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Samovar Shamans: Archimedes Deleon, Hanuman Shaman

Many of you have seen Rowan at the Tea Lounges, or received insight into your life as he read your cards over a cup of tea. He’s Samovar’s tarot shaman, and he is writing a series on modern-day shamans. Here, he introduces us to Archimedes Deleon, Hanuman Shaman.

Rowan – How did you get started on your spiritual path?

Arch – I was born into a very spiritually dedicated family and they studied everything under the sun. The foundation of my spiritual journey was my grandfather from my mother’s side.  His name is Calixto Miranda and he founded the Spiritista Movement in the Philippines, which has about 250,000 members.

It was laid down for me at very early age as I saw my father, who is one of my grandfather’s students, preaching at our center, next door to our house.  I was fascinated with how he spoke and handled himself in his daily life. I was so impressed with how he helped people. It was embedded in my mind, and since then I haven’t wanted to do anything else. I have focused and dedicated my life now, to pretty much the same thing, helping others through the spiritual journey and knowing myself through the spiritual practice as my grandfather did.

But, I am here in the west and here we study yoga, so I have expanded this practice from my grandfather’s teaching. I trained at the Integral Yoga Institute in San Francisco and became a yoga teacher. I learned the traditional Hatha form, and I expanded from there. I also became a body worker, a healer, and a teacher of many metaphysical perspectives. I founded The Hanuman Center to expand these services.

Rowan – Can you tell us about the Spiritista path that your grandfather founded?

Arch – The Spiritist path, they call it “Spiritista” in the Philippines, came from France.  They studied philosophy, science, and the Bible. They are energy healers and they can talk to the other side. I love the fact that it is not a religion, they are not a church. It is a center to study oneself. I was so impressed with them, they really opened my mind to the fact that there is not just one spiritual path, there are many! My approach became integral, it’s so broad. The more tools you have in your box, the better. The only thing I felt was missing from the Spiritista tradition was the body based practices of yoga and bodywork. I really felt that it was not just about talking – that’s the old format. Nowadays it would need to be hands-on because the human being is many layered: spirit, emotion, and body too. I thought if I expanded from my grandfather’s foundation, my practice would be more enriched.

Rowan – What are the practices you teach at The Hanuman Center?

Arch – We teach yoga, many different kinds. I love Kundalini, it is all about the nervous system. Some of the teachers at The Hanuman Center are also healers, so we do healing work in the back of the center for people who want to look at themselves more deeply. We offer Ayurveda, Reiki, Acupressure and more. We also offer our Integral Studies classes because there is so much to learn. At the beginning, you need a daily physical practice, but that is not all! The human being is so complex and there are many paths to self-knowledge. I have workshops on sounds, and dance and even TAROT! I think it is very important to provide these different avenues to different people. The purpose is not to find an answer but to ask powerful questions that open our consciousness so we can really look at ourselves. At Hanuman Center we don’t give answers, we create a safe place for people to open up. The danger in this business is that people are quick to give easy answers and what I’ve learned is that when you give an individual an answer, they don’t keep it. An individual needs to find the answer themselves in order to keep it. As teachers, we need to put aside our egos and help people to find their own answers.

Rowan – How did you discover Samovar Tea Lounge?

Arch – I have been a fan of Samovar from the beginning. I appreciate their values and their sensitivity. Jesse, who is the founder of Samovar, is amazing. He is mindful of the entire experience.  Drinking tea is a doorway to looking at oneself! Being at Samovar is a ritual for me. When I was creating Hanuman Center’s vision, I was at the Castro Samovar almost every day. If you do healing work you become very sensitive to your environment, and to what you put in your body, the food you eat and the tea you drink. I needed to be in a place that supported and grounded me.  Samovar was and still is that place!

Rowan -What are your favorite Samovar Teas?

Arch – It depends on the weather, on a hot day I love their cold teas; right now I’m drinking Jasmine Lemonade, but on a cold day, their Masala Chai is the best!

Rowan – Can you give our readers a one-minute meditation to get a taste of your teaching?

Arch – Simply close your eyes, because the outward senses need to be calmed down. Go inward. To do that you have to concentrate, take a couple of deep breaths. Next, you “internally smile”, it’s very important because breath with an internal smile calms down the nervous system, activating the serotonin and opiates in the body. Now, relax the muscles of the chest and shoulders. Slowly expand the breath, and focus on the out-breath. Simply allow. The key is to allow the breath to breath you. Bring your internal smile all the way down to your toes. Meditation for me is just allowing ones consciousness to be taken by the spirit of breath, it’s complete surrendering. The mind has to trust this process.


