Can I also use samovar to make Russian tea?

Yes, you can use samovar to make Russian tea because it is a dual teapot as well. To do so, use a samovar instead of a double tea kettle and follow the directions above.

You can visit our related blog to learn more about samovar following this link.

Should I use loose tea leaves or tea bags to make Russian tea?

It is always better to use loose tea leaves to make tea since the flavor of the bag will also infuse to water and spoil the taste of the final infusion.

black teas

russian tea recipe

Emine Aslan January 25, 2024
Russian Tea Recipe

Summary: Here are the tips and guidelines to make perfect Russian tea in a double tea kettle. You have never realized how delicious this old-fashioned southern spiced tea is. So, let’s brew it and enjoy a soul-warming tea tonight!

Tags: Russian tea

Cuisine:Southeastern US
Serving:6 cups
Cook Time:15 minutes
Prep Time:5 minutes
Author:Emine Aslan
Calories: 10

When the term “Russian tea” is said, two completely different beverages come to mind depending on where it is mentioned. If you say Russian tea in Europe and Asia, what comes to mind is pure black tea brewed in a samovar in the same way Turkish and Iranian tea is brewed.

Tea is very popular in the daily lives of Russian people and is considered a national beverage as Turkish tea is in Turkey. Tea consumption customs are very common between these two nations, too, such as serving tea hot and with sugar, drinking tea while holding a piece of sugar in mouth in some regions until recently, and drinking it all day but especially with a dessert after a meal, etc.

On the other hand, if we say “Russian tea” in America, what is meant is a completely different beverage that is a mixture of black tea, orange and lemon juice, and cinnamon and clove infusion. This beverage has nothing to do with Russia and is considered originated in the Southeastern United States around the 1880s.

So, you will find below the Russian tea recipe as it is known in America, which is also called old-fashioned southern spiced tea. The Russian tea of Russia mentioned earlier is brewed in a very similar way to Turkish tea. The only difference between the two is that the Russians use a samovar instead of a double tea kettle whereas the Turkish people use a double tea kettle more than a samovar even though samovar is also a popular tool to make tea in Turkey. So, if you like to make Russian tea of Russia, you can follow the Turkish tea recipe that you will reach by clicking on this link.

Russian tea is commonly made by steeping black tea in a single teapot and boiling spices to prepare the spicy infusion. Then, black tea, spicy infusion, and orange and lemon juice are mixed to have Russian tea. However, the recipe below describes how to make Russian tea using a double tea kettle.

Making Russian tea in a double tea kettle yields a better experience. There are two reasons for that. First of all black tea brewed in a double tea kettle releases more flavor to the water since it does not lose heat during steeping. Spices, on the other hand, are not boiled but steeped in the double tea kettle method. Steeping is a better method than boiling to avoid some unwanted bitter taste in infusion.

With these two and the ability of a double tea kettle to keep the tea warm for a longer time, you will have the best Russian tea experience with the recipe below. By the way, you can refer to our related blog following this link to learn more about the different tea brewing methods in the world.

We should mention one last point before moving on to the Russian tea recipe below. You should pay close attention to the quality of tea leaves and water to experience a pleasant tea journey for any type of tea you are making. Even though Russian tea has some strong ingredients such as cinnamon, clove, orange or lemon juice, it still needs quality tea leaves and water for the perfect taste.

Now, let’s move on to the Russian tea recipe below and enjoy the process of making it in a double tea kettle!


  • 85 oz (2.5 L) water (27 oz for brewing tea), filtered or bottled if tap water is of poor quality

  • 3 tablespoons black tea leaves, loose is better than tea bags

  • 6 whole cloves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • ¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed is better

  • ½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed is better

  • A dual teapot

  • Some sugar or honey (optional)


  1. Add water to the lower kettle and put it on the stove to boil. The amount of water should be at least at the capacity of the upper teapot since we will use this water to steep the black tea leaves, cinnamon stick, and cloves.

  2. Once the water is boiled, add the black tea leaves, cinnamon stick, and cloves to the upper teapot and pour the boiled water over it. The amount of water you pour should be 27 oz (0.8 L) for the ingredients above. If your teapot is larger and you would like to make more tea, increase the amount of ingredients proportionally.

  3. Add more water into the lower kettle, put it again on the stove to boil, and place the upper teapot over it, closing its lid.

  4. Once the water is boiled, wait for 15 minutes for tea leaves and spices to release all their flavors into the water. You can check whether the tea is brewed sufficiently by opening the lid and observing the tea leaves. If the leaves have sunk to the bottom, the tea is ready to drink. If not, wait some more because brewing time can change depending on the tea leaves. The cinnamon stick and cloves may not sink.

  5. Once the tea is brewed, add lemon and orange juice, and wait for some time for the infusion to warm up a little.

  6. While waiting, prepare tea cups and pour the infusion in the upper teapot halfway into the cups, and then add boiled water to them from the lower kettle up to the rim of the glass. If some people want lighter or stronger tea, you can adjust it by changing the amount of infusion you pour into the glass.

  7. Old-fashioned southern spiced tea is originally sugary, made by adding sugar to the pot while making the spicy infusion. If you like to have sweet Russian tea as in the original recipe, you can add sugar or honey to your tea cup and stir it.

  8. Your Russian tea is ready, serve it to your loved ones and enjoy the teatime!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cup
% Daily Value
Calories per serving
1.5 grams
0.2 grams
0.2 grams
0 milligrams
16 milligrams
0.1 grams

    You do not need to use orange and lemon juice at the same time to make Russian tea. You can skip one of those if you want.

    Please keep in mind that you can change the amounts of ingredients mentioned above according to your preference. The more tea leaves and spices you add, the stronger the taste of tea becomes, and vice versa. On the other hand, you can also adjust the hardness of your tea by adding some hot water from the lower kettle to the infusion while filling the cups.


    Russian tea is commonly served in a porcelain teacup. A coffee cake perfectly pairs with it.

    Please avoid serving the Russian tea 3 hours after it has been sitting on the stove as it becomes bitter and stale with time.


    This Russian tea recipe yields hotter tea than traditional old-fashioned southern spiced tea recipes. Since it is brewed over boiling water and kept on the stove until it finishes, it is always at boiling temperature when served. So, please wait for a couple of minutes before drinking it to avoid any lip or tongue burn.