(via Russian Tea Cakes)
Andrei Tarkovsky - Solaris (1972)
Although the slightly odd-looking tartlets there remind me of Ethiopian food and really make me want some injera and misir wot right now… getting off track there, ooops.
Tea from samovar, with russian biscuits sushki and baranki
not mine, creds to her
Tea in the People’s Republic of Poland
Poland is a nation of tea drinkers. We all know that wódeczka is the beverage of choice when people think of Poland and our neighbors, but herbatka has sustained us through turbulent times, ever since it found its way to the average citizen through the Russian border. During the years Poland was a satellite state of the Soviet Union tea reigned supreme as the most popular, non-alcoholic beverage, and the following article is a great little taste of tea in the People’s Republic of Poland.
"Tea. It’s served in the morning, after lunch, and during dinner. We could say that it has accompanied Poles during any convenient occasion. Next to coffee, tea is the most popular alcohol-free beverage in modern Poland. Today we can find many of its varieties in stores including more exotic blends such as yerba mate. There is also no shortage of tasteful tea pots and tea cups made especially for drinking tea. So how did tea drinking look before; what place did it have in the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL)?
During the epoch of communism, tea reigned supreme - it was enjoyed at home and in restaurants. In the category of non-alcoholic drinks it had no competition, especially since its prime rival, coffee, was a luxury difficult to find and rather expensive. Interestingly Poles do not associate tea with China or Japan where it originated, but with Russia. It was through this region that tea made its way into the homes of average people. Prior to that it was only found in manor houses and homes of wealthy nobility and urbanites. The word “czaj” [чай] comes from the Russian language and is used to describe tea even today, particularly in Eastern Poland.
Since tea was widely available in the socialist system, it was promoted even through literature. In works of socialist realism positive protagonists usually did not drink coffee, their leading drink was most often tea. It’s apparent that communist propaganda was concerned with even such minute details. In spite of the fact that tea was readily available, its quality was far below the best brands of that time, namely yunnan and madras. The most popular types sold were popularna [popular] and gruzińska [Georgian]. Both were characterized by poor quality - they were a mixture of low-grade Chinese tea leaves. The government had a monopoly on the best kinds of tea. Only a few restaurants were legally permitted to serve English or Russian tea (including Warsaw’s Gong and Teinka from Łódź).
In the workplace a different type of tea became widespread, affectionately referred to as “plujka” [spitter]. Drinking plujka at work was a common occurrence. During the 1970s the government took a special interest in tea. The Deputy Minister of Culture issued a regulation encouraging workers to drink tea. For this occasion a special definition was established according to which the beverage “consisted of a dry portion and a wet portion.” The purpose of tea in the workplace was “regeneration of the strength of the workforce.” The tea situation looked different in restaurants and cafes. The product served there was more so “tea-like”, and called express tea. It was brewed using tea bags filled with waste products left over from the production of higher quality teas and served in plain glasses. At home, tea was met with a greater amount of respect where rituals and traditions were observed. People often met over a pot with tea essence [a very strong brew of tea which was added in small amounts to a tea cup with boiling water] to engage in long conversations.”
— Mateusz Pietrzyk (source)
Various types of teas sold in the People’s Republic of Poland
A tea kettle for boiling water and a small tea pot for brewing essence (esencja).
Tea glass holders.
Tea glasses with plastic handles.
Musztardówka - a mustard container used for drinking tea when regular tea glasses were unavailable or difficult to find.