On a winter Friday morning, rain pitter-pattered against the iconic San Francisco trolley tracks outside my window. I was in my bed, still half asleep, listening to the soothing sound of the falling rain drops. This was nice. I had no desire to change a thing. But then I was reminded I had no choice. My phone began to vibrate and scream like a hormonal hen. Alarm clock. Reality check. Time for work. I snoozed the alarm and read the weather. 7 straight days of rain. Major bummer for what was going to be an action packed weekend with my visiting parents.
I needed a plan. What to do. What to do? What about something warm? What about…What about tea! Perfect. And I had the perfect place: Samovar Tea Lounge in Zen Valley. One of my favorite lunch restaurants in the city, Samovar is the best warm and rainy Saturday spot. I am a bit obsessed with tea, just ask my roommates. The wait staff at Samovar takes tea obsession to a whole new level. They expertly guide you through the extensive tea menu describing in detail the aromatics, flavors, and subtleties of each brew. Expertly curated like a fine wine menu, some of the teas have a hefty price tag to match. Samovar’s atmosphere is the very essence of serenity for me. The communal table in the back of house brings strangers together to sip piping hot tea from around the world. Wonderfully simple. We sampled various tea services and chatted into the late afternoon. I ordered the Ryokucha Green Tea. The tea was presented in a delicate glass pot with a blindingly white cup. The white cup was a perfect backdrop for the most brilliantly green tea. Neon green. A natural neon, not a toxic waste neon. I highly, highly recommend their Rose Infused Greek Yogurt with Medjool Dates, Walnuts and Fresh Mint. A tad bit tart and not too sweet. My perfect dessert. My decision was made: Samovar Tea Lounge.
My alarm screamed again. I stood and looked outside. More rain. Now I had a more immediate decision: to walk or to bus. Normally, I love walking to work. It’s my one chance to catch up on my favorite podcasts but walking today meant puddles and clashing umbrellas. So bus? But that meant dripping wet people stuck in claustrophobic cloud of humidity. What to do, what to do. I think I’ll walk. A warm tea room awaits tomorrow.