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Hanami: The Cherry Blossom Festival Welcomes Spring


Spring Means Cherry Blossom Time!

Hanami is a long-standing Japanese tradition of welcoming spring. Also known as the “cherry blossom festival,” this annual celebration is about appreciating the temporal beauty of nature. People gather under blooming cherry blossoms for food, drink, songs, companionship and the beauty of sakura (cherry blossoms).

Celebrations begin in the day and often last into the night. The festival dates vary by location and year, as the trees bloom at different times with weather and climate variations, but they are typically in late March through May and last a few days to a few weeks.

Although the traditional beverage of choice for hanami is sake, you can also drink tea. Seasonal foods (like wagashi- Japanese sweets) and seasonally decorated teaware can echo the beauty of nature in your hanami tea ritual. For a pleasing floral-tart taste, fresh, organically grown sakura can be blended with green tea or black tea and then brewed in a kyusu (teapot with or without floral decorations).

You can also embrace the wabi-sabi nature of hanami by drinking organic matcha from a chawan-style teacup. This year, I plan to celebrate hanami with friends over matcha, wagashi, assorted Japanese foods and some seasonal tea accoutrements.

Hanami Tea Accouterments: Fukin with chawan motif, cherry blossom kaishi papers, and kyusu-shaped hashioki
Hanami Tea Accoutrements: Fukin with chawan motif, cherry blossom kaishi papers, and kyusu-shaped hashioki

A few seasonal tea items a friend in Japan gave me are pictured here. The pink cloth is a fukin (washcloth) portraying chawan (tea bowls). The blue chawan pictured have hot matcha in them, hence the steam. On top of the fukin is some sakura kaishi (papers with cherry blossom motif), which we’ll use to eat wagashi before drinking matcha, and a kyusu-shaped hashioki (chopstick holder), which we’ll use for holding chopsticks (obviously).

How will you celebrate springtime with tea this year?

-Lindsey “Vee” for Samovar Life

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Yerba Buena Gardens

Location Yerba Buena GardensIn the heart of San Francisco’s hectic hustle and bustle, yet quietly removed from the din of city life, is our largest location. Settled above the Martin Luther King waterfall in Yerba Buena Gardens. Perfect for large gatherings of up to 300 guests. For corporate parties or personal ones.

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If you have a group of friends or family and you want to create a really special experience, let us arrange a private event for you. Below are the guidelines for setting up an event for Bridal Showers, Office Parties, Weddings, Birthday Parties, Corporate Receptions, and more. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Please review the following guidelines and then submit an event enquiry to discuss the details.

We have three location options, that can fit different party sizes:

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Reserve the Entire Tea Lounge – For 25 to 300 guests, we close down our business and focus just on your event. For groups of this size we require that you reserve our entire space… and invite all of your friends and family to an event they will never forget. A flowing tea bar, platters of our tea delicacies, live music, flower arrangements, an outdoor tent, and more. Let us help make your event amazing and unforgettable at our flagship location in the heart of San Francisco.

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