Glass Tea Holder & Crystal Glass AKA Podstakannik #VeganMoFo2016


Today I have a VERY SPECIAL Product Review for you that is LONG OVER DUE! It’s this beautiful Glass Tea Holder & Crystal Glass – also known as – Podstakannik and it is from Russian Tea Time. For the Vegan MoFo prompt, today is all about Food Gifts. But since we are doing all of our Vegan MoFo posts with a twist we figured we will do a Tea Gift version!

I can’t say as I have ever had any other Tea Ware like this before! I’ve cherished it ever since it came in the mail! It’s a Classic Tea Holder with Cut Crystal Glass. The etched cut crystal is very exquisite! I feel like I can drink tea like a royal and be part of the Russian Tea Tradition! Of course I had to study up on Russian Tea Traditions while enjoying this glass and glass tea holder. Yes, indeedy! This is a two-piece tea ware set, folks, and I LOVE it!

Did you know that “Podstakannik” literally means “thing under the glass”? Now THIS is my kind of history! Literal and to the point without being overly fancy!

The holder is most commonly made out of metal. The primary purpose is to be able to hold a very hot glass of tea which is usually consumed right after it is brewed. Fabulous! Because this is the way I LOVE to drink my tea more often than not!

According to Wiki – Podstakanniks appeared in Russian tea culture in the late 18th century. That’s when drinking tea became common in Russia. Soon after they became not just practical utensils, but also works of art, just like samovars that were used for boiling water. Expensive podstakanniks for the rich, well-to-do, and elite were made of silver but were not very practical since they would get quite hot very quickly due to the high thermal conductivity of silver. By the 20th century, podstakanniks became very widespread. They were found to be extremely useful on railroads, as tea was served in moving carriages that were shaking. A bare glass was more likely to fall, scalding people with hot tea. Enter these beautiful works of art and tea ware

I absolutely LOVE my Glass Tea Holder & Crystal Glass – also known as – Podstakannik and it is from Russian Tea Time. And for just $24.99 – I – for one – think it’s totally worth it! It’s durable, versatile, a historical conversation piece, and lovely to look at AND USE!

Today is our last Vegan MoFo post. We hope you enjoyed all of the fun posts. We had a blast creating them.  We will have some more fun holiday posts coming soon including the 12 days of Christmas from 52Teas and possibly even a rundown of what is in our favorite tea advent calendars!

Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Russian Tea Time

Classic Tea Holder with Cut Crystal Glass

Enjoy this exquisite Russian tea glass holder, or “Podstakannik,” with your favorite tea. Now you can drink tea like a royal and be part of the tradition!

This would make a great gift idea paired with Russian Tea Time tea!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Darjeeling Black Currant Tea from Russian Tea Time

russianteaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Russian Tea Time

Tea Description:

Unique blend of the finest Dareeling and black teas infused with Black currant aroma. The delicate and flavorful taste of this blend will keep your palate satisfied. Drink and enjoy it hot or Iced, all year around.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

russianteaglassRecently, Russian Tea Time sent me a tea party in a box!  They shared with me their amazing Darjeeling Black Currant Tea that I’m going to review here, plus they sent me this gorgeous tea glass from which to drink the tea and they even sent me yummy, buttery shortbread cookies!  Like I said, a tea party in a box!

What makes this particular tea so unique is that it’s Russian Tea Time’s own, unique blend of Darjeeling and Black teas with black currant essence and currant leaves.  Most tea rooms out there are brewing up tea to serve to their customers.  They usually get that tea from other vendors (nothing wrong with that!) but Russian Tea Time is not just brewing up tea to serve to their customers, they’re brewing up their own blend that they created and serving it up with scrumptious treats.

Since I’m not in Chicago, I can’t visit the Russian Tea Room in person, so I’ll just have to imagine what it might be like as I sit here, sipping on this Darjeeling Black Currant Tea from this gorgeous tea glass that they sent to me.  (They also have some other gorgeous tea cups available in their online shop!)

RussianTeaCuppedSo, I brewed up the tea in my Breville One Touch Tea Maker.  When I opened the tin of Loose Leaf tea – they offer this tea in both Loose Leaf and Sachet form, and since I prefer loose leaf, that’s what I chose to try today – I could see that the tea was a CTC leaf.  It’s not a super-fine chop though.  Because the leaf has been cut, I opted for slightly less time for the steep, and set the timer for 2 minutes.  I measured 2 bamboo scoops into the basket of my tea maker and poured 500ml of tea into the jug.  I set the thermometer for 195°F (my go-to temperature for Darjeeling) and let it steep.

The tea is delicious.  I like the base tea.  I can definitely taste the Darjeeling tea – it has a distinctly crisp taste that’s undeniably “Darjeeling-esque”.  The Russian Tea Room doesn’t go into details about the “black teas” that also comprise the base of this tea.  I definitely taste the Darjeeling, but I am also tasting a more substantial tea in there too.  This tea has that crispness and even a hint of muscatel that I’d expect from a Darjeeling, but there is a thicker texture to the tea too and that’s something that I’ve tasted in only a very few Darjeeling teas.  It’s usually a characteristic that I experience from other black teas.

It’s not an overly astringent tea.  This could also have something to do with the fact that I set the tea to steep for only 2 minutes.  But whatever the reason, I am finding this to be really smooth and easy to drink.

The black currant flavor is a subtle taste – it doesn’t overpower the cup or the black tea.  It adds a pleasant, mild fruit flavor that’s a little grape-like and it melds beautifully with the Darjeeling tea’s natural muscatel notes.  It’s not overly tart, but I do experience a slight tart tingle on my tongue in the aftertaste.

This is a really delightful tea.  It tastes great served hot and I suspect it would be a really excellent iced tea too.  (For the record, the cookies were quite tasty too!)

What a lovely day for tea – thank you Russian Tea Time for the chance to enjoy tea time with you!