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Submitted by on May 4, 2022

A samovar is a classic metal container for heating and boiling water. Despite its Russian origins, the samovar is well-known outside of Russia, having expanded through Russian culture to Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, the Middle East, Azerbaijan, and portions of Central Europe. Many samovars feature a ring-shaped attachment (Russian: коноркa, konforka) around the chimney to hold and heat a teapot filled with tea concentrate, because the heated water is commonly used to prepare tea. While many older samovars used coal or kindling to heat water, many current samovars utilize electricity to heat water in a similar way as an electric water boiler. Antique samovars are appreciated for their exquisite craftsmanship.

Plain iron, copper, polished brass, bronze, silvergold, tin, or nickel are the most common materials used to make samovars. A standard samovar has a body, a base and chimney, a cover and a steam vent, handles, a tap and key, a crown and ring, a chimney extension and cap, a dripbowl, and a teapot. An urn, krater, barrel, cylinder, or sphere might be used as the body form. Sizes and shapes range from big “40-pail” containers that carry 4 litres (1.1 US gal) to small 1 litre (0.26 US gal) containers.

A classic samovar is a huge metal container with a tap near the bottom and a vertical metal pipe running through it. The pipe is filled with solid fuel, which is fired to heat the surrounding container’s water. To assure draft, a tiny (6 to 8 inch/15 to 20 centimeter) smokestack is placed on top. The smokestack can be removed once the water has boiled and the fire has been extinguished, and a teapot put on top to be heated by the rising hot air. The teapot is used to brew zavarka (аварка), a strong tea concentrate. The tea is made by diluting the concentrate with heated water from the main container, generally at a 10-to-1 water-to-tea ratio, but preferences vary.

Plain iron, copper, polished brass, bronze, silver, gold, tin, or nickel are the most common materials used to make samovars. A standard samovar has a body, a base and chimney, a cover and a steam vent, handles, a tap and key, a crown and ring, a chimney extension and cap, a dripbowl, and a teapot. An urn, krater, barrel, cylinder, or sphere might be used as the body form. Sizes and shapes range from big “40-pail” containers that carry 4 litres (1.1 US gal) to small 1 litre (0.26 US gal) containers.

A classic samovar is a huge metal container with a tap near the bottom and a vertical metal pipe running through it. The pipe is filled with solid fuel, which is fired to heat the surrounding container’s water. To assure draft, a tiny (6 to 8 inch/15 to 20 centimeter) smokestack is placed on top. The smokestack can be removed once the water has boiled and the fire has been extinguished, and a teapot put on top to be heated by the rising hot air. The teapot is used to brew zavarka (аварка), a strong tea concentrate. The tea is made by diluting the concentrate with heated water from the main container, generally at a 10-to-1 water-to-tea ratio, but preferences vary.

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