Valentine’s Day started with a cup of Japanese green tea called green ecstasy at Samovar. It was my second visit, this time at its location in the Mission. The first time I was at the one in the Castro and had ryokucha, also a Japanese green tea but one that includes toasted brown rice. On that first visit I had sat down with a pot of tea and was still reading Sense and Sensibility. I remember reaching the part when Willoughby abruptly leaves Barton for London, thus abandoning Marianne for good. Elinor’s reaction upon learning that Willoughby is leaving, and her rational analysis of it afterwards, is one of my favorite parts of the book, and a big win for having sense over sensibility.
Samovar in the Mission goes out of its way to make the simple ritual of tea as complicated and tech-chic as possible. The tea leaves are pre-measured in artfully displayed test tubes, and after tapping your order into a tablet, some contraption called a steampunk automatically brews the tea, which is then served in a paper cup. This was all far too much of a spectacle for my taste. There is an effortlessness to tea that I love, and I felt all of the beautiful simplicity was lost. Nevertheless, my cup of green ecstasy was delicious. I picked up a huge coffee habit in the fall, and though I still drink it a couple times a week, I’m returning to tea as the default, which feels like a good thing.

Labels: Notes, Personal,


  1. I remember reading a Tumblr text post in which someone questioned the kind of world we live in, a world in which we have no time to brew a nice cup of coffee or tea, a world in which we want everything instantly. Even though properly brewing a cup of tea might take more time than using a tea packet, I find the whole process quite peaceful, and I’d love to make it my morning ritual. I also heard that warm beverages are great to have in the evening before you go to sleep, but maybe that’s just for winter. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  2. I agree about the simplicity of tea preparation. But at the same time if the complexity ended in deliciousness…shall we call it a tie? LOL Great pic!

  3. you are so pretty!! 🙂

    in other news, I too have given up coffee! im all about that green tea now, or vanilla chai… or the youthberry tea from starbucks (I know, I know, but trust me… it’s so good!)

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