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3 Steps to Transform Stress

3 Steps to Transform Stress

The way of the heart is the way of courage.
It is to live in insecurity,
to live in love and trust,
to move into the unknown.

— Osho

Stress, the Monday morning killer. You might have heard about those crazy people who claim to thrive on stress, but for most of us, stress is a royal pain in the ass. It can be all-consuming, debilitating to the mind and body. Typically we do whatever we can to avoid it. Have another drink. Watch another movie. Doomscroll the hours away in bed. Have sex. Or a fourth cup of coffee. Short-term jolts of pleasure and long term agitating, nagging pain. 

For most of us, stress is uncomfortable and so we keep finding ways to distract ourselves to numb the unpleasant sensations.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Continue reading 3 Steps to Transform Stress

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This is NOT goodbye…

It’s with misty eyes and a heavy heart that I am announcing a major transition for Samovar.

This Sunday at 5PM, we will cease all cafe and restaurant operations. We have decided to enter a “hibernation” period until the current health crisis situation turns around.

Please visit while you can and let us serve you while our doors are still open. Now through Sunday, you can order for delivery and pickup in San Francisco. As a special thank you, we are offering 50% off all retail products for purchases in San Francisco (discount is not available for the online tea shop). 

But this is NOT goodbye.

Continue reading This is NOT goodbye…

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Tea time, nitro-style

Tea time, nitro-style

Cool, creamy, full bodied, refreshing, sugar and calorie free, and with zero to high caffeine. That’s right, it’s Nitro-Tea-Time, and we are excited to be launching our newest menu additions…Pineapple Coconut Baozhong Oolong, Cardamom-Rose Wild Crafted Black, Golden Turmeric Ginger, Pan-fired Bancha Green and more. Swing by Fillmore Street or Yerba Buena Gardens for a taste of Spring by way of our new Nitro Teas.

Continue reading Tea time, nitro-style

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Sleep Texting, or Why Are We Doing This?

Every night people all around the world send texts in their sleep.

Our society is delicately balanced on the brink of incredible change. Some people call it the Age of Aquarius. Others point to the end of the Mayan calendar and the predictions about the end of the World.

What I see is the proliferation of the most powerful tools humankind has ever known.

Remote control cars on Mars, MakerBots, video chat, communication networks so powerful they topple dictators. The list goes on.

Which brings us back to sleep texting.

I believe that we are in real danger of becoming slaves to our technology.

In the beginning, it’s awesome to be connected all the time. It’s really wonderful to have access to up-to-the-minute news feeds from your best friends and trusted sources. We are a social animal and knowing what your friends are up to all the time get’s at our need for closeness. The tools we have built are more than fun. They are a revelation with a power and capacity beyond our ancestors wildest dreams.

But at a certain point, the balance tips, and the machines are in control.

I’ll admit that sleep texting is (for now) pretty uncommon. But information addiction is a reality. How many times do you set your phone beside your plate when you sit down to eat? How often are you texting when your kids are asking you a question? How often have you been out with friends and you look up from your drink only to see you friends fingering their phones?

I believe in a future where humanity is in control, and where our skills, talents, and tools can create an abundance for everyone.

I know there are other organizations, like Samovar Tea Lounge, dedicated to helping people live more healthy, meaningful lives and so I want to make a contribution to their projects.

Before you tell me I’m a hypocrite for using Facebook for this, let me clarify. I love technology. The bounty that we have created through imagination, courage, and hard work is astounding. I just hope we develop the awareness and discipline to use these tools wisely.

The Saga of John McAfee

I’m not going to repeat the details of John McAfee’s fall from $100 million tech superstar to Belizean fugitive for murder. You can get the backstory easily enough if you need it.

Suffice it to say that money does not buy happiness.

My friend and blogger Leo Babauta has been challenging readers to Buy Nothing Until 2013, and it got me thinking. What is the most precious we can give anyone?

