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Private Events

Hayes Valley
Centrally located, yet nestled in the quiet residential neighborhood just outside Hayes Valley, you can have an intimate party or gathering in our “Back Room” for up to 30 of your friends. A roaring fireplace, long communal table, and several nooks for sipping and chatting make up this separate gathering area.

Yerba Buena Gardens
In the heart of San Francisco’s hectic hustle and bustle, yet quietly removed from the din of city life, is our largest location. Settled above the Martin Luther King waterfall in Yerba Buena Gardens. Perfect for large gatherings of up to 300 guests. For corporate parties or personal ones.

At the crossroads of 18th and Sanchez Streets, between the Castro and the Mission, our original location hosts a separate private room for up to 15 friends, family, or coworkers. Or, for up to 10 guests, you can reserve the platform.

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San Francisco’s Favorite Tea Cuisine for Afternoon Tea, Anytime

Featuring seasonal, organic, fresh crop artisan tea, herbal infusions, and Bay Area cuisine, Samovar Tea Lounge is the perfect respite for teatime, afternoon tea, high tea, or whenever you need a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Tea Menu


Bai Mudan* The best Bai Mudan we’ve ever had. Fujianese white tea made
from two leaves and one bud.  A hidden sweet maltiness, w/ notes of dark
Marin redwood groves, & mellow muscatel.  A golden, amber infusion, sip to
soothe monkey mind, and to savor the darkest of the Whites

Downy Sprout**  Velutinous, thick downy sprouts. Honeysuckle hints lin-
ger amidst a mellow nuttiness.  Sip to clean your palate,  and quiet your mind.
The most ultra-fine white tea we could find

Osthmanthus Silver Needle*  A precious flaxen brew w/ aromas of
stone fruit, wild herbs, and warm roasted hazlenuts. Silken body w/ an engaging
satiny sweetness. Honey-like, and mildly vegetal, but entirely unsweetened

Ryokucha*  Genmaicha, Samovar Tea Lounge-style. Japanese matcha powder
blended w/ roasted brown rice & sencha.  A meal in itself, nutty, grassy & ideal
for breakfast

Gyokuro The greatest green tea love of all. From tongue to tail bone, an
unbounded upheaval of exploding, thundering, green tea ecstacy.
Warning:  Please, take it slow. This one goes on for a long, long time

Gyokuro Inoka Hill 1st Place Winner For the “Jade Dew Drop” lover,
this tea recently ranked #1 in the all-Japan Gyokuro competition. Only 9kg in
total were made: 5 stayed at the farm, and we have the entire remaining batch.
Ethereal & phenomenal.  Truly, the ultimate tea experience

Hika Sencha Straight up sencha w/ a phenomenal, unbounded creamy,
buttery body, and warm-apricot-marmelade-on-toasted-english-muffin taste.
Lingering aromas of fire-roasted pine nuts

Kukicha Green Leaf & Twig*  Sip to awaken seraphic contentment.
From the Makinohara lowlands of Shizuoka, Japan, comes this pearly, verdurous,
Yabukita tea bush infusion. Guaranteed to evaporate stress,  induce joy, and
stoke “green tea giddiness.”  Made from deep-steamed tea leaves & stems, this
Mr. Ko speciality comes fresh from Kagoshima, Japan

Lobocha Sencha (deep steamed)*  Take refuge in this Fourth, deep-
steamed Jewel. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Lobocha. A shimmering, viridescent
jade infusion, w/ vaporous aromas of fresh baked bread & summer sea breeze.
Ecstacy, on the tongue. Clarity in the mind, flight of the spirit.  A Mr. Ko special-
ity, made solely from the prized Asatsuyu tea bush in Kagoshima, Japan

Matcha Service & Cookies Cha-do. The Way of Tea, from us to you.
Hand-whisked to a heavenly froth, & served in a hand-made tea bowl

Jasmine Pearl**  So succulent and aromatic. Tea pearls blended w/ baby
jasmine flowers


Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy Sip, penetrate your issues,
and dissolve them. Kuan Yin’s classic elixir offering transcendence via the

4 Seasons From the oolong-gurus in Taiwan, this profound brew has tiers
of aroma and flavor: Gardenias, fresh-baked bread, warm milk, and dew-dipped
clover 11

