May 20, 2020

A Historic Drinking Development



A Historic Drinking Development
Kofe s limonom just doesn't have the same ring, or taste. RussianLife files

A major shift in Russian palates has occurred right under our noses: for the first time since, well, ever, Russians are now drinking more coffee than tea.

Russia, long considered a "tea country" (and sporting the samovar as a national symbol) saw its most ubiquitous drink overtaken last year, when coffee consumption eclipsed tea consumption. According to the trade organization RusTeaCoffee, in 2019, Russians drank 140,000 tons of tea products, falling short of the 180,000 tons of coffee products.

This follows a long-lasting trend that has seen coffee consumption nearly double over the last ten years. Experts estimate that the taste for coffee will remain at this level for the foreseeable future.

At least neither coffee nor tea can be bootlegged.

Samovars
  • August 01, 1996

Samovars

President Boris Yeltsin decreed that this year be counted the 250th anniversary of the samovar. What better occasion for Lisa Dickey to visit the world's largest private collection of samovars, now on display in St. Petersburg?
To Tula! Samovar Optional ...
  • September 01, 2001

To Tula! Samovar Optional ...

Don't bring your samovar to Tula is just one of the idiomatic expressions related to tea and coffee in this issue's column.
Steeped in Tradition
  • September 01, 2001

Steeped in Tradition

Some may think that vodka is Russia's national drink, but the truth is that Russians can live without vodka, but they cannot survive without tea. In fact, there are few places on earth where more tea is consumed per capita than Russia. We take a look at the origins of this obsession, from samovars to tea with jam to torts and pryaniki. You'll be brewing a cup yourself before you finish.
The Siberian Tea Road
  • May 01, 2013

The Siberian Tea Road

The Great Siberian Tea Road, a historic and legendary route that once connected China and Siberia with European Russia, was one of the world’s longest trade arteries. We retrace its path, geographically and culturally.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.

About Us

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.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955