written by:
August 25, 2014
With smart interiors by Arcanum Architecture, a shop in the Mission District attempts to put a new spin on the venerable cup of tea.
A modern tea shop in San Francisco exterior window with flower mural

The exterior of Samovar Tea's newest location on Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District.

Courtesy of 
Cesar Rubio
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A modern tea shop in San Francisco: loose leaf teas by the cup

A selection of Samovar's loose-leaf teas is available for purchase by the cup.

Courtesy of 
Cesar Rubio
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A modern tea shop in San Francisco with open, backlit shelving

Open, backlit shelves show off simple dishware. 

Courtesy of 
Cesar Rubio
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A modern tea shop in San Francisco

Arcanum Architecture used wood, concrete, and stone to create a distinctive interior for the shop.

Courtesy of 
Cesar Rubio
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A modern tea shop in San Francisco with a wooden shelf

Another view of the minimalist interior.

Courtesy of 
Cesar Rubio
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A modern tea shop in San Francisco

The counter as seen through the front door from Valencia Street.

Courtesy of 
Cesar Rubio
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A modern tea shop in San Francisco exterior window with flower mural

The exterior of Samovar Tea's newest location on Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District.

When Jesse Jacobs, the founder of Samovar Tea, was preparing to open a fourth location in San Francisco's Mission District, he began toying with a new concept and turned to a local firm, Arcanum Architecture, to help him execute it.

Samovar made a name for itself by selling elaborate tea services at its three San Francisco locations. For its newest location, which opened at 411 Valencia Street in May, Jacobs wanted to try selling his loose-leaf teas by the cup in a play on the venreble coffee-shop model. The company turned to Arcanum Architecture to create a space that would distinguish the newest Samovar shop from its counterparts and from its neighbors.

The result is a modern space where stone, reclaimed wood, and concrete work together to create a welcoming environment where natural shades dominate. An exposed kitchen offers customers a window onto the tea-brewing process. A few of Samovar's teas are available for $3 to $5 a cup, with freshly baked scones available for $4 each.

A modern tea shop in San Francisco with open, backlit shelving

Open, backlit shelves show off simple dishware. 

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