Russian Tea drinking - The beginning
It is believed history of Russian tea drinking tradition have began at 1638.
That year, Russian Czar, Michael Fedorovich, granddad of Peter the Great,
got special, diplomatic gift from Altyun-Khan, ruler of Mongolia.
Altyun - Khan
means "Golden Khan" and He was known for applying Lamaism at Mongolia.
Exactly, Althyn - Khan at 1578 used title "Dalai-Lama", which means "The sea of Wisdom" and later son of Althyn-Han have became Dalai-Lama IV.
Czar Michael Fedorovich was known for conquer of Siberia which happened under His rule.
At that times Russians was at northern borders of Tibet and Mongolia, approached Kamchatka and Yakutia.
That is why that gift happened.
Anyway, as a result of that , at 1679 Russia concluded contract with Mongolian, Tibetian and Chinisean suppliers for permanent supply of tea as well as other business relationships with Russia.
But many historians belive tea was well known to native population of southern siberia
and Altai region far before tea have become official drink for the Czar House.