Traditional Russian Samovar
Traditional Russian Samovar. In the old days samovar, the traditional Russian tea water cooker, was the showy centerpiece of the Russian tea table. The word “samovar” means “self-cooking”. The town of Tula is known as the center of the Russian samovar manufacture. The first samovar factory was founded there in 1778. Samovars were made of various metals, like cast iron, copper and brass, which could be plated with nickel, silver or gold.
Samovar was the sign of prosperity. Wealthy families used to have several samovars, from the ones used daily to those displayed only as decorative objects. Some even had a whole room dedicated to the samovar only.
Nowadays electric tea kettles have come to replace the traditional samovars in everyday life, but they are still used at festive occasions at home, on picnics, and at restaurants and hotels serving Russian teas. Even today the samovar is a symbol of the warm Russian hospitality.
There are many shapes and sizes of samovars. The body of modern samovars is usually round, resembling either a cylinder, sphere, vase, pear, goblet or barrel.