Archimedes is the founder of The Hanuman Center in San Francisco. Find out about their classes, workshops and events at

Stay tuned for next month’s Samovar Shaman: Shambhu- Metaphysical Musician!


Rowan Cutler is the “Tarot Shaman” for Samovar Tea Lounge. He is a sought after SF Psychic who has been in private practice for 15 years. He is a published author and wrote for an Emmy nominated TV show. Let him lay out the cards and read the story of your life! Join him at Samovar for an only-in-SF experience to compliment your contemplative teatime.

See Rowan’s scheduled readings at Samovar’s Tea Lounges at Drop in during Rowan’s hours for a reading, reserve a spot ahead of time – or purchase a Tea and Tarot Gift Certificate for a great gift, date, and out-of-the-ordinary adventure with friends!

Learn more about Rowan and his reflections on the synergy of Tea and Tarot

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Samovar Tea Lounge Goes Green with 100% Compostable Tea Boxes

Samovar Tea Lounge is officially the first tea company to introduce a compostable container for their full line of teas, which are available for purchase at Samovar’s three Bay Area retail locations and online store. Recognized for its award-winning tea menu and leading role in the American artisanal tea movement, Samovar’s latest packaging design marks an unprecedented eco-conscious solution in keeping products farm fresh while having a minimal impact on the environment. Samovar’s new tea box utilizes post-consumer recycled cardboard for its exterior shell, water based inks, and wood-based fiber material to retain maximum freshness for their handcrafted teas. A pioneering Bay Area green business, Samovar proudly introduces a sustainable package that’s as impermanent as the tea itself.
Continue reading Samovar Tea Lounge Goes Green with 100% Compostable Tea Boxes

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Celebrate Samovar’s Reopening Thursday, November 4

Please join us in celebrating the newly remodeled Mission-Castro Tea Lounge this Thursday November 4, from 7–9pm.

Samovar Reopening Party
at 498 Sanchez Street

This Thursday, November 4, 7-9pm

Usher in this new stage of Samovar’s life, introduce friends to the lounge, explore our new teas, and sample complimentary sweet and savory delicacies with the rest of the Samovar family! We look forward to celebrating with you.

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Tea and Honey

Tea and honey are classic pairings. This is a beautiful movie about modern day beekeeping in Brooklyn, NY.

This six-minute film profiles Brooklyn farmer Megan Paska. Megan has witnessed beekeeping as it morphed from an illegal (and possibly crazy) habit to a sustainable, community-supported skill. Mirroring beekeeping’s own ascendance, she found more than just a living: “This is the first time in my life when I’ve just felt absolutely on the right path,” she says.

Continue reading Tea and Honey

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Samovar Shamans: Meet Les Leventhal, Yoga Flow Shaman

Many of you have seen Rowan at the Tea Lounges, or received insight into your life as he read your cards over a cup of tea. He’s Samovar’s tarot shaman, and he is writing a series on modern-day shamans. Here, he introduces us to Les Leventhal, Yoga Flow Shaman.

Rowan – What was your first experience with Yoga?

Les- My first experience with yoga was at the gym. I was a serious weightlifter. I would pass by the yoga room and always look in. I knew I should do more stretching, but it looked really boring so I never even tried. Then a friend said, “Come on, let’s go together.” That was back in 1999. So I went, I had no idea what I was doing. Nothing made sense. They were a lot of Sanskrit terms and a lot of flexi-bendy people. I couldn’t touch my toes. I couldn’t breathe through my nose. It was very intimidating! By the end of the class I was exhausted. But then we did that final resting pose, the child’s pose, and when I came out of that…I felt AMAZING. I didn’t expect it, but when that happened, it woke me up. I knew this was something to check out.

So I went back and went back and actually over time, I stopped lifting weights and was just doing yoga all the time. Now I was working a corporate job back then and I wasn’t happy but I didn’t know what to do about it. It took me a while but I finally quit. I had no idea what I was doing next. Yoga was really important to me, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. So eventually I went to L.A. and did a teacher training with Ana Forrest. It changed my life, though it is not what I teach now. I’m someone who doesn’t do well with the differentiations. Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Restorative, it’s all yoga. For me, Yoga gave me this invitation where everything just came together. And this is one of the areas where I am a bit inflexible. I refuse to have yoga feel like a religion, like you are Christian or Jewish, or Methodist. I refuse to let yoga become that for me. Yoga helped me to become free and I don’t want to get boxed in.

Rowan – What was your first yoga teaching experience?