Hint: It’s not shiny and it doesn’t last for ever.

It’s our attention.

Everyday at our Lounges we see the joy that people experience sitting down with friends and loved ones to be nourished by our healthy food and energizing teas. We see artists and writers disconnected from WiFi and fully immersed in their process. We see business leaders breaking the ice over a cup of Oolong and getting fired up about their next initiative. We see families delighted as they try something new.

But when they leave the Lounges, I start to worry. The “call of the smart phone” is a sweet siren song indeed.

I’ve heard cellphones ring–and get answered–in the middle of an executive meeting. I’ve seen parents ignoring their kids in order to send one more text. I’ve heard of people answer their phone during sex.

I’m guilty of a lot of this myself–though, not the sex example.

So here’s my challenge to you, in 3 steps.

1. Do Less

We speed up to get everything done before we take a vacation. We shop like crazy to buy all the gifts we’ll need. Then we speed around to see everyone we’ve been missing. You get the idea.

So take your holiday to-do list and event calendar, cut it in half, and then cut it in half again. Then fully immerse yourself with what you really want to do with your time.

2. Be Generous

Wealth is not about how much you’ve acquired, but how much you share. There are plenty of causes that could use your support. If not financial, then maybe you can donate an old computer, pair of shoes, or perhaps your time. And don’t just do it for the cause, do it for yourself. Because giving feels good.

3. Inhabit The Present: 24 hr Challenge

For one whole day, I challenge you to shut down all your devices with a screen. TV, laptop, tablet, phone. Everything. 24 hours.

Are you too important to be offline completely for a single day at a time when practically everyone is on vacation?

I know we’ve grown accustomed to these handy devices, but I also know that you guys are incredibly smart, motivated, disciplined and creative. If you choose too, I know that you’ll find a way to disconnect–in order to give yourself fully to the people you care about.

Thank You!

I want to thank you again for being the inspiration that keeps Samovar Tea Lounge alive. Whatever this new age brings, I’m proud to enter into it with you by my side.

You guys rock.



Jesse Jacobs, Founder

Samovar Tea Lounge(tm)

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Tea Lounges Now Taking Reservations!

Samovar Tea Lounge has always been a walk-in establishment, but after getting a lot of great feedback from our customer survey,  we’re now taking reservations during select hours!

You now have two options for reserving a table:

1) Call the Tea Lounges to place your reservation

2) Reserve your table through


Visit the individual Tea Lounge pages for more info.


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Signed Copies of The 4-Hour Chef Available Only At Samovar Tea Lounge

Friend of Samovar, and best selling author of The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body,Tim Ferriss has completed his most recent work The 4-Hour Chef.

We are delighted to be the exclusive place to buy The 4-Hour Chef in San Francisco. Not only are the only place where you can pick up a copy, when you do, you’ll get a signed copy of the book.

We got an advance look at The 4-Hour Chef, where founder Jesse Jacobs makes a few notable appearances, and we love what we saw. Continue reading Signed Copies of The 4-Hour Chef Available Only At Samovar Tea Lounge

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Autumn Tea & Food Pairings

Autumn. The season of colorful leaves, crisp, cool air, and warming comfort foods. Here are some of our autumn picks for tea and food pairings:

Chicken salad finger sandwiches with sliced grapes and Earl Grey
Fresh grapes with assorted cheeses, buttered toast and Samovar Breakfast Blend
Fresh grapes with white chocolate and Hawaii-Grown Oolong Tea

Heirloom Tomatoes
Plain and raw small, sweet varieties of heirloom tomatoes with Nishi First Flush Green Tea
Larger, chopped heirloom tomatoes in fresh salsa with corn and peppers (which are also being harvested in much of the U.S. around now) with a spicy, flavorful Southwestern-style meal and a pot of Russian Blend

Plum pastries (such as Danishes or tarts) with Bai Mudan White Tea
Plum-and-chile-preserves-topped, buttery, homemade biscuits with Ancient Gold
Sliced, fresh plums drizzled with fresh cream and served alongside Golden Phoenix Oolong

Homemade latkes (potato pancakes) with organic applesauce, sour cream and Samovar Russian Blend

Roasted spaghetti or butternut squash with Ocean of Wisdom

What are your favorite foods for autumn? How do you pair them with tea?

