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Irkutsk Oblast , Irkutsk

The Tea Museum

The Tea Museum represents exhibits reflecting the history of tea trade in Irkutsk. Among museum exhibits there are photographs of Irkutsk merchants, shops, patterns of tea packing of XIX — early XX century. Such exhibitions as “The Tea Road”, “Irkutsk on the Tea Road”, “Russian Tea-Traders of the XIX — Earle XX century”,  “The Irkutsk Tea-Packing Factory”, “Russian Tea-Drinking Traditions”, “Tourist Route of the Great Tea Road”. “Modern Tea-Traders of Irkutsk” are displayed. Irkutsk is the city on the Great Tea Road. In the XVIII-XIX centuries tea caravans (processions) passed through the territory of Mongolia from China to the frontier town of Kyahta, further following to Irkutsk, and then to the west, to the famous fairs of Russia. One of the most considerable derivations of the Great Tea Road to Yakutia and Alaska began from Irkutsk. Tea was available for sale in the city in fifteen specialized shops. Old residents still remember the Irkutsk tea-packing factory working for a long time, and those who passed down Surikov Street certainly would stop and stare at the huge teapot with cups in the factory’s grounds. The factory opened up in 1933, and was one of the largest in the country.

Already in the first year of its work over 120 tons of baikhovy (loose leaf) tea were produced at the factory. In the mid XX century the volume of production of the Irkutsk factory equaled to half of all tea made in the USSR. The most common tea was “Gruzinsky” (Georgian), “Indiisky” (Indian) was of quite greater value though, at this, tea in the box with the depicted elephant actually was worth its weight in gold.

The Tea Museum is located in an early XIX-century mansion of the merchant Bayborodin. In the late 20s of the XX century the merchant’s descendants donated the house to the city. It became known as “the house with communal resettlement”. The mansion has been restored and signed away to the museum and tourist service of the city.

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Phone number: +7 (3952) 20-48-84
Address: Irkutsk region, Irkutsk, 77 Dekabrskikh Sobytii Str.
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