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Samovar $10 Weekday Lunch Special

blog lunchNourish yourself and release financial tension with tea at Samovar.

Every single weekday:

10am-1pm

Enjoy our lunch special for $10. Tax included!

Fill your belly and sooth your soul with: soup, salad, 1/2 sandwich (grilled tofu, or turkey) and, of course…tea (Ryokucha green tea, Earl Grey black tea or Ocean of Wisdom herbal infusion)! That’s the Samovar Lunch Special.

Down with the slumping economy and up with tea!

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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]

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Samurai and Tea

the humble tea bowl

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 success on the battlefield not only with land or a higher rank but with prized utensils for tea ceremony! A plaque next to a lacquered wood tea container dated 1615 and decorated with Mother of Pearl and gold powder explained, “There was a time when a single tea utensil could be valued as highly as the land compromising an entire province.”

Inspired by the efforts of the Samurai to balance military strength with a thorough knowledge of art, literature and tea, I realized they were far more than professional warriors. Pausing to take in a humble looking tea bowl displayed next to a case of swords, the exhibit stirred me to consider the dualities of my own life, my own embrace or aversion to the coarse and refined.

Continue reading Samurai and Tea

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How to Make Tea Ice Cream

 

Samovar Masala Chai Ice Cream- To Die For!!!

If you’re reading this, you probably love tea. Unless you hate sweets or cold things, you probably love ice cream. So… how about tea ice cream?

We’re not talking about some cheaply made, overly sweet stuff you paid too much for just because it’s a frozen, imported product. I’m talking about making the good stuff at home. It’s about as easy as making ice cream ever is, but the effort is oh-so-very worth it.

How to Make Tea Ice Cream

1. Select your tea. Anything that’s good as a tea latte is good as an ice cream. Some others will work, too.

2. Select an ice cream recipe as a base. * Vanilla ice cream recipes are the simplest to alter. If you want to get more creative with it, you can select a more complex flavor that pairs with your tea, like strawberry for Nishi Sencha Green Tea or chocolate for Breakfast Blend Black Tea.

3. Warm your cream or non-dairy alternative to your tea’s brewing temperature.

4. Infuse 3-4 teaspoons of tea in your cream or non-dairy cream for about 5 minutes.

5. Strain and chill.

6. Make the ice cream according to your recipe, replacing the cream/non-dairy alternative with your creamy tea infusion. Consider making it with slightly less sweetener and flavor (vanilla extract, cocoa powder, etc.) than the recipe calls for – it will get extra flavor from the tea.

 

Ice Cream Mix-Ins

If you want to get more creative with it, you can add ingredients to the infusion or you can add mix-ins to your ice cream once it’s semi-solid. Try infusing organic rose petals with Samovar Moorish Mint or orange zest with Samovar Breakfast Blend.

For mix-ins, try crystallized ginger bits with Samovar Masala Chai, or fruit jam mixed into Tolstoy’s Sip Black Teaice cream just before it’s done.

If all of this sounds like a dream to you, but you have the feeling you’ll never have time to actually do it–not a problem! Use an electric spice grinder or coffee grinder to grind your tea into a powder and blend it into slightly softened ice cream. Or try a dash of matcha (powdered Japanese green tea).

 

Tea Simple Syrup

If you have time to cook, but don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make tea simple syrup (recipe below) and drizzle it over your ice cream. Here’s how:

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp loose leaf tea

Instructions:

1. Infuse 1-2 teaspoons of tea leaves in 8 oz. of boiling water for 3 minutes (use water below the boil, around 170 degrees, for green teas).
2. Strain the tealeaves.
3. Bring the tea to a boil.
4. Add the sugar.
5. Keep at a low boil, stirring often, until the mixture has become one cup of smooth syrup.
6. Chill.
7. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container and use within one month.

You can also use tea simple syrups for instant tea “sodas” and cocktails/mocktails, or as toppings for fruit salads, cakes and other sweet foods. Depending on the tea, it could even work as a sort of chutney/sweet marinade alternative for meats or tofu!

This post wraps up our series on ways to enjoy cold tea in hot weather. If you missed previous posts, check out the others on iced tea lattes, tea punches, iced tea, cold-brewed tea and frozen tea treats.