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The cold land of Russia first encountered tea when a Mongolian ruler gifted it to the Russian tsar Michael I (Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov) in the 1630s. A few years later, this luxury beverage was gifted by a Chinese ambassador to Alexis I (Aleksey Mikhailovich) during trade negotiations with Russia. And it was this second round of gifting that got Russians to like tea.

A privilege in the 1600s, tea went on to become an integral part of the Russian culture. It is typically brewed in a samovar and served in unique handcrafted porcelain tea ware. In the 19th century, it was Russia’s favorite afternoon beverage. It inspired poets like Karamzin and writers like Alexander Ostrovsky. And as the centuries passes, the tea drinking habits evolved. Today, tea is consumed as an all-day beverage and it is considered the national drink of Russia due to its popularity. The Russians prefer their tea strong and sweet, and sometimes, served with mint or lemon, or sweetened with fruit jam.

The British continued their romance with tea by naming it their national drink. A country deeply in love with tea, United Kingdom has changed the way tea is perceived across the world.