Les- I’ve been at Yoga Tree the whole time I’ve been teaching. I was coming back from teacher training and I called my friend who worked there and told her I wanted to teach. She said. “They are not going to let you teach, you need to be teaching for three to five years before you can teach here.” But I kept on her and said, “I want to teach.” So she told me that there was this one class where the teacher had quit and they couldn’t get a sub; it was very early in the morning. I said, “I’ll do it, I’m up early in the morning!” So they were willing to give me a try and let me teach a practice class. That was on a Thursday. They hired me for the next Monday. At first it was very slow, only one or two people showing up. No one knew who this new guy was. But I was teaching every day and slowly people started coming.

Rowan- How did you first discover Samovar Tea Lounge?

Les – I came here once for dinner and, its funny, I used to order a LOT of food because I was still lifting weights and had this huge appetite. And then I got back from my teacher training and having done the nutrition class I realized the size of my meals was way out of whack and I don’t need that much food. I understood that I was doing a lot of emotional eating. Slowly, I started to be able to order smaller amounts of food, you know, just a salad. And the food at Samovar is so delicious; I didn’t miss the enormous portions I used to eat.

I invited Jesse to come to my yoga class. He has a pretty good practice so I got feedback and took some tips from him. He actually helped me learn how to teach. Then he asked me if he could bring Erick, the manager, and I said, “sure”.  Erick was also a weightlifter and initially said he was not into yoga. But Jesse convinced him. Erick was great; the very first class, he did a full backbend, no problem! He found the class very challenging and he loved it. They asked if they could bring more Samovar people and I said, “sure”. As classes started to grow, we had a nice group of Samovar people coming in regularly. They asked if they could bring more staff, like the cooks and people who may not have ever been exposed to yoga and I said, “Of course!” because yoga was a gift and a freedom for me and I just want to give that back to other people. It’s a selfish and a selfless thing. I want to keep the gifts of yoga but I can’t keep them unless I give them away. It’s a constant recycling. The energy of Samovar staff in class is always amazing. They are a great part of our yoga community. There are Yoga Tree people who come to Samovar after class and Samovar people who come to yoga after work. When I come to Samovar I see so many people who I teach!

Rowan- What’s your favorite Samovar tea?

Les – There are too many to choose from! I love the Masala Chai, the Blood Orange Pu-erh and the Wuyi Oolong. But my favorite is the Lapsang Souchong. It’s got that smokey, you’ve-just-been-out-in-the-woods-at-a-bonfire kind of flavor.

Rowan – What’s your favorite Samovar food?

Les –The Salmon Maki Bowl. But I do it without rice and throw in extra veggies.

Rowan- As the Yoga Flow Shaman, what is a one-minute-meditation, that the folks at home can do to get a taste of your teaching?

Les – I’ll start people off the same way I start yoga class with a dedication.  Sit up tall in a comfortable seat, make sure you feel balanced and supported. Then close your eyes. If you need to fix you hair or adjust your shirt, go ahead and get out all the fidgets! Now, start focusing on the breath. If the mind wanders just come back to the breath. Close your eyes. If your eyes open just close them again. I don’t teach yoga where there is anything “good” or “bad”. We are just spending a minute with our breath and ourselves. If you can sit for more than minute, then sit. Just enjoy the stillness and the quiet. Now, for the dedication. I like to focus on someone who is struggling, if I am in the yoga class, I will focus on someone outside of the room so I can share and expand the yoga. So I am dedicating my practice to this other person. And even the benefits of just sitting for a minute with my eyes closed and breathing can be so helpful. The person you are dedicating this meditation to will feel it! And when I am done, the people I come in contact with, they are going to benefit from this too, and the people that they come into contact with, they are going to benefit as well.


Les teaches classes at Yoga Tree in multiple locations around San Francisco. Learn more about his classes and special workshops at

Stay tuned for next month’s Samovar Shaman with Arch Deleon, founder of Hanuman Center for yoga, integral studies, and healing!


Rowan Cutler is the “Tarot Shaman” for Samovar Tea Lounge. He is a sought after SF Psychic who has been in private practice for 15 years. He is a published author and wrote for an Emmy nominated TV show. Let him lay out the cards and read the story of your life! Join him at Samovar for an only-in-SF experience to compliment your contemplative teatime.

See Rowan’s scheduled readings at Samovar’s Tea Lounges at Drop in during Rowan’s hours for a reading, reserve a spot ahead of time – or purchase a Tea and Tarot Gift Certificate for a great gift, date, and out-of-the-ordinary adventure with friends!

Learn more about Rowan and his reflections on the synergy of Tea and Tarot

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Social Media Hour: Jesse Interviewed About Mindfulness in Business

Jesse Jacobs (, founder of Samovar, was interviewed by about mindfulness in business.

