Most people will associate Russia and Russians with tea, and yes, there is a long tradition of tea-drinking in Russia. Yet coffee is not some sort of Ivan-Come-Lately to Mother Russia.
Historically, the tradition of coffee-drinking in Russia begins in the era of Peter the Great. He "discovered" coffee while on his “Great Mission” in Holland, became fond of it, and brought the drink to Russia in the beginning of eighteenth century. (It has been argued, however, that coffee first made its appearance at the Kievan court of Vladimir Svyatoslavovich, and that it was recommended by a court doctor under Alexei Mikhailovich in 1665.)
At first, the court noblemen (or “boyars”) called this “outlandish pot” a “smut syrup”. Peter, however, urged them “not to cast aspersions on the praiseworthy drink.” So, little by little, coffee caught on. The first coffee house in Russia was opened in 1720, in St. Petersburg’s Peter and Paul Fortress and was called “Chetyre Fregata” (“Four Frigates”).
In celebration of the New Year and 299 years of Russian coffee tradition, Russian Life, in collaboration with Brave Coffee Company, created a special, limited-run Dark Russian blend. We were on hand for its roasting and packaging yesterday in Waterbury Center.
If you would like to try Brave’s coffee, they offer a full line of microblend coffees to suit any taste, and have a great subscription plan where you can have organic, fresh coffee beans delivered to your home every month. Tell them Peter the Great sent you!
The Siberian Tea Road
Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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