Samovar Tea Bar
411 Valencia Street (at 15th)
Status: Opening today
There's a shiny new Samovar in town, and this one's a lot different from the tea spot's three other locations. Instead of a traditional teahouse feel, owner Jesse Jacobs' newest incarnation on Valencia St. is going for a sleek, contemporary vibe, modeled more after third-wave coffee shops than sedate tea parlors.
The centerpiece of the new spot is the visually striking array of "tea-brewing crucibles" lined up along the bar, which are aimed at banishing any images of soggy tea bags from visitors' minds and showcasing the brewing process. And instead of lingering over teapots, the new spot is all about convenience, with ready-brewed cups (priced between $3 and $5) available to drink in or take to go.
The menu is streamlined, with one black, green and herbal option available, plus masala chai stewed in a copper urn, matcha served in shot or shake form, and a couple of seasonal iced options. And if you're looking for a leisurely lunch, you'd be better off going to one of Samovar's three other outposts: the only food options here are sweet and savory scones. (Here's the full tea and scone menu.)
Designed by Arcanum Architecture (the team behind the stylish Roka Akor), the new new spot is airy and bright, with design that emphasizes natural materials like stone and reclaimed wood, plus concrete accents adding a modern finish.
Starting today, the tea bar will be open daily from 7am-7pm.
· Samovar Tea Bar [Official website]