September 25, 2011

Samovar Tea Lounge

The samovar at Samovar Tea Lounge
Samovar Tea Lounge, on the upper level of Yerba Buena Gardens, is a lovely spot for a pot of tea and a snack. The atmosphere is tranquil, and the staff know the tea selection the way a sommelier knows her wine cellar. For the tea connoisseur, just reading the beverage menu is a treat, with offerings not normally found outside a fancy tea shop.

Enjoying the brief heat wave in San Francisco, I ordered a glass of iced chai. Unlike the sweetened syrup mixed with hot milk that many corner coffee shops serve, real chai is simmered in a pot to allow the tea, spices, and milk to meld together. Samovar's was just to my liking, spicy but not sharp with only a hint of sweetness. It perfectly complemented the bowl of coconut milk rice pudding that held me over between lunch and dinner.

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