12-Year Honey Tie Kuan Yin Straight from Mr. Ling in Anxi Province,
China comes our deliciously smoky aged Tie Kuan Yin. Stored in his dug-out
cave, these leaves are taken out and refired every two years for 12 years creat-
ing a dark, yet floral and haunting taste. We age it at Samovar in wildflower
honey from Sonoma to take it to the next level.  Venture into this tea and
explore the center of the center of the here and now

Mu Za Tie Kuan Yin First Tier Beyond words, and served in a gaiwan.
We purchased just 2lbs and store it in a safety deposit box. Visit our web site
or ask our staff for more info about the Mu Za

Wuyi Dark Roast*  A climactic eruption of tea intoxication. Hauntingly
ambrosial  w/ an evolving complexity of caramelized raisins, roasted barley,
smoked bittersweet chocolate & aged peat moss. Wuyi harks from the remote
and ancient cliffs in Northern Fujian Province, China


Earl Grey**  Frisky and brisk. Superb citrus to incite your tastebuds

Ancient Gold**  Wild-crafted black gold from the Bulong family on Jing-
mai Mtn.  A staff favorite

Black Velvet Only 4 lbs left. A singular, velvety brew from Yunnan. Ripe
plums & roasted barley.  A mood-boosting tea to radically improve your day.
Sip it black again & again

Lapsang Souchong** Zealously tarry, ancient & smoky.  Delicious w/
milk & sugar

Samovar Breakfast Blend**  Kindle clarity & banish stupor.  Full malty
flavor w/ delicate dryness

Samovar Masala Chai**  Sweet, spicy, creamy & simmered for hours.
House blend of cloves, cinamon, ginger, black pepper, Indian & Chinese black
tea, organic milk, raw cane sugar

Samovar Russian Blend* Bottomless Cup  Smoky, strong, sweet,
fruity, caffeine-loaded & certain to warm and to wake

Yulu Golden Pekoe**  Small leaf, big flavor, tippy & malty w/ pine-tar
aroma and sweet roasted pumpkin finish

Lychee Black Lychee fruit naturally sweetens this light, salubrious, brew

Scarlet Sable*  Sultry, sweet, smoky, and, yes, seductive. House-blended
by Esther herself, black tea with the most silky mouth feel, lingering notes of
lychee, pine smoke, and citrus


Blood Orange**  Blood orange adroitly blended w/ our classic loose-
leaf puerh yields notes of citrus, spice, and rain-dampened earth

Palace**  Deep, bittersweet espresso & chocolate.Wild-crafted from ancient
tea trees, the highest Maiden leaf grade around with a creamy & rich body,
and a faintly tippy finish

Maiden’s Ecstacy**  Rapture & reverie. Consummately captivating, deep,
dark, sweet & smooth


Ocean of Wisdom*  Custom blended for His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
Silken, malty mouth-feel lingers blissfully. South African rooibos, honeybush,
ginger, licorice, cloves, and cinnamon. Sail from an ordinary moment into a
regal, contemplative one

Earl Red**  Bergamot infused rooibos for the Earl Grey lover who wants
a caffeine-free alternative. Yummy w/ milk & sugar, this herbal is loaded w/
antioxidants & citrus

Orange Ginger**  A strong, spicy & warming brew.  Adroitly blended
with ginger, lemon myrtle, orange & mandarin. Naturally sweetened w/
licorice root

Samovar Moorish Mint*  The tonic of the ancient Moors…San Fran-
cisco style. Robust & rich, w/ cardamom, peppermint, ginger, black pepper,
and a touch of green tea

Samovar Sweet Yerba Mate Blend*  Straight from Paraguay, and
served traditionally w/ a bombilla. Bittersweet, vegetal and brimming w/

Wei Qi Cha Your energetic force field “wei qi,” protects you from life’s
dangers. Sip this herbal elixir to soothe your soul, and recharge your system.
Rich, fruity, sweet, and pleasingly tart

Nocturnal Bliss*  Honeybush, lemon myrtle, lavender, corn flowers, &
stevia harmoniously to chill-you-out. Sip this and assuage fear and worry,
soothe frazzled nerves, and go to sleep blissfully and effortlessly. Sleep is the
new panacea for productivity, vitality, libido and joy, so sleep a lot and sleep

Aloe Vera & Cucumber Mildly sweet, super refreshing
Samovar Masala Chai**
Schizandra Berry*  2000 years ago Shen Nong first identified this
potent elixir as an “adaptogenic tonic,” ie, it gives you whatever you need:
energy, relaxation, beauty, sexual prowess…
Soy Matcha Shake*  Grassy, sweet, caffeinated, Yummy
Vegan Thai Iced Tea Earthy, smooth, creamy, rich, slightly sweet
Yunnan Black Over Ice**

* USDA Certified Organic  /  ** Fair Trade & USDA Organic

Practice Peace. Drink Tea.

