New Samovar Brings "Third Wave Tea" to the Mission
Coming into the Mission a bit under the radar, Samovar's fourth location is set to open at 411 Valencia Street. While each of the other locations (Hayes Valley, Yerba Buena Gardens, Castro) offers a full international tea set and hearty meals and snacks, this location is much smaller, so the experience has to be more highly curated. Here, the focus will be on brewing 10 of Samovar's bestselling teas, including masala chai, Earl Grey and monkey-picked oolong. Tea leaves will be meticulously steeped in stainless steel and glass brewing vessels, commissioned by founder Jesse Jacobs to put the brewing process "on full display."
"It heightens the visual side of tea, seeing it brewed right in front of you with a diversity of teas and colors - from burgundy to green - while making a perfectly brewed cup of tea," says Jacobs. "Our new brewing vessels allow us to customize each brewing recipe. We can calibrate each tea and customize the brewing instructions: volume of water, quantity of tea leaves, temperature of water, steep time/brew time, and agitation, which is the amount we move the tea during the brewing process. It's really going back to how tea used to be brewed, it's much more handcrafted. . . We've used this brewing process at our other Samovar locations, but it's been behind closed doors. We are now bringing it out front-and-center to show the beauty behind brewing the world's most exceptional teas."
Currently, Arcanum Architecture is putting the finishing touches on this intimate space with reclaimed wood, stone and concrete. The kitchen is in open view, but the food offerings will be relatively minimal, starting with small batches of fresh baked sweet (cherry, currant and oat) and savory (smoked duck, gouda and scallion) scones. Right now the plan is to unveil the new Samovar at some point in May.