What kinds of teas did your parents buy? I have seen teas sold as "good for use with samovar" and often these seem to be what I call a "Persian type" (scented with bergamot I think, like an Earl Gray). But perhaps as we are on the subject, you could say more.
My parents (who still live in Russia) drink exclusively Assams, Ceylons, and (in lesser quantities) Darjeelings. The latter is by far the preferred choice, but it's much more difficult to obtain
Tea is the most popular drink in Russia (after vodka of course lol), but good quality teas are becoming more scarse, much to my father's dismay (lack of demand--people are switching to teabags). Black tea is by far the most popular, although green tea is now available as well (it wasn't as recently as 10 years ago). Again, to my father's dismay, people prefer scented teas (Earl Grey, etc.) We always had a bag of EG in the pantry, but it was used only for guests. Our household may not be very representative though: my parents were as gourmand as you could get in the Soviet Union. Today my dad makes special trips to stock up on teas. As part of my daughterly duties, I ship a selection of teas on a regular basis as well
As far as samovars go, my grandmother had (and probably still does) a "real" one--the heating element uses wood. I only saw it used once,-and that was over 20 years ago--it's just not a thing people do any more. And no, contrary to the common belief, not every house in Russia has one. I'm in the minority (mostly due to my parents' obsessive love of tea)-I'm a proud owner of one
It's an electric model (essentially an electric teapot in the shape of a samovar), and I've never used it. I'll post pictures of it in Teaware.
I can see how smokier/stronger teas, such as Lapsang Souchong, Georgian tea, Russian Caravan would work for a real samovar--heating water over wood in a samovar would definitely impart some smoky flavor, which would completely throw off more delicate teas.
What spiked your interest in Georgian teas (besides their obscurity)?