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Gratitude for Dad

Dad: the masculine force that brought you into this world. 

Take a moment right now to contemplate one positive childhood experience with your father. Was it building & launching model rockets? Going to the movies on a Saturday afternoon–and sneaking into a double feature? Flying a kite at the beach? His supportive shouts from the sidelines of a soccer game? A bed-time story? Helping you move into college on Day One? Is the memory a classic activity like fishing or football? Or is it cooking or shadowing him at work for a day?

We all have–or had–a father. Right now, for just one minute, think about a positive experience you had with him. Where was it? How old were you? Be specific. What did you hear, smell, feel? How did you see him then?

Now pick up the phone and call him. Share your memory, and share the gratitude you feel. If he’s no longer around, take one more minute and just give him some positive thoughts.

A Little Something More

Share some tea! In honor of Father’s Day, we’re offering 15% off your purchase for dad through 6/19/11 with coupon code “LuvDad” (all orders $30 or more).

Here are a few products we think your dad will love.

Samovar Tea Phone

Samovar Tea Phone

Today we’re announcing a new way to connect (with your dad or your friends). The Tea Phone pays homage to the old ways of communicating with a real handset. It’s super functional and simple and creates a totally different experience when talking on it.
Continue reading Gratitude for Dad

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Linchpin Meetup

If it’s never been done before, even better. Every interaction is an opportunity to make a connection. It doesn’t matter if I’m always right, it matters that I’m always moving.

These are just a few of the Linchpin ideals spelled out by marketing guru, Seth Godin. On Wednesday night, a Meetup group came together at our Yerba Buena location to discuss his best-selling book, Linchpin. Meetup members ranged from Y-Combinator graduates and Google employees to graphic designers and professional dancers. Yet no matter their backgrounds, all had been captivated by Seth Godin’s message of creating change with positive, contagious energy. Continue reading Linchpin Meetup

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May 17, 2011

So buttery. So good. Our QingXin represents the real artistry coming from Taiwanese oolongs these days.

In the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.

– Jim Collins

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May 16, 2011

Rich and buttery with sweet, leafy green notes, our Fukamushi Sencha is a great way to enter the world of fine Japanese green teas.

How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.

– Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia

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May 14, 2011

White teas are the least processed teas, which allows them to retain the highest amount of antioxidants. And if you're looking to get into white teas, look no further than the classic, Bai Mudan.


Fortune favors the brave and those who can learn from their mistakes.

– Scheherezade : Arabian Nights

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May 13, 2011

Our Wabi Sabi contains a wraparound interior Obi Ami (ultra-fine mesh screen) that filters out even the finest leaves. And it's the secret behind how we brew our Senchas at the Lounges.

When the pupil is ready to learn, a teacher will appear.

– Japanese Proverb

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May 12, 2011

There's just something magical about a cup of tea from Wuyi. The roasted notes and fruity finish will leave a lasting impression on the palate and the mind.

The happiness of one’s own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one’s own happiness, the happiness of others.

– Paramahansa Yogananda

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May 11, 2011

Known as Lu Zhen to the locals of Hubei, our Green Needles consist of one leaf and a bud and must be picked from late March through the first week of April to ensure top quality.

Where there’s tea there’s hope.

– Arthur W. Pinero

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May 9, 2011

Rosy, malty, and oh, so smooth, Lychee is the most functional of our black teas - appreciated by all, hot or chilled.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.

– Japanese Proverb


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May 8, 2011

Beautiful stoneware cups perfect to serve and sip Pu-erhs from. Each is hand-crafted for us by San Francisco potter, Andrew DeWitt.