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HistoryWe created Samovar to make the intriguing world of tea approachable and affordable. Tea’s inherent values also guide our efforts to encourage community, vitality, and equanimity.

The Blossoming of Three Samovars

Samovar Mission-Castro
The first Samovar Tea Lounge, at the corner of Sanchez Street and 18th Street, in the Mission-Castro neighborhood, opened in 2001, during the peak of the Dot-com bust.
Samovar Mission-Castro became a soothing beacon of calm and contemplation, in a city that skeptics thought might never recover.

Samovar Yerba Buena
Per the request of the City of San Francisco, Samovar Tea Lounge Yerba Buena opened April, 2006, enlivening the shuttered and defunct space that had housed a failed Starbucks. Samovar Yerba Buena is a garden oasis, resting above an urban waterfall in the heart of the city. Nested beneath the city’s skyscrapers, Samovar satisfies downtown workers, tourists, and convention-goers with an escape from the city’s frenzy.

Samovar Hayes Valley
Samovar Hayes Valley is a collaboration with the premier U.S. Zen institution: the San Francisco Zen Center.
At the corner of Laguna and Page Streets, our latest tea lounge was opened because the neighborhood needed a Samovar—especially during 2009’s economic chaos and turmoil. Tucked in a quiet residential nook, up the hill from Hayes Valley, Samovar Hayes Valley is our most exciting location yet.

This most recent project continues our history of converting old-school coffee shops into tranquil spaces that provide a modern offering of tea.

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Yerba Buena Gardens

Location Yerba Buena GardensIn the heart of San Francisco’s hectic hustle and bustle, yet quietly removed from the din of city life, is our largest location. Settled above the Martin Luther King waterfall in Yerba Buena Gardens. Perfect for large gatherings of up to 300 guests. For corporate parties or personal ones.

Guidelines for Hosting Your Event

If you have a group of friends or family and you want to create a really special experience, let us arrange a private event for you. Below are the guidelines for setting up an event for Bridal Showers, Office Parties, Weddings, Birthday Parties, Corporate Receptions, and more. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Please review the following guidelines and then submit an event enquiry to discuss the details.

We have three location options, that can fit different party sizes:

@ Samovar Yerba Buena Gardens

@ Samovar Fillmore Street

@ Samovar Valencia Street

Reserve the Entire Tea Lounge – For 25 to 300 guests, we close down our business and focus just on your event. For groups of this size we require that you reserve our entire space… and invite all of your friends and family to an event they will never forget. A flowing tea bar, platters of our tea delicacies, live music, flower arrangements, an outdoor tent, and more. Let us help make your event amazing and unforgettable at our flagship location in the heart of San Francisco.

Submit an event enquiry here, or if you just want to get in touch, contact us.

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At the crossroads of 18th and Sanchez Streets, between the Castro and the Mission, our original location hosts a separate private room for up to 15 friends, family, or coworkers. Or, for a party up to 10 guests, you can reserve the platform.

Guidelines for Hosting Your Event

If you have a group of friends or family and you want to create a really special experience, let us arrange a private event for you. Below are the guidelines for setting up an event for Bridal Showers, Office Parties, Weddings, Birthday Parties, Corporate Receptions, and more. If you have additional questions, please email us at [email protected] s a m o v a r l i f e. c o m

Please review the following guidelines and then email us at [email protected] s a m o v a r l i f e. c o m to discuss the details.

1. What is the date and time of your event?
– Peak Time: 12 noon to 8pm, every day.
– Off Peak Time: 10am – 12 noon, 8pm – 10pm, every day

2. How many guests do you plan to invite?
– For events with 2 to 25 guests, we hold your event during our normal business day, and the space is shared with our other customers.
– For events with over 25 guests, we close down our business just for you, and your party has the entire tea lounge available and dedicated to your event.

3. What would you like to eat and drink?
– We work closely with you to create a menu that is special and that meets your group’s needs (vegan, vegetarian, etc.)
– Either brunch items or non-brunch items can be chosen, depending on the time of day of your event.
– Select the type of tea service from our menu for your group. You can choose several different styles and enjoy sharing.