“[Samovar is a] triad of low-key, wi-fi free lounges in which a strange thing happens – people are looking each other in the eye and carrying on conversations. Jesse will share his take on technology and mindfulness in his business…”

Listen to the interview here

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Samovar Canadian Ambassador: Raffi

Raffi is our Canadian Ambassdor. Learn how tea complements his passion for tech., travel, and photography:

Why do you love tea?
Tea is something I actually discovered fairly recently, but instead of easing my way from bagged teas to loose leaf, I dove right into the deep end and went straight for the best loose leaf tea out there. For me, tea is really an art that I’m constantly trying to learn more about. There are so many different varieties, and each cup can taste so different simply depending on personal preference, meaning there are literally hundreds of thousands of teas to experience. During the work day it also provides me with a nice, steady flow of energy without a crash at the end like with coffee.

What is your favorite Samovar tea, and why?
My favorite Samovar tea is definitely Maiden’s Ecstasy. Coming from a coffee drinking past, pu-erh really hits the mark when I feel like drinking something dark, rich and full of complex flavors. It’s by far the most unique tea that I have tried, and is one of the few that I can honestly say has a learning curve. Once you get used to it though, it rewards you with countless steeps and enough energy to make it through the longest of work days.

What do you do in your free time?
On my free time, I enjoy sitting at my computer with a cup of tea and reading articles on the latest happenings in the technology industry. I tend to have too many hobbies at any given moment and so I mainly try to find time between web development, photography, and drumming, among other things like video editing, gaming, and just hanging out with friends.

What gets you up in the morning?
You mean, aside from caffeinated teas? Believe it or not, I’ve always been a bit of a morning person. When I was a kid, I would wake up every morning at 6:30am without an alarm (yes, even on weekends) and I would go downstairs and read online articles or play some games. Of course, these days I don’t wake up that early anymore without an alarm, but honestly I think what gets me going in the morning is the simple fact that I enjoy being productive. Sleeping in has never been my thing (it makes me feel sluggish for the rest of the day), and nothing feels better than getting a few things done before the clock strikes noon.

What is my favorite travel destination?
I haven’t traveled much so far, but I am hoping that some time in the near future I will be able to visit Europe and see many countries in the span of a few weeks to get a taste of the different cultures that exist across the Atlantic. But in the mean time, my favorite destination has to be the Caribbean islands. While I love visiting other cities across both Canada and the USA, my real idea of a vacation is still the islands. This may change by the time I come back from Europe, though. 😉

Who inspires you?
To be honest, I was never into the whole “role model” or inspiration concept, but if there has ever been any one influence on my life (outside of family, of course) it must be Sam Javanrouh of [daily dose of imagery]: . His photoblog inspired me to see the world from a perspective that most people do not take the time to experience; where the same old every day surroundings can be seen in a different light and made into something astonishing without any special effects or fake modifications. Essentially, it’s about taking the time to slow down and appreciate the world around you for what it is. And now in a similar fashion, I put my perspective of the world online for others to see and appreciate on my personal photoblog: .

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Samovar Experience: Pam

Pam is a long time customer at the Mission-Castro Samovar location. You’ll often see her working on her latest writing project or hanging out her two boys (pictured right). Below she shares one of her Samovarian experiences.

The other day I was having one of those days when everything is exhausting, overwhelming, crappy, and you are ready to let the less nice part of yourself dominate your actions— I thought if I can just make it to Samovar it will all be okay. Finally the babysitter arrived and I arrived. There I was greeted by two fabulous servers: Alex and Oscar, who greeted me with enthusiasm, warmth and humor. Then they both (separately) said “Don’t worry– I’ve got just the thing for you.” They loaded me up with magnificent, exotic teas and plied me with quinoa waffles and in a matter of minutes I felt spoiled, happy and able to be once again the nice person I like to think of myself as, most of the time.
Samovar does this people–it is a mini oasis in the midst of our busy lives–a place where I come to refuel, re-center, think deep and frivolous thoughts, work, and more more more. When my book gets published, the first people I will thank will be the entire staff of Samovar.
Pamela Alma Bass, writer/teacher
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Meet Samovar West Coast Ambassador Michael

Meet Michael, one of Samovar’s West Coast Ambassadors. In this photo, Michael shows off his Samovar Traveling Tea Thermos while hiking through Yosemite National Park!

Q: Why do you love tea?

A: I love the ritual of tea, and sharing that ritual with the people around me. Nothing is better then sitting down, brewing new teas and sharing them with the people around you, finding the complex flavors, and enjoying the smell all the while having a great conversation.

Q: What is your favorite Samovar tea, and why?

Honestly I don’t truly have a favorite tea, I enjoy many of them depending on what mood I’m in, or what I’m needing from the tea its self. But I do really enjoy the Masala Chai, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Jasmine Pearl and many more.

Q: Tell us about yourself. Where do you work/study/etc.? What do you do in your free time?

