I – III
Day faded; on the table, glowing, the samovar of evening boiled… (A.Pushkin)
Act I Scene III
Out there, the snow-covered Nevsky Prospekt, and a sumptuous Art Noveau building. Inside, a large bookstore. And, on the first floor, an elegant cafè. As water is poured in the cup, the infusion unleashes its most characteristic notes. Black tea, heavy and intense. A floral note, sharp and biting. And that unmistakably dry and smoky aftertaste given by the caravanserai campfires, meant to keep the precious tea cargo dry in the never-ending journey through Siberia. The fresh mint leaves give a pleasant fresh touch to the hot water.
A teaspoon of raspberry preserve sweetens, without altering it, the bitter aftertaste of leather and birch. We sip it slowly, gazing out of the wide window, towards the beautiful cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan and beyond. The Russian Tea Ritual today carried us to an unexpected journey in remote lands, full of mystery and fascination.