SAMOVAR TEA LOUNGE: Practice Peace. Drink Tea
As Silicon Valley impresarios rely less on coffee, Red Bull, soda etc and embrace healthier daily beverages, Samovar owner Jesse Jacobs is pioneering an American tea movement.
With Kevin Rose (who is working w/ Samovar on the "Kevin Rose Tea Starter Set"), Tim Ferriss, Evan Williams (Founder of Twitter) and several others attending a recent VIP tea-tasting event (March 29, 2009) at Samovar's new Hayes Valley location (San Francisco, CA), the excitement around fresh premium artisan teas is quickly becoming a phenomenon amid the digital world.
Jesse Jacobs directly partners with tea experts and suppliers from small family farms across the globe and has a unique opportunity to bring the freshest, highest quality, and most consistent teas to his consumers. The U.S. tea market is currently a $6.85 billion industry (as of 2007) with projected sales to reach more than $10 billion by 2010 (U.S. tea sales were at $1.8 billion in the early '90s). Samovar alone grew 300% over the last six years (2002-2008), and has increased its staff to 75 employees.
What Makes Samovar Tea Lounge Unique?
* Samovar Tea Lounge is the only tea company offering both an array of international award-winning teas such as Gyokuro Inoka Hill as well as everyday favorites such as Organic Earl Grey and English Breakfast Blend.
* Samovar is the first tea company to develop a 100% recyclable container. If planted in soil, the container would turn to dirt in one month. The packaging is 100% recyclable and yet serves Samovar’s needs perfectly to keep the tea fresh, dry and delicious, and offers an easy way to ship and store it. This new groundbreaking packaging will be available in the late summer of 2009.
* As Samovar has been a pioneer in evolving the new generation of American tea culture, they are now thrilled to offer artisan tea made in America. It is Samovar's goal to further put America on the map for the production of artisan tea. In collaboration with the Hawaii Tea Society, Samovar will release the limited edition Mauka High Mountain Oolong Tea and Makai Sea Level Black Tea on August 1, 2009.
* Samovar recently prepared a custom tea blend for His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The tea is named after The Dalai Lama himself, its titled "Ocean of Wisdom." The tea accompanied The Dalai Lama as he presented "The Missing Peace" project at various art institutions across the U.S.
* Samovar is the exclusive retailer of "Gyokuro Inoka Hill," which took 1st Place in the All Japanese Gyokuro Tea Competition last year. No one else in the world sells this tea, not even any retailers in Japan. It’s for only politicians and dignitaries in Japan, and Samovar customers.
* Almost all Samovar teas are organic and fair trade.
* All Samovar tea is acquired through personal relationships with small family farmers across the globe. They receive their tea directly from tea artisans, there is no distributor involved.
* Samovar utilizes many eco-friendly sustainability practices in their design and building efforts. They use many reclaimed and renewable resources as they design new locations. Their latest locale features a 1200 year-old, 20-foot naturally wind fallen redwood tree from Marin, CA serving as the tea bar. All tables are from wind fallen old growth trees, and the FSC certified wood flooring comes from sustainably managed US forests. All the metal work utilizes materials from turn of the century food processing facilities.
* Samovar has an open book management policy so every employee has access to the financial bookkeeping. It offers an incentive for each employee to recognize that their efforts affect the bottom line financials of the company, and that through their hard work, they can grow and advance within the company. The current manager of Samovar’s three locations started as a dishwasher five years ago. Samovar allocates 1% of their profits to an education budget for standout employees to travel to other countries to research new teas firsthand, attend national industry and restaurant conventions, and take tea education classes.
* Samovar is rapidly growing with an estimated $3 million in projected annual sales for 2009. They now have 75 employees and three locations. One reason for their success is the incredible quality and freshness of their teas sold at a very reasonable price. No other company is selling teas of such high quality at the quantity and price they offer.
Keep an eye out for a design/architecture feature story on Samovar Tea Lounge in the September 2009 issue of Fortune Small Business.
For more information, please visit http://www.samovarlife.com