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This Samovar is new, recently hand delivered from Moscow by
friends to
Mila and Sasha Elperin of St. Louis, MO,
and it's exactly the same as the ones of the 19th century.
There is space inside where you put
the little pieces of wood or fir cones. When they burn
they will heat the water which is around it in a
separate section. When the water boils, it is ready.
The painted pot is to brew the tea, it comes
separately, but you can not make tea without it.
When the tea pot is on the top of the hot samovar, it
gets warm and the tea will taste better. Then you just
pour some tea from the pot and some hot water from the
samovar into the cup and it is ready to drink.
The difference in taste between tea made the regular way
and tea made in a samovar is the like comparing
barbecue meat and meat prepared in the oven.

Photos and the above info provided by the Elperin Family.