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New Reserve Tea Menu Only at the Castro-Mission Tea Lounge

Have you tried all of the teas on our menu and are ready for even more tea adventures?

The Mission-Castro Tea Lounge has a new Reserve Tea Menu with limited edition teas, not available at the other locations. Tea connoisseurs of all levels will enjoy these premium teas and herbal infusions from Nepal, Thailand, Korea, Japan, and beyond. Once they sell out they’re gone for good, so enjoy them while they last!

Check out the Reserve Tea Menu here (PDF)

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Sleep Texting, or Why Are We Doing This?

Every night people all around the world send texts in their sleep.

Our society is delicately balanced on the brink of incredible change. Some people call it the Age of Aquarius. Others point to the end of the Mayan calendar and the predictions about the end of the World.

What I see is the proliferation of the most powerful tools humankind has ever known.

Remote control cars on Mars, MakerBots, video chat, communication networks so powerful they topple dictators. The list goes on.

Which brings us back to sleep texting.

I believe that we are in real danger of becoming slaves to our technology.

In the beginning, it’s awesome to be connected all the time. It’s really wonderful to have access to up-to-the-minute news feeds from your best friends and trusted sources. We are a social animal and knowing what your friends are up to all the time get’s at our need for closeness. The tools we have built are more than fun. They are a revelation with a power and capacity beyond our ancestors wildest dreams.

But at a certain point, the balance tips, and the machines are in control.

I’ll admit that sleep texting is (for now) pretty uncommon. But information addiction is a reality. How many times do you set your phone beside your plate when you sit down to eat? How often are you texting when your kids are asking you a question? How often have you been out with friends and you look up from your drink only to see you friends fingering their phones?

I believe in a future where humanity is in control, and where our skills, talents, and tools can create an abundance for everyone.

I know there are other organizations, like Samovar Tea Lounge, dedicated to helping people live more healthy, meaningful lives and so I want to make a contribution to their projects.

Before you tell me I’m a hypocrite for using Facebook for this, let me clarify. I love technology. The bounty that we have created through imagination, courage, and hard work is astounding. I just hope we develop the awareness and discipline to use these tools wisely.

The Saga of John McAfee

I’m not going to repeat the details of John McAfee’s fall from $100 million tech superstar to Belizean fugitive for murder. You can get the backstory easily enough if you need it.

Suffice it to say that money does not buy happiness.

My friend and blogger Leo Babauta has been challenging readers to Buy Nothing Until 2013, and it got me thinking. What is the most precious we can give anyone?

Hint: It’s not shiny and it doesn’t last for ever.

It’s our attention.

Everyday at our Lounges we see the joy that people experience sitting down with friends and loved ones to be nourished by our healthy food and energizing teas. We see artists and writers disconnected from WiFi and fully immersed in their process. We see business leaders breaking the ice over a cup of Oolong and getting fired up about their next initiative. We see families delighted as they try something new.

But when they leave the Lounges, I start to worry. The “call of the smart phone” is a sweet siren song indeed.

I’ve heard cellphones ring–and get answered–in the middle of an executive meeting. I’ve seen parents ignoring their kids in order to send one more text. I’ve heard of people answer their phone during sex.

I’m guilty of a lot of this myself–though, not the sex example.

So here’s my challenge to you, in 3 steps.

1. Do Less

We speed up to get everything done before we take a vacation. We shop like crazy to buy all the gifts we’ll need. Then we speed around to see everyone we’ve been missing. You get the idea.

So take your holiday to-do list and event calendar, cut it in half, and then cut it in half again. Then fully immerse yourself with what you really want to do with your time.

2. Be Generous

Wealth is not about how much you’ve acquired, but how much you share. There are plenty of causes that could use your support. If not financial, then maybe you can donate an old computer, pair of shoes, or perhaps your time. And don’t just do it for the cause, do it for yourself. Because giving feels good.

3. Inhabit The Present: 24 hr Challenge

For one whole day, I challenge you to shut down all your devices with a screen. TV, laptop, tablet, phone. Everything. 24 hours.

Are you too important to be offline completely for a single day at a time when practically everyone is on vacation?

I know we’ve grown accustomed to these handy devices, but I also know that you guys are incredibly smart, motivated, disciplined and creative. If you choose too, I know that you’ll find a way to disconnect–in order to give yourself fully to the people you care about.

Thank You!

I want to thank you again for being the inspiration that keeps Samovar Tea Lounge alive. Whatever this new age brings, I’m proud to enter into it with you by my side.

You guys rock.



Jesse Jacobs, Founder

Samovar Tea Lounge(tm)

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Tea Lounges Now Taking Reservations!

Samovar Tea Lounge has always been a walk-in establishment, but after getting a lot of great feedback from our customer survey,  we’re now taking reservations during select hours!

You now have two options for reserving a table:

1) Call the Tea Lounges to place your reservation

2) Reserve your table through


Visit the individual Tea Lounge pages for more info.


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Tea with Dr. Andrew Weil and Kevin Rose: Royal Palace, Green Ecstasy, Ocean of Wisdom

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Meet best selling author and Integrative Health leader Dr. Andrew Weil, and tech entrepreneur Kevin Rose and take time for tea with these two accomplished and inspiring guys. We talk about why tea is healthy for the mind, body and spirit, what kinds of rituals work for being healthy and “getting things done,” and why tea is all the rage in the tech community.

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Signed Copies of The 4-Hour Chef Available Only At Samovar Tea Lounge

Friend of Samovar, and best selling author of The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body,Tim Ferriss has completed his most recent work The 4-Hour Chef.

We are delighted to be the exclusive place to buy The 4-Hour Chef in San Francisco. Not only are the only place where you can pick up a copy, when you do, you’ll get a signed copy of the book.

We got an advance look at The 4-Hour Chef, where founder Jesse Jacobs makes a few notable appearances, and we love what we saw. Continue reading Signed Copies of The 4-Hour Chef Available Only At Samovar Tea Lounge

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How to Make Masala Chai

Chai simply means “tea” in Hindi, and masala chai means “spiced tea”. Popular in India, where street vendors are kept busy serving up cups of masala chai all day long, this 5,000+ year old drink originated as an Ayurvedic tonic. Ginger to remove toxins, cinnamon to aid digestion, cardamom to improve circulation, and much more.

At Samovar Tea Lounge, we slow-cook our chai on the stove in the traditional manner, combining it with whole milk and substituting coconut palm nectar (lower-glycemic) for cane sugar. Making chai takes a few more minutes than steeping a regular cup of tea, but your efforts will be rewarded. Continue reading How to Make Masala Chai

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Vote for Positive Human Connection

Elections have a way of making us feel divided. With so much emphasis on our differences, we lose sight of what we share.

The truth is that we are all deeply connected. This is not an abstract idea, but a fact of life. I saw it with blinding clarity the moment I first held my son, so small, so vulnerable, so perfect. Then I imagined my father holding me, and his father before him.

The continuous chain of life is so obvious when you take the time to look.

Why do we spend so much energy defining our differences? When you boil it down we all have the same human needs: food, shelter, warmth, love.

This election, I’m voting for positive human connection; not just in those times when I’m sharing a pot of tea with people I love, but also during those inevitable situations when I’m dealing with people and we don’t see eye to eye.

Here’s a simple practice for developing positive human connection–even when it’s hard. Continue reading Vote for Positive Human Connection