A: I’m currently working at Best Buy as a part time employee while attending Fresno City College as a full time student. I’m working for a bachelors in social science in hopes to one day be a history teacher. Other then that I love to spend time with family and friends!

Q: What are you reading right now?

A: The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Q: What are your dreams? What gets you up in the morning?

A: Well one of my dreams is to become a history teacher; I think it will be a great job. I also want to travel around the world an experience all sorts of cultures first hand. I even have a dream of maybe one day opening my own tea shop, I enjoy tea so much that I would love to be around it everyday.

Q: Why do you exist?

A: I exist to be a good example for others, to help as many people as I can along the way, and to enjoy all of life’s beauties.

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Samovar Shamans: Meet Rowan Cutler, Samovar’s Tarot Shaman

Many of you have seen Rowan at the Tea Lounges, or received insight into your life as he read your cards over a cup of tea. He’s Samovar’s tarot reader, and in the coming months he will be writing a series of articles featuring modern-day shamans. Here, he shares about the synergy of tea and tarot:

Tea is ritual. You sip and pause. You watch the steam rising off the teacup. You make yourself empty and relax…ahh. The moment fills you up and you are recharged. Life makes sense again.

Tarot is ritual. You shuffle the cards and pause. You watch the cards arranged in a pattern. You make yourself empty and release…ohm. The images fill you up and you are renewed. Life makes sense again.

Now more than ever, we need easy access to refocus and remember our point of power! I invite you to take a deep in-breath and join me as we meet the Shamans in our Samovar community. They help us to re-find our essence. Each month, we greet a new Shaman and gain a new ritual to ponder as we take a sip from our steaming cup.

As Samovar’s “Tarot Shaman”, I want to extend a Namaste. I will be offering mini-divinations custom designed to fit into your Samovar teatime. You may only need one card to find your focus before yoga class or a full fifteen-minute spread to gear up for dinner with your Ex. Whatever the length, my dollar-a-minute mini readings will soothe your soul!

Please stop by for some Tea & Tarot. Bring friends and enjoy a Psychic Tea Party!

Tarot Calendar at the Tea Lounges (visit for the most up-to-date schedule):

Tuesdays: Samovar Mission-Castro, 8-10PM

Thursdays: Samovar Hayes Valley, 8-10PM

Saturdays: Samovar Mission-Castro, 2-6PM

Sundays: Samovar Hayes Valley, 2-5PM

Drop in during Rowan’s hours for a reading, reserve a spot ahead of time, or purchase a Tea and Tarot Gift Certificate for a great gift, date, and out-of-the-ordinary adventure with friends!

Stay tuned for next month’s Samovar Shaman!

Rowan Cutler is the “Tarot Shaman” for Samovar Tea Lounge. He is a sought after SF Psychic who has been in private practice for 15 years. He is a published author and wrote for an Emmy nominated TV show. Let him lay out the cards and read the story of your life! Join him at Samovar for an only-in-SF experience to compliment your contemplative teatime. You can drop in or pre-book by contacting him at

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Zen & The Art of Life Management

Join Jesse and his good friends and role models Leo Babauta, author of the blog Zen Habits, Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, and Susan O’Connell, VP of the San Francisco Zen Center, as they have tea and connect on the meaning of life, zen, and how to live with joy in a world full of technology and distraction. The event was filmed on September 28, 2010, with a live studio audience of 40 attendees.

Topics Include

  • What is Zen?
  • How to do Zen
  • How these people manage their lives
  • How to live with meaning
  • How to use the technology and the tools of our times

Continue reading Zen & The Art of Life Management

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Samovar Shipping Rates

Orders shipped within the U.S., including, Alaska, Hawaii, and Army Post Offices, receive $7 flat rate ground shipping.

For our international customers, shipping rates are calculated based on your location and the weight of the items in your order. You can see the calculated shipping rate on the Shopping Cart page during the checkout process. If you have any questions about our shipping policies, check out FAQ or contact us anytime.

Click here to start shopping!

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Video: Tea Mavericks of America

On September 18, America’s leading tea entrepreneurs met to talk tea. These amazing guys are jointly responsible for making the tea market what it is today. Taking the time for tea and talk, they shared their experiences, insights, and their take on why tea is taking off today. CEO of Rishi Tea, Joshua Kaiser, Author James Norwood Pratt, CEO and Alchemist of Numi Tea Ahmed Rahim, CEO of Digg Kevin Rose, Tea Pioneer David Lee Hoffman, and Samovar founder Jesse Jacobs all gathered for tea at Samovar Tea Lounge.

Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Each person’s history and how they came to be doing what they’re doing
  • Their personal tea ritual
  • Why tea is gaining unprecedented popularity in America
  • How they can be competitors as well as supporters of each other
  • Best tea for sex
  • Much more…

For those who missed it or want to watch it again, enjoy the video recording below!

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Press Release: Samovar Tea Lounge Launches New Entrepreneurial Video Series


Samovar Owner Jesse Jacobs Launches New Video Series

Featuring Discussions With Today’s Leading Entrepreneurs & Innovators

San Francisco, CA September 1, 2010 – Jesse Jacobs, founder of San Francisco’s Samovar Tea Lounge, launches a new entrepreneurial video series “Tea With…” on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 with the latest installment focusing on “Tea Mavericks in America.” In the upcoming live video stream, today’s pioneering artisan tea gurus gather for the first time for this inspiring and informative panel discussion. Jacobs hosts the upcoming event with such participants as Joshua Kaiser (CEO of Rishi Tea), Ahmed Rahim (CEO of Numi Tea), Kevin Rose (CEO of, James Norwood Pratt (author, The Tea Lover’s Treasury), and tea pioneer David Lee Hoffman. The series is broadcast live online from Samovar’s Yerba Buena location (730 Howard Street) and will be viewable on Jesse Jacobs’s blog ( and the Samovar homepage ( The “Tea Mavericks of America” begins at 5 pm, and is limited to 30 live studio audience members.
Continue reading Press Release: Samovar Tea Lounge Launches New Entrepreneurial Video Series

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Transcription of Tea & Chocolate Pairing with Samovar and Charles Chocolates

Click here to return to the videos.

Jesse Jacobs: Hi!  I’m Jesse Jacobs, I’m here today at Samovar Tea Lounge with Chuck Siegle, founder of Charles Chocolates and an amazing group of tea and chocolate fanatics.

So, this is supposed to be fun and approachable and if anyone has questions, we can take questions as we go from the audience.  You’ll be tasting as well with us; and as well if you Twitter your questions in to @samovarlife then we will be looking for questions as well that come in… so, make it open.

Continue reading Transcription of Tea & Chocolate Pairing with Samovar and Charles Chocolates

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Transcription of Tea & Wine Pairing with Gary Vaynerchuk and Kevin Rose

Click here to return to the videos.

Jesse Jacobs: Hi!  I’m Jesse Jacobs, I’m here today at Samovar Tea Lounge in San Francisco with my friends Gary Vaynerchuck and Kevin Rose and the great studio audience and we’re here to taste tea and wine for the first time ever live.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Ever!

Jesse Jacobs: Tea is very intimidating and wine is intimidating, I don’t know much about wine and so, I’d love to hear your perspective on how to taste wine for the ignoramus.

And then Kevin’s passion about both so… Continue reading Transcription of Tea & Wine Pairing with Gary Vaynerchuk and Kevin Rose

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Video: Tea & Chocolate Pairing with Samovar and Charles Chocolates

Watch the Tea and Truffles Pairing with Samovar and Bay Area chocolatier Charles Chocolates. Jesse, founder of Samovar, and Chuck Siegal, founder of Charles Chocolates, discuss entrepreneurship, premium chocolate and teas, and what makes food and beverage companies like theirs unique.

Continue reading Video: Tea & Chocolate Pairing with Samovar and Charles Chocolates

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World Tea, Las Vegas Style

July 2010

Every year we attend the World Tea Expo in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada. Yes, it is very ironic that small family tea farmers and tea companies from around the world gather in Vegas of all places. But, it is what it is, and ultimately it is a blast. This year the Samovar team included Erick, Laura, Tiffany, Jesus, and me. Unfortunately, Erick did not win the World Tea Brewing Championships taking the title back to SF. Maybe next year. In this video we recap our time tasting tea, musing on the tea business, and how to stay alive and sane in Vegas. Enjoy!

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Old School: How to Build an Inspired Company According to the Big Boys (Google, Facebook, Samovar)

Check out this engaging panel discussion at the 2010 Wisdom 2.0 conference. Panelists included Meng Tan (Head of Personal Growth, Google), Stuart Crabb (Head of Learning & Development, Facebook), and yours truly. What do some of the biggest titans of Tech have in common with a little company like Samovar? Culture. A great company culture equals a great company. It’s not easy, and it is a work in constant progress, but what else is there? Culture creates inspiration, for employees first, and then for customers.

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Video of Tea & Wine Pairing with Gary V and Kevin Rose

Thanks to all who tuned in to the live streaming of the Tea & Wine Pairing with Jesse, Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library, and Kevin Rose of!

For those who missed it, check out the video below to watch the trio talk about drinks, tech, jungle wombats, and more:

Tea & Wine Tasting with Gary, Kevin, and Jesse from jesse jacobs on Vimeo.

