Chic New Samovar Open on Valencia, Offering a New Kind of Experience with Tea


The contemporary tea bar at Samovar. Photo: James Chiang.


The tea brewing “crucibles” at Samovar. Photo: James Chiang.

Last week I went to check out the brand-new ~SAMOVAR~ location on Valencia, and it’s a cool experience. I wrote about Samovar founder Jesse Jacobs’ third-wave tea vision for this concept back in November, but to go over it again, he is basically trying to take tea to the next level. The tea brewing “crucible” machines will remind you a bit of the siphon bar experience at Blue Bottle Coffee—it’s fascinating to watch.

There will be a limited selection of top-notch teas available (wait until you try the Green Ecstasy, a blend of matcha and sencha, it’s revelatory), and while they have a beautiful custom ceramic teacup they designed with Atelier Dion you can sit and sip from, they have really designed the experience to be good for people on the go. A cup is $3-$5, and there is also a beautifully spiced masala chai that will be ladled from copper urns. Seasonal cold-brewed iced teas and matcha shots (and shakes) will be available, as well as freshly baked scones (savory and sweet).

The space, designed by Arcanum Architecture, has a natural modern look that is also very Zen in its simplicity. There are lots of great textures and surfaces, from natural stone to concrete elements by Concreteworks. Hours are 7am-7pm. 411 Valencia St. at 15th St., 415-553-6887.