A samovar (самовар click to listen) is a heated metal container traditionally used to boil water. The heated water is typically used for drinking tea, so many samovars have a ring-shaped attachment around the chimney to hold and heat a teapot filled with strong concentrated tea. Traditionally samovars are heated with wood, pine-cones or charcoal. Samovars are commonly made of copper, polished brass, bronze, and nickel. Their sizes vary from large "40-pail" ones holding 110 gallons to a miniature 1 quart size. The first historically recorded samovar was produced in Russia in 1778, and by the 19th century this popular device became a common feature of Russian tea culture. Samovars were (and still are!) efficient devices for heating water. Today they are used exactly in the same way as many years ago. The fire is made outdoors, and after the water boils and the fire goes down, samovar is brought inside and put on a table, filling the whole house with a wonderful aroma. A teapot with a very strong tea is put on top and is heated by the rising hot air. When everybody gathers around the table, the tea is served by mixing this concentrate with the boiled water in inividual cups according to taste.


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