Or if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, get a quick fix with this 10 minute edited version:

Or, read the read the transcription of the Tea & Wine Pairing here.

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Video of Wisdom 2.0 Panel with Jesse Jacobs: Conscious Business

Samovar founder Jesse Jacobs recently participated in the first ever Wisdom 2.0 Conference held in Silicon Valley April 30-May 2. The conference was a one-of-a-kind event that brought together people from a variety of disciplines, including technology leaders, Zen teachers, neuroscientists, and academics to explore how we can live with deeper meaning and wisdom in our technology-rich age.

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Navarasa CD Release Performance Saturday May 29 @ 7pm

Navarasa ~ Mark Izu & Christopher Yohmei Blasdel Free Performance

Join us at Samovar Tea Lounge, Yerba Buena for a CD release celebration and performance by Navarasa.

Navarasa – Nine Emotions, Two Musicians, One Captivating CD
When: Saturday, May 29, 2010
Time: 7 pm – 9 pm
Where: Samovar Tea Lounge ~ Yerba Buena Gardens
730 Howard Street (between 3rd and 4th Streets)?San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 227-9400

Cost: Free!
Continue reading Navarasa CD Release Performance Saturday May 29 @ 7pm

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“Listen to Yourself” Small Business Rules visits Samovar to chat with Jesse


American Express Small Business Rules
Feb 17, 2010

“Tea is more than just a drink, it’s a chance to slow down the present moment. At least, that’s how Jesse Jacobs sees it, who was looking for a place to relax, hang out with friends, drink something healthy, and that was an alternative to the bar scene. Jesse created Samovar, a tea lounge that serves artisan whole leaf tea sourced from family farms all over the world. Samovar now includes three San Francisco locations and an online store.”

Watch the video at

Media Contact:
Jesse Cutler, Samovar: (415) 655-3431 / [email protected]

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ABC News The View from the Bay talks tea and food pairing with Samovar’s Jesse Jacobs

The View from the Bay features Samovar Teas!Watch ~
“Delicious tea and food pairings.
Pick the perfect food to bring out delicious flavors in antioxidant rich tea.”
Aired: Friday, February 12, 2010

ABC News Channel 7’s The View from the Bay tastes, talks, and pairs tea and food with Samovar Tea Lounge founder Jesse Jacobs.

Tea & Food Pairings featured in the segment:

White Tea: Poached eggs, buttered sour dough toast with honey, sauted greens, steamed veggies, and desserts like vanilla ice cream and flan all help to bring out the subtle floral sweetness of this beautiful Chinese White tea.

Puerh Tea: Quiche, omelettes, nutella on toast, bittersweet chocolate, robust red wine and cheese, and spicy foods all pair really well with this earthy, espresso-like aged Chinese tea.

Green Tea: The succulent, floral, aromatic quality of jasmine flowers blended with organic, fair trade Chinese green tea pairs really well with rich, robust, smoky, heavy foods. Brioche French Toast, bacon, smoked fish, huevos rancheros, red meat, baked swordfish, sauteed onions and garlic are all ingredients and flavors that pair greatly with this tea.

Tea & Health:
• Seasonal, whole leaf Tea is healthy, as it’s got less caffeine than coffee, loads of antioxidants, and a natural, fresh delicious taste that comes only with artisanal whole leaf leaves sourced from small family farms around the globe.

• It’s soothing, and simultaneously uplifting, actually known to stimulate the same brain waves that yoga and meditation do!

• And, organic, Fair Trade tea is good for the environment as it is sustainably harvested from small scale family farms.

• Tea is romantic, and perfect for valentine’s day. Bring health and clarity to life and your loved one by giving them artisanal tea.

• Tea is easy. Brewing whole leaf tea is simple and fun, just add a pinch of fresh tea leaves to hot water, steep, and enjoy.

• Tea is about connecting: Living today in our modern world people have the need to connect, slow down, and take time for appreciating life. Tea delivers that.

Romance Tea Set featured in segment, $79

About Samovar Tea Lounge:

•    It raises the bar as the first tea company to launch an unprecedented eco-friendly packaging design consisting of 100% compostable materials. Recognized for its award-winning tea menu and leading role in the burgeoning American tea movement, Samovar develops innovative eco-conscious solutions for everyday small business needs.

•    Samovar’s ingenious packaging utilizes 100% post-consumer cardboard for its exterior shell and a wood pulp fiber liner to retain maximum freshness of their handcrafted teas.

•    A pioneering Bay Area green business, Samovar proudly introduces a sustainable container that, if composted, would turn to soil within a couple of months. The new container will be available in 2010.

