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Live Music and Sunday Brunch with adeptsect at Samovar Yerba Buena

adeptsect blends worldly beats at Samovar this SundayJoin us for a special brunch this coming Sunday at Samovar Yerba Buena as we welcome the worldly sweet sounds of adeptsect.

adeptsect(all lowercase) aka Aden Liggett will be steeping an aural blend of downtempo and world elements to delight the senses.

adeptsect is originally from Austin TX and now calls the East Bay home.  He currently runs and owns a small Oakland studio where he spends most of his time mixing and producing his music.  He’s hard at work on his first self-titled EP, which is slated for release on January 1st and will be available for digital download at the I-Tunes music store.

It will be a fantastic afternoon of live music, amazing teas, and delicious Samovar brunch!

Sunday brunch with adeptsect
When: Sunday, November 15, 2009
Time: Live music 1 pm – 3 pm.  Brunch and other great food all day.
Where: Samovar’s Yerba Buena location
730 Howard Street (between 3rd and 4th Streets)?San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 227-9400

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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 English Breakfast 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 tea ice cream, 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 Tart Peach Black Tea ice 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:


1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp loose leaf tea


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.

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Jodet in Taiwan: Part IV

Jodet, a flower in the middle of a tea field.
Jodet, a flower in the middle of a tea field.

The next day was the most exciting tea-adventure of my entire life. Many hours of oolong processing took place in Mr.Chen’s factory, but Lorraine and I also traveled through some dangerously unpaved roads to the most picturesque-perfect tea gardens I have ever seen.

Roads on which you see covered over beautiful crisp fog and neatly trimmed tea bushes in extremely high elevation mountains in Fujian Province. We traveled and traveled, and suddenly, it was as if we were transported into tea-heaven.

I was speechless at how well-maintained these gardens were. It was a dangerous endeavor for us, but for Mr.Chen and his team, this was the norm. Fairly impressive, as I now appreciate tea on a whole other scale.

Tea Heaven
Misty Tea Heaven

Some of the actual processing of the oolongs took place by Mr.Chen’s employees while we were traveling through the tea jungles. Mr.Chen surprised us with the adventure in between the day (since we had spent the majority of the time tasting tea, filming, shooting photos and processing). At times, it was challenging to completely understand what was really taking place in the process, with the language barrier between our translator Rebecca.

Visually from what we witnessed first and foremost was that there were several machines used to create the final process. All those words that I had once studied about tea were finally coming to life: pack rolling, dry racking, kneading, bruising, oxidizing, drying, rolling. Wow.

In my next blog post, I will focus more on the educational aspects of how and what was done in the process of creating the oolong we hand-picked in the gardens. I’m excited about sharing all the great visuals and information, and I hope that those who are reading this can also enjoy the experience and memories I brought back home from Nantou.

~Jodet for Samovarlife

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Teas for Dads

Like Tea Father, Tea Son

America has finally gotten over a stereotype of tea involving pinkies and lace to embrace the many and varied tea traditions and tastes from around the world.

Tea can be manly enough for even the most macho of parents and is becoming an integral part of the “modern man” image. This Father’s Day, forget ties and power tools – tea is the cool gift for today’s dads. Here are Samovar’s top teas for your #1 Dad:

A tea fit for an emperor – Remind Dad that he’s king of the castle with Palace Pu-erh. It’s plucked from the new, young leaves of trees that are over 100 years old. (Insert your own “Dad’s getting old” joke here.) Notes of bittersweet espresso and chocolate last for hours with successive, evolving infusions of this wild-crafted tea.

Cowboy tea – In South America, gauchos (or “cowboys”) gather around campfires in the mountains to bond over gourds of bittersweet, high-caffeine Sweet Yerba Mate. Muy macho!

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