Samovars are appliances used in the traditional Russian tea service. Traditional samovars are water vessels with a spigot at the bottom for dispensing water. In the center of the vessel, there is a chimney. This chimney is filled with fuel. The burning fuel heats the water surrounding the chimney so that it can be served hot and used with tea.
The samovar is an important part of Russian tea culture. Traditionally, a very strong tea was brewed in a tea kettle. In Russian this concentrated tea is called zavarka. A small amount of this concentrate is dispensed into a glass. The glass is then filled with boiling water from the samovar. This style of tea serving allows everyone to have tea at their preferred strength. The tea pot containing the zavarka is placed on top of the samovar, above the chimney, to keep it warm.