•    Samovar holds an exclusive partnership with Eva Lee and Chiu Leng of the Hawaii Tea Society as they will supply artisan tea made in America.

•    Samovar’s goal is to further put America on the map for the production of premium artisan tea. After eight years of continual farming in Volcano Village on the Big Island, Samovar is the first mainland outlet to feature the limited edition Hawaii-Grown Oolong and Hawaii-Grown Black Tea, which was released on September 1, 2009.

•    Samovar recently prepared a custom tea blend for His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The tea is named after The Dalai Lama himself, its titled Ocean of Wisdom. The tea accompanied The Dalai Lama as he presented “The Missing Peace” project at various art institutions across the U.S. Ocean of Wisdom is available for purchase at Samovar’s three Bay Area locations and online.

•    Samovar is the exclusive retailer of “Gyokuro Inoka Hill,” which took 1st Place in the All Japanese Gyokuro Tea Competition last year. No one else in the world sells this tea, not even any retailers in Japan. It’s for only politicians and dignitaries in Japan, and Samovar customers.

•    Almost all Samovar teas are organic and fair trade certified.

•    Samovar utilizes many eco-friendly sustainability practices in their design and building efforts. They use many reclaimed and renewable resources as they design new locations. Their latest locale features a 1200 year-old, 20-foot naturally wind fallen redwood tree from Marin, CA serving as the tea bar.

•    All tables are from wind fallen old growth trees, and the FSC certified wood flooring comes from sustainably managed US forests. All the metal work utilizes materials from turn of the century food processing facilities.

•    Samovar allocates 1% of their profits to an education budget for standout employees to travel to other countries to research new teas firsthand, attend national industry and restaurant conventions, and take tea education classes.

Watch the entire ABC News Channel 7 The View from the Bay Video.

Media Contact:
Jesse Cutler, Samovar: (415) 655-3431 / [email protected]

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Huffington Post Recommends the Samovar Romance Tea Set for Your Sweet Valentine

huffington_post_image_postUnisex Valentine’s Gifts for Every Sense.
By Margaret Ryan
The Huffington Post
February 2, 2010

“Valentine’s Day may have roots in a Hallmark campaign, but what harm is there in setting aside a day that motivates you to make a point of celebrating the one you love? Man or woman — here is a list of five genderless gifts which will appeal to the object of your affection…

gift_box_samovar_open(Taste) Samovar Tea Lounge Romance Tea Set: Packaged in a scarlet gift box, this unique tea set by San Francisco Company Samovar features three 40z. boxes of teas known for their seductive qualities: Wild Rose Bai Mudan (crushed rose petals and wild field grasses), Jasmine Pearl (jasmine blossoms and hints of cocoa powder) and Maiden’s Ecstasy (dark flavors of rich earth and wildflower honey). It also comes with a mesh infuser.$79 at Samovar.”

Check out the entire post:

Media Contact:
Jesse Cutler, Samovar: (415) 655-3431 / [email protected]

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Specialty Coffee Magazine Makes Tea a Cover Story- With Samovar’s Jesse Jacobs!

Samovar Tea Lounge
Specialty Coffee Retailer
by Dan Bolton
November 2009

“New generation teahouses share a vision of tea for the broad audience, say Samovar Tea Lounge founder Jesse Jacobs (featured on this month’s cover)….
‘What all these teahouses have in common is an experience that is based on the foundations of tea: relaxation, social intimacy, and health — and delivered via food and teas with integrity.'”


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SF Weekly’s Katy St. Clair Finds a Moment of Peace at Samovar Castro

sfweekly-com_logo_250x150Tea Party Politics at Samovar Tea Lounge

By Katy St. Clair

Sometimes it’s nice to see how the other half lives. And by the other half, I mean those folks who go out and enjoy themselves without imbibing liquor. You know, weirdos. I suppose many of them go to the movies or Starbucks or something. But a segment of the sober population seems to be partaking in this whole “tea lounge” phenomenon. Continue reading SF Weekly’s Katy St. Clair Finds a Moment of Peace at Samovar Castro

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Taiwan Teachings: Fresh Cup Features a Tea Article by Samovar’s Jodet!

freshcup1209_cover_fullTaiwan Teachings: A curious tea lover heads across the world—and some slick mountain roads—to learn about leaf cultivation

Story & photos by Jodet Ghougassian

On the first day of our tea journey in Taiwan, my friend Lorraine and I found ourselves on a seemingly endless drive along unpaved roads that snaked dangerously through a hulking mountain range. I found myself having the same thought I did when we staggered onto our flight out of San Francisco at 2 a.m. the day before: “What are we doing?” Continue reading Taiwan Teachings: Fresh Cup Features a Tea Article by Samovar’s Jodet!