S.F. Business Times Reports: Samovar Sees the Green in Tea

Jesse at Samovar Yerba Buena - Photo Credit: Spencer Brown

Jesse at Samovar Yerba Buena - Photo Credit: Spencer Brown

San Francisco tea lounge opens third site in Hayes Valley, boosts web site
San Francisco Business Times – by Elizabeth Rauber

September 18, 2009

The United States has never had much of a tea culture, but Jesse Jacobs thinks that a change is brewing.

Jacobs is the owner of Samovar, a chain of three San Francisco tea lounges and an online tea emporium that emphasizes artisan, fair trade, organic teas grown at small farms around the world.

Already, Samovar has grown revenue to $2.3 million in 2008, more than doubling 2006’s $1.1 million in revenue. Jacobs projects 2009 revenue to hit $2.8 million, due in part to the addition, eight months ago, of the third Samovar location in Hayes Valley.The newest site follows the original Mission-Castro location, opened in 2001, and the Yerba Buena Gardens lounge, opened in 2006.

Samovar’s web site allows customers to buy tea and “tea gear” and serves up information about different teas and how to brew them. In 2009, Samovar’s revenue from the web site increased 500 percent over 2008’s revenue from the web site.

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

Samurai and Tea

Walking amongst the weaponry, armor, formal attire and musical instruments at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum on a recent weekend, I was delighted to find that the “Lords of the Samurai” exhibit included not only swords and masks, but also ornate utensils used in 16th century tea rituals. It turns out Japanese generals rewarded…

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