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Drinking tea is said to ease stress, heighten mental alertness, and cause an intolerable craving for more tea. Loosen your leaves at Samovar Tea Lounge, a legendary San Francisco teashop that oozes zen with hundreds of specialty-blended, fresh, organic, fair-trade, and herbal-infusion teas. Brewing a good cup of tea is an art form, and Samovar’s staff are the best leaf boilers in SF. This Groupon gets you a 67% discount on its sampler: a three-tea journey into the relaxing world of flavor leaves.
Here are the descriptions on Samovar’s tea list for the three teas you’ll get:
- Green tea (Ryokucha): Forward notes of toasted brown rice crisps met with sweet green flavors that suggest grass and kelp. This tea is roasty, full bodied, milky, and slightly malty.
- Herbal tea (Ocean of Wisdom): Deep and earthy, with a subtle cinnamon and sweetgrass sweetness that drapes the tongue. Complexly warm from the ginger and cloves.
- Blood orange tea (Pu’erh): Dark, wet, redwood forest earth with a thick, stewed orange, citrus depth. Rich, smooth, and earthy.
Beyond being a fully relaxing and calming experience, drinking tea is said to have numerous medicinal benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and arthritis. Forbes.com’s video network says Samovar is the chosen tea temple for Silicon Valley techies, such as Twitter creator Evan Williams and Digg founder Kevin Rose (who extols the virtues of tea over coffee as a calming and intellect-sharpening beverage).
This Groupon is good at any of Samovar’s three locations: Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission-Castro, and Zen Valley. The Mission-Castro location is the original Samovar, a soothing beacon of calm and contemplation. Like a garden blooming from the ruins of an abandoned parking lot, Samovar’s Yerba Buena location replaced a failed Starbucks in the heart of the city to become an oasis above an urban waterfall. The Zen Valley location is the most secluded tea shop, tucked in a quiet residential nook up the hill from Hayes Valley and designed in collaboration with the San Francisco Zen Center. The low-volume music, comfortable seating, and friendly staff make Samovar a perfect place to sip a cup of tea over work, enjoy long conversations, slip into extended bouts of meditation, or play a game on your phone. Make the experience even better: bring a friend and share your tea sampler.
Forbes.com’s video network says Samovar is the chosen spot for tea techies, San Francisco Magazine said Samovar is the best place to have tea in 2009, and The New York Times liked it too: > * Samovar’s pan-Asian interior is elegant and cozy, and with the sun streaming through the windows and world music playing softly, people tend to linger. At one end of the restaurant is a raised platform with a long table, where people sit on straw pillows under the gaze of a large 400-year-old statue of Bodhisattva Kuan Yin, who looks especially relaxed, one arm resting on her bent knee. The crowd is varied, from young couples, to writers at their laptops, to grandmothers sipping with their grandchildren. While I was there, a number of young women were taking part in another ageless but now popular pastime: knitting. And if the eclectic crowd doesn’t provide enough entertainment, the magazine rack in the corner offers such off-beat choices as Giant Robot, Surfer’s Journal and DestinAsia. – Allison Hoover Bartlett, The New York Times
Yelpers give the Yerba Buena Gardens location and the Castro location four stars; Citysearchers give it a perfect five. > * Samovar Chai is like heaven in a cup… every time I have that first sip, all the troubles of the world seem to wash away, and for a few moments, I’m in utter bliss. – Brendon C., Yelp > * Samovar makes me so very, very happy. It is such a peaceful place to hang out, relax and even get some work done! – Chaney R., Yelp > * This was more than mere tea, it was an experience. – elizready, Citysearch
Samovar Tea Lounge
Your senses seem stronger inside Samovar Tea Lounge. Warm sunlight streams through tall windows and hushed conversation mingles with the sound of tea flowing from nubbly iron kettles, their contents perfuming the air with hints of herbs, smoke, toasted rice, flowers, and revolutions in Boston. This is owner Jesse Jacobs' vision, what he describes on his website as "an escape from the overflow of information" into an intimate space for human interaction, carved out by the global ritual of sharing tea.
This global emphasis inspires an artisanal menu of small plates and sandwiches that could conceivably be served during tea services in India and Morocco, or, in a playful turn by the chef, the Paleolithic era. It is the tea, however, that enables guests to get acquainted with international terroir without sneaking small shrubs through customs. Small, family farms in countries including Kenya, Paraguay, and Nepal, many of them organic, send their whole-leaf brews to fill Samovar's carefully curated collection. Each of its three locations serves the entire menu, which is comprehensive enough to classify oolong and pu-erh separately and boast vintage blends dating back to 1989.
297 Page St
San Francisco, California 94102Get Directions