Instant and Slow Cooker Russian Tea Recipes (+ Fun Facts)

There are many different recipes for Russian tea, but most include black tea, orange juice, cloves, and cinnamon. How to make your own at home, and what does it have to do with Russia? Keep reading for all the information you want!
Simon Vaughan
russian tea

Making Russian Tea From Scratch

Do you want to make Russian tea from scratch in a slow cooker or Dutch oven? Here’s what you’ll need for 6 servings:

  • 6 teaspoons of black tea (we recommend using loose leaf for the best flavor);
  • 0.5 cup of orange juice;
  • 6 whole cloves or 0.5 teaspoon of ground cloves;
  • 2 cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon;
  • 1 cup of sugar or 0.5 cup of honey;
  • 1 cup of boiling water;
  • 6 cups of hot water (to add later).

Optionally, you can also add 0.5 cup of pineapple juice and a squeeze of lemon juice. Now, how to make Russian tea with this recipe? First, combine the sugar and orange juice (and other juices if you’re using them) in a slow cooker.

In the meantime, place your tea, cloves and half of the cinnamon in a large cup. Pour boiling water over the mixture and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Strain the tea into your slow cooker and stir. Finally, add hot water until you reach your desired strength.

Add the remaining cinnamon and cover the slow cooker. Let the tea cook on low for 2-3 hours before serving. Enjoy the amazing aroma that will fill your kitchen!

Instant Russian Tea Mix

What if you’d like to make a large batch of instant Russian tea mix to have on hand? This recipe will yield approximately 40 servings (5 cups of dry mix). You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of orange Tang;
  • 2 cups of white sugar;
  • 1 cup of instant tea powder;
  • 3 oz of lemonade powder;
  • 0.5 teaspoon of ground cloves;
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
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Just mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, then store in airtight containers for easy use. To make a single serving, mix 3–4 tablespoons of the dry mix with 1 cup of water. The best thing about this recipe is that you can customize the sweetness and spice levels to your taste! And the mix will dissolve just as well in hot or cold water.

How to Make This Recipe Your Own?

Instant Russian tea mix is a wonderful gift idea, so consider adding a personalized touch by using mason jars and cute labels. You can also switch up the flavor profile by experimenting with different types of tea, juice, and sweeteners. For example, try using Earl Grey tea and xylitol for a unique twist.

Why Are Russian Tea Recipes So Different?

There isn’t one “Russian tea” because it’s not a traditional beverage in Russia. It’s thought that it originated in the late 1880s in the United States, and today, you can find many different recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet. Some use orange peel instead of orange juice; others include cream or almond extract.

What is sure is that this tea will warm you up in the cold winter months (which may bring Siberia to mind), and it’s delicious enough to serve at parties or gatherings. So why not give it a try for yourself?

Fun Facts About This Beverage

If you want to know more about the origin and different meanings of Russian tea, here are a couple fun facts:

  • The name “Russian tea” is said to come from the notion that upper-class Russians in the 19th and 20th centuries preferred their black tea with lemon and sugar. This doesn’t explain the orange powder or juice and spices in today’s recipes, but it may have influenced them.
  • The beverage is traditionally served in the Southeastern United States at gatherings and parties during Advent and Christmastide.
  • In Japan, the term “Russian tea” refers to black tea drunk with a spoonful of jam. Strawberry jam is preferred, but other flavors can also be used.
  • Tea is an essential part of Russian culture, and is often considered Russia’s national beverage. Russians often make their tea in samovars, which are tea urns, kind of similar to slow cookers and Dutch ovens.
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Are you inspired to try making Russian tea now? Experiment with different ingredients and recipes to find your perfect cup. And don’t forget to share these facts with friends and family.

Where Did Russian Tea Cakes Come From?

Another thing is the Russian tea cake, which is a kind of pastry or cookie traditionally served in the United States during Christmas, Easter and weddings. These cookies, also known as butterballs, likely have nothing to do with Russia.

They might have been inspired by European shortbread cookies. Or, they may have come from Mexican wedding cookies, which share a similar shape and ingredients, and been associated with cookies served beside Russian samovars. No matter their origins, these tasty treats pair perfectly with a steaming cup of Russian tea.

Do you have a favorite recipe or twist on Russian tea? Share it with us in the comments! Happy sipping.

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