might surprise you, but history says that Russians tought poor english people drink tea. Not otherwise.

    Sorrry forr mai skottish acsentt.

  5. Hi Riqo, I'm gonna make a video about Russian developers, it would be great if you could help me, pls contact me by email "vadimanage at gmail.com" or skype: alexinetss

  6. Hello!
    I'm from Novosibirsk and i like read your blog, but.. tea with milk.. that's terrible thing i think!!! :)

    In any case, thanks for post, it was interesting :)

  7. I like it a lot! So familiar things in other vision :)

  8. You forgot to tell about the samovar.