History

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.