Samovar Tea is a lovely oasis in Yerba Buena Gardens and has two other locations in San Francisco. “We believe we are making a difference because every single customer who drinks our tea is doing something good for their body, their mind, and their spirit. Every time you visit our Tea Lounges you are taking time to connect to youself, to others, to our space, and to the farmers who support us. So thank you for helping make Samovar what it is.” The inspired tea lounge is open until 8pm most evenings and has a great outdoor seating area. Along the walls are wooden shelves filled with tin canisters of tea and tea pots. Some new Herbal flavors include Cacao Mint, Chamomile Melange, and Turmeric Spice. There are retail products and boxed tea sold as well. The natural light, ceiling lighting, red walls and wood accents are lovely. Samovar wasn’t particularly busy, but there only seemed to be two people on staff and seemed quite frazzled. It took some time to be served, which was fine because we were not in a hurry. The Samovar Masala Chai was dreamy. It was a perfect combination of sweet, spicy, creamy and completely satisfying. The blend of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, Indian and Chinese black tea, organic milk and palm nectar were perfectly balanced and quite harmonious ($5.45).
The Squash Dumplings with Dipping Sauce had a nice crisp, autumny squash center and tangy salty sauce. The Handmade vegetarian dumplings were pricey at $7.50, but so tasty.
The Handmade Assorted Cookies were a disappointment ($6). Most of the items were dry and seemed stale. The flavor of the snickerdoodles, cake and macaroon were all spot on, the cookies just seem like they were not made in house and have been sitting a week to long. The ultimate cookies plate we have eaten was at Market by Jean Georges, delectable and made us yearn for more. Next time, we will definitely be trying the Ginger Quinoa Waffle, served with fresh fruit and house made vanilla infused palm nectar $11 and perhaps indulge in a full English Service (similar to a previous proper English tea experience at Fortnum and Masons) with a 3-Tiered Platter served with Shiitake Mushroom or Wild Smoked Salmon Quiche, Cherry Oat Scone with Devonshire Cream and Jam, Fresh Fruit, spread clotted cream and strong black tea with milk and sugar ($22).