The chai at Samovar Tea Lounge, like many other chai teas, is a black tea and spice blend. In the chai, they put a mixture of cloves, cardamom, black tea/English breakfast tea, cinnamon, and ginger. One of their special features is the taste freshness and strong flavors that come from brewing consistently throughout the day in large copper pots.
Samovar has both traditional and vegan versions, with almond and coconut milk for the vegan, and the vegan is visibly darker than the original. They came up with the recipe themselves and are the new shop on the block, having been open for just a few weeks. There are three other locations, but those are more restaurant style.
The ceramic cups were designed by a company in Oakland specifically for Samovar, smooth on the inside and texture on exterior. Interestingly enough, they designed the cups before the space. The design is clean, organized, and simple. The colors are white, khaki, tan, and beige, with lots of limestones. You sit on very smooth and well-finished white finished concrete blocks anchored against a white wall for seating.
We could smell the chai as we walked by, which is how we ended up walking inside. We found out they only served chai and tea, choosing to be specialized and serve a niche market. They specialize in full-body caffeine through tea, rather than the caffeine effects of espresso and coffee.