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How to heat a samovar?

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How is a samovar used? In a local discussion about a Russian deli, someone mentioned that they bought a samovar but just used it for decoration because they didn't know how to heat it.

I was just thinking I don't know a thing about using a Samovar. How would you use them. What beverages are made with a samovar?

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  1. They are used to to keep a large supply of hot water on hand in a Russian household for making tea and such.

    Some of them are heated by putting lump charcoal inside a chamber inside the samovar