So, I got a little side-tracked over the last two months…but, I am back 🙂 and have so much to share with you about recent tea and food experiences that “wowed” me. In late January I shared my excitement about getting to San Francisco to explore the Samovar Tea Bars. The post is here, titled Samovar Tea Bar here I come... This photo is a shot from our car window as we crossed the Bay Bridge from Berkeley going into San Francisco on a stunning, crisp, February afternoon. The bridge is enormous and such an engineering feat…notice the pyramid shaped TransAmerica building in the right background…a famous landmark site as one enters this unique cosmopolitan city.
It was the January issue of Food and Wine magazine that turned me on to this hot tea spot. Then last week, our dear friends J. & J. saw Bon Appetit’s four page spread in their current May issue called “Join the Tea Party” where they noted Samovar as a hot spot for tea calling it “the newest outpost … offers organic and single-origin teas steeped in futuristic French presses.” After reading all about Samovar, we got to experience it live and in person. This is a seriously awesome tea bar. We went to the Yerba Buena location situated at the Moscone Center. It is a bustling area…we went at a quiet time (10:30 a.m.) and enjoyed excellent service and fabulous tea and beautiful foods – and I loved our server’s t-shirt..and his incredible attitude.
Our view walking up to the entrance to Samovar, Yerba Buena…
It is just a cool place…a wall of tea canisters and clean, chic, white Samovar bags of tea are hanging off a large wall, easy to shop…
The demographic of clientele is broad and global in nature, also, as many men as women taking tea. Their menu offerings reflect a global perspective, their teas are clearly of superior quality and the tea service is masterful. They are tea masters. We so enjoyed the easy attitude, and unpretentious yet perfectly styled table ware for each global menu. Being there brought back the inspiration which drove me to write Tea With Betty as a menu planner for teas from 17 different cultures and perspectives. I opted for the Russian tea menu. (well, of course, the place is called “Samovar”…the Russian hot water / tea service centerpiece that fascinated me with tea and society during my Russian Literature reading days).
Below is my Russian Caravan tea service, lightly smoky with milk …and a lunch plate featuring Russian tastes, salmon, beets, eggs with caviar and a perfect Russian tea biscuit. But first, David went more Asian with a delicious Matcha tea …we went home with some incredible teas too.
We look forward to returning and trying other teas and menus. The British tea looked so appealing, the scone rustic and full of oats…this one photo is from Samovar’s site, as the one I snapped didn’t come out well.
It was a treat. Wish they were near me. It would certainly be a weekly venture, but at least I have enjoyed steeping the teas I brought home.
Drink tea…it’s good for you 🙂