Calling the samovar black |

Calling the samovar black

Greg Marshall, Of the Record staff

In the former USSR, people daintily sip tea through teeth clenched with sugar cubes. They prefer blends from India.

The most popular varieties of Russian tea offered Thursdays at McCarthy Gallery are gray and cinnamon-flavored, dispensed steaming from a samovar with buttery cookies.

McCarthy, located at 444 Main St., has offered the free tasting every week for more than a month. They run from 1 to 7 p.m. and will continue through the spring, says sales manager Robin Valline.

The tea fits with the gallery’s artwork, Russian Impressionism. It’s been a popular after-lunch social activity among Main Street strollers and skiers and snowboarders coming off the mountain. People mill around the gallery drinking from paper cups. "We enjoy giving them the grand tour," Valline said.