Secrets of Russian Samovar
The wood (coal) samovar is practically not used in Russia in everyday life in the last several decades for objective reasons, consisting in the transition to the use of conventional (for gas cookers) and electric kettles. Therefore, the practical experience of using wood samovars is available today only in the luggage of people who grew up at the dawn of the fabulous success of the samovar business, as well as people who revive the traditions of Russian tea drinking. And Russians, belonging to younger age groups, for lack of such experience, often speculatively perceive the classical Russian samovar as an analog of a teapot, which works not on gas fire or electricity, but on wood. But such a superficial perception of a wood-burning samovar is fundamentally wrong, since it does not take into account a number of practical nuances that have turned to the present time into forgotten secrets of the Russian samovar. We will tell you about these secrets.
In many models of kettles for a gas stove, the spout has an opening that begins to whistle due to the vapor emerging through it after water inside the kettle begins to boil. The wood samovar also had a "sound alarm". The boiling process has three stages. Ideal for the preparation of most varieties of tea is water, brought to the second stage of boiling. Water that does not boil (the first stage) slightly reduces the quality of tea, but after a spill in the cups, tea will turn out to be barely warm. However, it should be noted that a number of tea grades should be brewed with not water that has been boiled (the first stage is 50-60 ° C), which is indicated on their packages. The boiled water (the third stage) for the preparation of quality tea is absolutely unsuitable. Wood samovars had several of the most common varieties of shell shapes (vase, bowl, etc.). All these forms were created in such a way as to resonate the sound of the water boiling inside the hull. Therefore, in the first stage of boiling, the samovar "sang" (made a subtle sound), in the second stage of boiling it "roared" (the sound became similar to the noise of a bee swarm), and on the third stage of boiling - "boiled" (the sound turned into a chaotic cacophony). Such a sound gradation made it possible to detect the necessary (second) and rather short-term stage of boiling, in order to brew tea correctly.
The second secret is a change in the taste of tea due to the use of wood fuel. The aroma of samovar smoke through the water brought new colors to the taste of the finished tea, and the nature of these shades depended on the used fuel (spruce cones, birch wood, oak wood). To some it may seem an interference with the natural taste of tea, but for the sake of justice it should be noted that among the many varieties of Chinese tea, there is also "smoked tea" ("Lapsang Sushong"). In the process of production, this sort of tea is dried on wood (on fire).