What do we know about the Russian tea? We Know
, frankly speaking, a little. It is surprising how it is not enough in information RuNet about tea! There are a teahouse and the tea house - it is the East, there is a cafe and a bistro - it is the West, and there is no traditional Russian tea institution. At best will hide under this ancient brand a usual point fast - foot or pseudo - the Japanese tea house.
However, absence full tea is under our conditions clear. Fast - the foot has to be fast: came - paid - pozhr... ate - left. You can talk at home, or on a shop at an entrance. Whereas in tea not haste was a logo. Long tables d`hote (and in tea were only such) promoted communication and an exchange of news.
During Alexander II`s government in Russia the first tea appeared. Some consider as the homeland tea the Tver province. Coachmen of the post highway St. Petersburg - Moscow became the first clients tea. The path just passed through villages and villages of the province.
According to other data the first tea appeared in Moscow where institutions opened near the large industrial enterprises, and in process of growth of popularity arose in the markets and parking of carriers. In general coachmen and tea are connected strongly. It is enough to mention that there were special izvozchich tea. They were distinguished by existence of the big yard and horses feeders.
There is also the third point of view - the first official tea opened on August 28, 1882 in St. Petersburg (I, however, did not find historically reliable source) then they began to arise nearly on each corner, in each city.
Most likely truth somewhere in the middle. Emergence of tea happened spontaneously on all extent of post paths. The hot tea containing caffeine perfectly invigorated and warmed during long winter moving. Alcoholic beverages were dangerous to be taken.
For new institutions the government established, on envy to taverns and taverns, special privileges - the minimum rent and very low tax. Tea had the right to open at 5 in the morning when taverns were still closed. The reason of such relation from the authorities spoke simply - tea were considered an alternative to pubs where alcohol was on sale.
Beginning to work with early morning, tea became the only place where the carrier, the worker or peasants who arrived to trade on a market could come. It is no wonder that tea quickly gained popularity among the people.
Standard tea had three rooms. The first was occupied by kitchen. The second actually tea. Here much attention was paid to the atmosphere of an institution. Tea it was allowed to the owner (and it was even necessary) to have a record player for musical registration and billiards. At the same time at tables there were filings of newspapers that the visitor not only to tea drank, but also the food for mind was received.
And what third room? Its functions were quite unusual to a public catering institution. Present that you came to cafe or the land - the bar to fill in the receipt on payment of housing and communal services. It is difficult to present? And so in tea there were peculiar offices - “national offices“. For a payment available to a commonalty could make the application or the complaint and any official paper here. Clerks in tea the left employees of offices earned additionally. And usually dismissal went from the employer who saw too zealous addiction of the subordinate to tea or strong drinks.
Menus of tea created bad Russian roads. From continuous jolting of many seriously rocked to sleep. What there food! Just seeing hot dishes, soups, snack turned back. Were fed a liquid by tea. From here also the name - tea appeared. Moscow sometimes distorted in “tea-rooms“ (from to drink tea), and here in Prague and Slovakia tea-rooms were always tea-rooms. And even is now.
However, lack of food is right only partly. To tea gave both various pastries, and fresh oil, and large lump sugar. In the cities there were also full-fledged meat and fish dishes. Boiled water on - the beginning was allowed to give only in samovars. Later all - passed to teapots.
The Smolensk local historian A. Ya. Trofimov so described typical city tea the end of the 19th century: “It was a one-storeyed wooden structure to 25 meters in length: two halls, kitchen where cooks prepared light meals - pancakes, fried eggs, meat and fish dishes“.
Tea began to degenerate at the beginning of the 20th century. Ruined their alcohol. From the beginning of sale of alcohol tea turned into usual pub. “White tea“ on a slang meant vodka which often moved directly in teapots. Here and the Russian tea tradition died.
The main sources of information became: Vladislav Artyomov`s article “Tea history in Russia“, book “The Book about Tea“ of Yu. G. Ivanov and A. I. Vyyurkov`s story “Friend of the family“. Found nothing else. Even it is strange. The word “tea-rooms“ and “tea“ are absent even in all-knowing Wikipedia. The article “Russian tea“ let does not mislead you, it is devoted to restaurant on Manhattan. The teahouse has the page too, and here at tea is not present.
It is symbolical?