Saturday, June 30, 2012
Breakfast In Zen Valley
Samovar Tea Lounge, at 297 Page Street, across the street from the San Francisco Zen Center, offers the most beautiful tea and treats I've ever been served.
The combination of incredible tea choices, generous servings, homemade organic food, a gorgeous environment and excellent understated service makes an hour or two spent here very satisfying.
My first breakfast, after a night spent in the Zen Center, consisted of iced Chai and coconut rice pudding. I sat in the window on a stool and had the whole bar to myself.
The day before I had visited Flax Art & Design, a few blocks away, and had found some really pretty orgami paper. With orgami, cranes are the only thing I can make, and I often make a few while I'm drinking my coffee before my day begins. So I brought the new packet of paper and began making cranes while I waited for my Chai. It's just a totally relaxing activity....
The second breakfast was a giant blueberry-oat scone with jam and creme fraise and a pot of the Dalai Lama's fave herbal tea, Ocean of Wisdom. I was really curious to know what taste sensations HHDL found appealing--here's a list of the tea's ingredients:
South African rooibos, honeybush, ginger, licorice, cloves and cinnamon, all very yummy things, separately, that is.
The first few sips were disappointing.
I found myself imaging the Dalai Lama sitting in his office, overlooking the rooftops of Dharamsala, sipping a cup of Ocean of Wisdom. Maybe he was drinking it the same time I was.
But the more I drank the more I liked the tea, and of course the scone was all I would need to eat for the day! I even licked the jam cup when no one was looking.
An hour spent sampling tea, watching the world go by at a busy corner, imagining the Dalai Lama enjoying his Ocean of Wisdom tea, along with me!