Tea does our fancy aid, repress those vapours which the head invade, and keeps that palace of the soul serene.

– Edmund Waller

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May 6, 2011

Our Bai Hao oolong is also referred to as in the tea world as Oriental Beauty, a name given to these dark and silvery leaves by Queen Elizabeth II after she tasted this tea for the first time.

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.

– Bernard-Paul Heroux

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Live Webcast! Tea with Dr. Weil, Kevin Rose, and host Jesse Jacobs this Sunday

Tea with Dr. Andrew Weil & Kevin Rose
Sunday, May 8, 4pm PT

Live webcast at

Join host Jesse Jacobs for tea with holistic health expert Dr. Andrew Weil and technology entrepreneur Kevin Rose!

No tea drinker should miss this meeting of  minds, as Dr. Weil and Kevin discuss their own personal tea rituals, creating a healthy lifestyle, and answer questions from the audience.

Brew up your favorite tea this Sunday 4pm PT, and tune in at for the live webcast of this unique event.

Click here for info on how to register for this event!

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May 5, 2011

Summer's in the air. Come to Samovar and enjoy the sweet, soothing notes of our flowering Mt. Olympus herbal infusion.

Tea pot is on, the cups are waiting, Favorite chairs anticipating, No matter what I have to do, My friend there’s always time for you.

– Unknown

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May 4, 2011

Throw an infusing basket on top and use our Glass Pitcher as the perfect brewing vessel to admire the tea's vibrancy.

The entire British Empire was built on cups of tea … and if you think I’m going to war without one, mate, you’re mistaken.

— Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

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A Samovar Mother’s Day


Create a new story with your mom through tea this Mother’s Day. Enjoy 15% off your order through Saturday, 5/5/12 with coupon code “momtime.” Check out our gift suggestions below, and be sure to opt for express shipping to ensure delivery by Mother’s Day, Sunday, 5/13/12:


Jasmine Pearl Organic Green Tea

So succulent and aromatic, our favorite stress-reducer. Hand-blended, two leaves and a bud and flowering baby jasmine.


Wei Chi Cha Organic Herbal Tea

Sip this herbal elixir to soothe your soul and recharge your system. Fruity, sweet, spicy and pleasingly tart.


Ancient Gold Organic Black Tea

Wild-crafted, 1,300 year-old trees deliver a smooth, fuzzy, malty brew of sweet ore. Brew once for balance. Brew twice to enter a dark forest.


Tea Lounge Teapot

We can’t think of a better vessel to complete your tea ritual than our Tea Lounge Teapot. Love this generous 15-ounce teapot and it will love you back, brewing you cup after cup of liquid inspiration.

Infusing Mug

The 12-ounce Infusing Mug is functional, beautiful and super-sturdy. The rubber grip keeps your hands cool, and a stainless steel infusing basket with laser-cut die holes to strain the finest tea particles.

 Samovar Organic Sweet Crystals

Buttery, rich, and sweet, it is reminiscent of Muscavado or Demerara sugar, yet more freeflowing and without the moisture content. Low on the glycemic index and high in micro-nutrients, it’s healthy and yummy and perfect with tea or for baking.


 Shop Samovarlife




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May 2, 2011

Samovar Cinnamon Stonefruit - Organically delicious ripe summer fruits and winter spices offer a sublime end to your day.

Give up control and give it away, … The more you give your idea away, the more your company is going to be worth

– Seth Godin

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May 1, 2011

Stay alert, but feel relaxed. Green Ecstasy mixes our Japanese Nishi Sencha with premium Matcha Powder to create a Samovar Specialty that can't be topped.

Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.

– Chaim Potok

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April 30, 2011

Dalai Llama approved, Ocean of Wisdom offers a sweet, earthly blend of roobois, ginger, clove, licorice, and cinnamon. A non-caffeinated delight.

And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

– T.S. Eliot