4. What is your budget?
– $60 per person, including tax and gratuity reservation fee.
– Events in which we close down our entire facility for your event are beautiful, delicious, and really memorable. For pricing information, please contact us to discuss the details.
– Appetizers, dessert, and additional tea are not included in the pricing above. Depending on quantity and specifics, prices for these items will vary. Please ask!

5. Where would you like to have your event? @ Samovar Castro-Mission, you have three options

Private Dining Room
Host up to 15 guests in our private dining room.

Elevated Kuan Yin Platform with Sheer Privacy Curtain
Host up to 10 guests on our elevated platform, alongside our statue of Kuan Yin, the Buddha of Compassion.  A sheer privacy curtain provides intimacy for your party.

The Entire Tea Lounge
For up to 75 Guests, enjoy the entire tea lounge! For pricing information, please email us at [email protected] s a m o v a r l i f e. c o m.

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Food Menu

Here are just a few of the meals and sweet treats on our menu:

Click here for the Samovar Tea Lounge Menu (pdf)

Click here for the Sweet Treats Menu (pdf)

Please note that prices and menu items are subject to change due to availability and seasonality.

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Samovar Tea Lounge Creates Peace through Drinking Tea


“…elegant and cozy…” –New York Times

“Entrepreneur of the Month (September 2008)”: Jesse Jacobs CEO Samovar Tea Lounge –SF Business Times

“Best Tea of the Bay 2008” –San Francisco Magazine

Award-Winning San Francisco Tea House Opens Third Bay Area Location

In an opening that only great enlightenment and exceptional tea could create, two leading Bay Area havens of tranquility- Samovar Tea Lounge and SF Zen Center- come together to
open the welcoming gates to a third Samovar location this April 2009 in the serene Hayes Valley neighborhood dubbed appropriately, Hayes Valley. The latest locale at 297 Page (at Laguna Street) just across from the metropolitan Buddhism center, brings members of the mediation and yoga communities together in an upbeat, urban environment to eat, be merry, and drink, pondering the Way of the great elixir: Tea. With over 50 of some of the world’s finest teas (i.e. many of which are organic and fair trade certified) along with funky-fine internationally traditional food pairings, Samovar continues its mission of creating peace through drinking tea, one soulful, savory cup at a time. Samovar teas are available at their Castro District (498 Sanchez Street) and Yerba Buena (730 Howard Street) locations, at many distinguished restaurants and museums, and online at

Like a Monk on a Mission, Samovar Owner Jesse Jacobs bounds around the Hayes Valley locale’s current building construction, evangelizing on his Lounge’s beliefs that through drinking tea, everyone can renew a personal relationship to peace and commitment to attaining inner tranquility. Taking time for social intimacy, relaxation, and improved health fosters rewarding and peaceful interactions, in turn influencing one’s surrounding community, the city they live in, their country and the world. “When you Practice peace through drinking tea you promote the universal needs of humanity: community, vitality, and equanimity” says Jacobs. And so Samovar inspires the eternal Zen koan question: here, now, would you like milk with that?

As Samovar directly partners with tea experts and suppliers from small family farms across the globe, they have a unique opportunity to bring the freshest, highest quality, and most consistent teas to their consumers. Samovar helps sustain the livelihoods of diverse tea artisans hand-selecting each tealeaf for the best seasonal offerings. Since 2002, Samovar has steadily grown into a multi-million dollar business with a staff of 75 employees. They operate with an open book management policy, and maintain an education budget supporting international travel for their standout employees to attain firsthand experience tasting new teas overseas.

Samovar’s commitment to the environment and use of local reclaimed and renewable resources is distilled in their design and building practices. The Hayes Valley location will feature an 800 year-old, 20-foot naturally fallen redwood tree from Marin, CA serving as the tea bar. The FSC certified wood flooring comes from sustainably managed US forests where biodiversity and forest ecology are carefully balanced with selective harvest. The glues and adhesives used to make the flooring all meet the highest standards of healthy indoor air quality. All the metal work utilizes materials from turn of the century food processing facilities, and all equipment and appliances are low-energy consumption. Samovar proudly embraces its eco-friendly sustainability practices as a pioneering Bay Area green business.

Jesse P. Cutler
JP Cutler Media
[email protected]