The Samovar Tea Lounge’s Hayes Valley edition has been up and running since the end of 2008, but there’s still no sign on the door to mark the establishment. With its dim lighting, the lounge easily blends into the rows of Victorians on Page Street — an unobtrusive, almost organic piece of the neighborhood to the casual eye. Which is exactly what owner Jesse Jacobs had in mind….
Green tea is currently one of the biggest trends in food today, loaded with antioxidants and other essential health benefits. Unlike coffee, it’s “gently stimulating,” allowing you to feel energized without feeling jittery. Ryokucha Green Tea from San Francisco’s Samovar Tea Lounge raises the bar for how a green tea should taste. One of their featured teas, it includes toasted brown rice imported from Japan. When infused with wok-fired green tea leaves, the result is a rich, earthy flavor that is irresistible when paired with sushi, other Japanese cuisine, or even a morning bagel. It’s made in-house at the Samovar Tea Lounge, which also sells and serves organic, fair trade tea and tea service. In addition, they also offer breakfast, brunch, lunch, high tea and dinner.
According to Samovar, Ryokucha is a converter, meant to convert non-tea drinkers into devoted followers, and it definitely delivers. As opposed to the overwhelming grass flavor of many green teas, the roasted brown rice provides a nutty flavor, making it a cut above the rest. As the St Patrick’s Day season approaches, celebrate with a tea in keeping with the theme and color of the holiday season.
Meditators at the San Francisco Zen Center now have a place to socialize after they sit. A new Samovar Tea Lounge has opened up in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley (now affectionately dubbed “Hayes Valley”) with a full array of artisan teas to satisfy any spiritual practitioner. The YJ Staff Favorite? Ocean of Wisdom, which is a Samovar blend created for the Dalai Lama himself.
If you’re not local to the SF Bay Area, you can recreate the post-meditation tea tradition at home by ordering from Samovar’s online store.
Sure, you’re used to swirling, sipping and savoring wine, but now it’s time to appreciate a libation of a different kind tea. Samovar Tea Lounge, in three locations throughout the city, encourages socialization, relaxation and inner peace while enjoying a selection of more than 50 tea types from all over the world (organic and fair trade certified, of course).
This approachable and international tea lounge pairs its teas with an eclectic food menu, serving up everything from turkey sandwiches with your iced tea, to aged Japanese teas paired with maki bowls. The newest Hayes Valley location, opening this month, features a tea bar made from a 1200 year-old, 20-foot, naturally fallen redwood tree from Marin. Be sure to try the Ocean of Wisdom tea, custom blended for the Dalai Lama himself. B, L, D (daily). Castro District, 415.626.4700, 498 Sanchez Street; Yerba Buena, 415.227.9400, 730 Howard Street; Hayes Valley, 415.861.0303, 297 Page Street. www.samovartea.com