It appears that Russia owes a lot for its tea passion to...Ural! It was there in the 18th century when the merchants paved a trade route for tea caravans from China. The history of the world's longest land route linking Europe and Asia. Ludmila Shiryaeva went the merchants' road to learn how to become a Ural style millionaire and drink tea according to the rules.
Tourist Grand Tea Route links 150 cities with tea history in Russia, Mongolia and China. It allows today's travelers to cross the whole Eurasia. It passes though the city of Irbit in the Ural. For two centuries fairs of samovars and new tea harvest were held there. Tea made out of «Chinese broom» was quickly became one of the most favourite in Russia. They drank tea with sugar and without, with lemon and rum. The exposition of the ethnographic museum shows the golden times of Irbitsk fair. Ural local historians claim that the first samovars in Rus' were not made at local manufacturers Demidovs' factories. But they drink not only Chinese tea in Ural. As early as in the 17th century local citizens learnt how to prepare drink from willow-herb, the grass that grows at roadsides. Today willow-herb tea is becoming more and more popular again.