Podstakannik

podstakannik (Russian: ‘thing under the glass’) is a tea glass holder. The primary purpose of podstakanniks is to be able to hold a very hot glass of tea, which is usually consumed right after it is brewed. It is a traditional way of serving and drinking tea in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other post-Soviet states.

Podstakanniks appeared in Russian tea culture in the late 18th century, when drinking tea became common in Russia. Very soon podstakanniks became not just practical utensils, but also works of art, just like samovars (urns) that were used for boiling water. Expensive podstakanniks for the rich and the elite were made of silver, however they were not very practical, since they would get quite hot very quickly due to the high thermal conductivity of silver.

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