In the chicest of chic San Francisco neighborhoods has appeared a chic and tech savvy tea bar. Opened just since June 12th, the Samovar Tea Bar is located on Valencia St. in the Mission district. This shop combines precision machines and computer technology with high quality teas and a zen-like decor. I’ve been in three times since its opening and each time had a perfect cup of tea.
Everything about the
bar is minimalist - its airy contemporary interior design, the simplicity of
its clean white finishes, its natural wood and stone surfaces. There’s not much seating to be found, what
little there is is essentially a stone bench – not exactly conducive to
lingering. There are only 9 tea options,
each as single servings. Even the food
menu is concise – just two scone options, sweet or savory. This minimalism along with the technology
used to prepare the tea, heightens the focus on the tea itself.
technology is used at the brewing stations.
A series of Android tablet controlled Steampunk machines by Alpha Dominche line the bar. These machines (a.k.a. crucibles) are sleek, elegant,
glass and steel devices. The customer
can watch the precision brewing in action as steam is injected into water from
below to heat it to the correct temperature before brewing to the precisely
allotted time. It was fascinating to
watch the machines in action. And here’s a photo
of my freshly brewed English Breakfast.
This tea bar should not
to be confused with the tea lounges in other parts of the City by the same
owner since the Samovar Tea Bar is a distinctly different experience. While the lounges promote a lingering
intimate tea experience with cushioned plush seating, a long list of teas
served brewing in pots of several servings, and a food service; the bar
distills the essence of a tea moment into a streamlined, single serve, no meal
operation that taps into the artisanal yet tech savvy clientele of the Bay
Welcome to Tea Dreams! For all tea aficionados and enthusiasts, we write and expound on the love of tea. We explore the different styles, tastes and traditions. We check out locations to enjoy tea wherever we can in the world, but particularly within the U.S. via our west coast and east coast correspondents. Feel free to share with us your love of tea; send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Sweet and Stellar at the World Tea Expo 2014
Last weekend I had the pleasure of touring the convention floor at the 2014 World Tea Expo in Long Beach, CA. There were all kinds of wonderful products related to tea – tea pots, packaging, books, cozies, porcelain tea sets, tea brewing machines, and of course a huge variety of teas. One sweet idea and one stellar idea caught my attention.
The sweet idea was literally icing on the cake. Just about every celebration includes a cake. How about decorating it with tea inspired icing flavors? That’s what the folks at ModernTea Girl do with their Matcha Latte, Lady Earl Grey, and Chocolate Chai and more.
Then there’s the stellar new concept from JusTea. Their tea star is a cluster of oolong tea leaves tied to a string and dried in the shape of a star. Such a clever way to provide loose leaf tea that’s as convenient as a tea bag! It’s so pretty I think it could double as a Christmas ornament. It certainly brings attention to their orthodox handcrafted teas from Kenya. I bought some to try at home and found the tea stars make a wonderful cup of tea rich with complex flavors.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Pretty Things for Holding Tea at the World Tea Expo 2014
Part of the fun of exploring the convention exhibitions at the World Tea Expo is getting to experience the plethora of beautiful tea objects. Here are photos of a few that were especially beautiful.
Air tight containers for loose leaf tea by Kotodo Takahashi Corporation . They’re wrapped in handmade Japanese washi paper. Washi paper is a traditionally made from kozo, mitsumata, or gamp plant fibers . These bold colors and prints in distinctively Japanese style really make a lively statement.
Grace Tea Ware classic fine china from Coastline Imports. Coastline Imports had delicate bone china tea sets with flower decoration and soft pastel colors. These tea pots and cups are in a style that I imagine my grandmother, her grandmother, and of course I too, would love to use to serve tea.
Heirloom tea sets for children by Reutter Porcelain. I’ve never had a Peter Rabbit tea set, but somehow looking at these, made me nostalgic. Reutter Porcelain is of German-made miniature craftsmanship. 
|Click image to find on Amazon.com|
|Click image to find on Amazon.com|
 US contact: Focus American Corporation http://www.focuscorp.us http://www.papermojo.com/washi.html
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