Tea is a staple in Asian and Eastern European Countries. However, in the states, its only starting to pick up in popularity. Perhaps one of the most unique tools to make tea is known as Samovar. Its a Beautiful and Intrinsic pot designed to heat water. While modern variation uses electricity, traditional Samovar uses coal. Because of the labor involved, its used mainly when there is a event. Nevertheless, the Best Samovar uses Copper or Brass for heat conductivity.
What is a Samovar?
Samovar even modern ones look like something from the early 1900s. Its big with shapes and bends that you rarely see these days. At the side, there is a spigot for draining and the top has a chamber for coals. Older models were handcrafted by artisan and are some of the most beautiful things to behold. However, some modern ones are still prized and fetch a pretty hefty price.
The main uses of a Samovar is to heat and boil water. The non electric models is heated up via coals in the center. They take a while to heat up and is the most laborious. Electric models are a lot more simple and all you need to do is plug it in.
At the top, there is a ring so that you can preheat or keep your tea pot warm.
How to use a Samovar?
To use a Traditional Samova, add water to the top of the pot. Then load hot Coals into the top middle chamber of the pot. You can load unlit coal as well, just make sure you can get it lit. After the water heats up, pre heat the tea pot by infusing it with hot water. Dump the water then add the tea leaves.
Use the ring provided and place your tea pot on top of the Samovar. Be aware, that not all tea pot fits on the ring. You need to get one that is compatible.
Once the tea is brewed in the tea pot, pour out a portion of the tea into a cup. Then dilute it with the hot water from the Samovar.
To put out the fire, there is a little cover that goes above the heat ring. The lack of air will smother the fire.
Because of the labor involved, Samovar are best used for a large party.
For Electric Model, the steps are mostly the same. Instead of coals, you just plug it in.
In Russia, the tea that they mostly drink is black tea. Because of the temperature of the water, its most suited for black tea. You can try and make green tea, but you have to wait till the water cools. Get a thermometer and wait for it to hit around 160 degree Fahrenheit.
Samovar are built with a few different metals. Perhaps the best and most traditional are the copper one. They are some of the best conductor of heat and will heat up the pot the fastest. Brass comes in close and they have its own appeal. However, both copper and brass will tarnish overtime and will lose its beautiful glimmer. Not only that, these models need to be lined with Tin, They wear down overtime and eventually need to be retinned.
Electric models will use either Aluminum or Stainless Steel. Neither one will rust and since you are boiling water, its not likely to react and give a metallic taste. Since these pots uses electricity, superior heat conductivity is not that much of a priority.
Best Samovar For Russian Tea List
Below, you will find a list of the Best Samovar for Russian Tea. There are a few models to choose from, pick one that best suits you.
SAKI Electric Samovar (Best Overall)
Nothing beats the convenience and ease of use of the electric models. Those coal fire models are great if you are entertaining guest and want to give them a show. But for everyday use, nothing beats electric. This model by Saki is Made in USA and comes with a accompanying tea pot. All you need to do is plug it in and press power. The tea pot also has a strainer so that no tea leaves get in your brew.
Tubibu Copper Samovar Tea Pot Set Charcoal Handmade (Best Copper Samovar)
If you are a purist and want to make tea the traditional way, then get a copper model. You need to use coals to heat up the pot and the copper construction means that it will heat up fast. It comes with a accompanying pot so that it will fit on the ring. Instead of a ring on top, this model opts for a chimney like design. This means that its easier to add or reduce fire. There is even a door for easy access. You cant go wrong with Tubibu Samovar.
Steel Coal & Wood Samovar Camp Stove Tea Kettle 3L (Best Brass Model)
While Copper is nice, nothing beats the beauty of Solid Brass. It looks like a solid gold tea pot. The heat conductivity is also up there meaning that it will heat up fast. This model mirrors how traditional Samovar is designed. You use a Chimney heating pipe and there is also a separate pipe. There isnt a accompanying tea kettle like our winning model.
While traiditional Coal models are beautiful and great for entertaining guest. It takes a long time to heat up. If you do want a traditional one, Getting a Copper or Brass model is ideal. They heat up fastest and get you tea quicker. However, for everyday use, a electric model is ideal. All you need to do is plug it in and press power. Cant get more simple than that.
Looking for a modern way of brewing tea? Check out our article on the Best Tea Brewer and Infuser Pot.