Forever Under Construction

Tea Glasses

Posted in Iran, Lifestyle, Things by homeyra on March 18, 2007

In order to tie up loose ends 🙂 let me clarify this: almost every other day a few people end up here through the following search engine item: Persian/Iranian tea glasses. I got curious as I knew I had never posted anything about it so I googled the item:

A while ago, Rochonf wrote a comment in a previous post: Persian or Farsi, about the beautiful tea glasses he had bought! This post is still among the top ones, now I know why 🙂


In order to satisfy the general request here is my knowledge about this subject: As far as I know there is no such a thing as Persian or Iranian Tea Glass, we even use the Russian word stakan, meaning glass.


What is commonly used is either Turkish style glass with more or less elaborate decoration,


the Russian or Iranian made engareh, Podstakannik: a metallic, sometimes silver, glass holder. But mostly any plain glass.

tea_glasses.JPGUnlike North-Africa we don’t like colored glass, we like to see the color of the tea, which is a testimony to its quality, though in recent years one can find colored or painted ones in handicraft shops, but that’s for tourists! There is also a new trend of western style cup and saucers, the influence of satellite TV programs?

Formerly the tea was served in small estekans, sometimes in individual little trays with a bowl of sugar and sweets. The service was repeated as long as you had guests. Nowadays the tendency is to use larger glasses, you won’t tire yourself going back and forth to the kitchen.

Tea is made with a simple kettle or Samovars. A new popular item is the electrical tea maker.

If you are not satisfied with all this, you can always ask Rochonf 🙂


Relevant links:
The history of tea
Russian tea
The book of tea
محصولات گيلان
چاي سياست زده
يك ليوان چاي داغ


10 Responses

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  1. Dr Victorino de la Vega said, on March 18, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    “we even use the Russian word stakan, meaning glass.”

    Are you sure it’s not the other way round?

    I mean “modern” Iranian lost many ancient Persian words that were progressively replaced by Arabic, Greek and Turkic nouns.

    Whereas the Russians might have kept intact some ancient Persian words used by their Scythian-Iranian ancestors.

    This being said, I’m not an etymologist, I don’t speak Iranian (nor Russian for that matter), and “stakan” sounds Turkic anyway!

    But I thought I’d add another layer of digression to your already digressive post.


  2. homeyra said, on March 18, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Well, for once an Iranian is giving credit to someone else and you object!!
    I guess I should consult an etymologist.

  3. Sophia said, on March 18, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    That’s a delicious post. Tea is my favourite drink. Although what I drink most is Japanese green frommdawn until midnight, when traveling I always like to taste the local tea specialities. This is how I discovered black Turkish tea in Istanbul last September but I had to ask them to make it without sugar…usually it is too sweet for my taste…They also have the apple tea but the regular one is made with an artificial powder. One has to go the herbs and spices bazar in order to buy the real one. Yummie !

  4. homeyra said, on March 18, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Have you ever tried the ginger tea?
    Just drop few slices of fresh ginger in hot water and let it for a short while. A Dominican taught me. It is delicious.

  5. Sophia said, on March 19, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Funny because my daughter just told me the same thing this WE and she says it helps her prepare for the exams. I will try. I like ginger but I am also very conservative for routine drinks and I adopted the Japanese green since 2004 when I traveled one month in Japan during the height of the summer season when it was hot and humid. The only thing to appease my thirst was green tea, cold or hot.

  6. homeyra said, on March 19, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    I am not surprised, as I learned that in MTL!
    I should warn you: it is spicy.

  7. Curtis said, on March 21, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    I did a little research with online dictionaries, and it appears that the root /stk/ is commonly associated with glass and drinking glasses in a variety of Slavic languages (Polish, Russian, Bulgarian). Most of the Western Slavic languages use a root like /stkl/ to denote drinking glasses as opposed to window glass. But as far as the underlying etymology, I couldn’t tell you.

  8. homeyra said, on March 21, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for the info Curtis. The world sounds Russian to me, like Astrakan! The Persian tchay vocabulary is Russian! Stakan, Samovar.

  9. joojeh said, on March 22, 2007 at 6:31 am

    It is moot whether estekan and samovar went from Russia to Persia or vice versa! My guess is the former.

    Wonder where ghoori and ketri came from… these 2 sound turkish to me!

  10. Ronald Beaudrie said, on October 11, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    My father comes from a Russian family and has a antique sikver stakanchik nearly 100 years old. They may use another term for them now, but they certainly were called that earlier.

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