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Cafes

Samadhi Tea House

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on December 1, 2012

Samadhi Tea HouseSamadhi Tea House, now in the short-lived Juice Dept space on Baldwin, is perhaps the antithesis of those uber-trendy tea spots cropping up around the city. The vibe is traditional, not vogue. The idea is to stick around, not grab and go. And the teas, needless to say, don't have punny names like "Green Tease" and "Don't be Chai."

Samadhi Tea HouseA few weeks new to Kensington Market , owner Hamed (who doesn't much like the term "owner," but nevermind) explains that the word "Samadhi"is a Buddhist term referring to a state of complete stillness during meditation. "I want this to be a place of meditation; of healing, " he explains. "And I want to be able to share some of the things I've learned while travelling."

Samadhi Tea HouseBorn in Iran but living in Canada for the past 12 years, Hamed says that he's spent the last two years abroad, exploring Guatemala and various regions in Mexico. "I learned all about different herbs, teas, and supplements," he says, adding that he spent time reflecting on a silent retreat. "And then I thought about coming here and doing something to share that knowledge."

Samadhi Tea HouseSamadhi Tea House has a modest selection of loose leaf teas — blacks, oolongs, blooming teas, and more. But it really diverges from most mainstream tea shops with its chaga tea and other medicinal blends. Hamed has a chaga mushroom tea brewing every day, and explains some of its properties as he pours me a cup.

Samadhi Tea House"I first learned about it when a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer," he says. "We started reading about it, and learned it had lots of antioxidants and can help to boost your immune system. I started to drink it every day — I used to drink coffee — and I just started feeling so good. I believe it also brings harmony to the body."

Samadhi Tea HouseThe flavour of the chaga tea seems quite mild to me (not very mushroom-y, in other words), with a bit of a floral/woody essence. Samadhi offers chaga and other mushroom powders in pre-sealed take-home packages, as well as other herbs, roots, and superfoods such as ashwagandha root powder, dried organic red bananas from Ecuador, and organic certified cacao.

Samadhi Tea HouseBut Samadhi Tea House is not just for sitting around and sipping. Hamed says he working on making a meditation room out of a back storage space, and has already hosted some yoga sessions and holistic therapy sessions in the cafe. He plans to introduce poetry nights and perhaps formal Japanese tea ceremonies, though customers are free to peruse the collection of donated books (on the Dalai Lama, meditation) in the interim. Between the chaga tea and silent meditation, this certainly isn't your typical transient, trendy cafe.

Photos by Jimmy Lu

Discussion

11 Comments

laylalu / December 2, 2012 at 02:42 pm
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I love this place!, been here the other day with my mom she is a friend of hamed's and the decoration of this place is beautiful! i loved the energy!
josh / December 2, 2012 at 03:32 pm
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This tea house has such a wonderful vibe, there is a lot of love here. First time I came I stayed for hours, great tea, atmosphere and people.
Rish / December 2, 2012 at 04:11 pm
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An amazing place with kind loving vibes.

Going here and hanging out reminds me of the famous Jack Kerouac quote in Dharma Bums:

'Now you understand the Oriental passion for tea,' said Japhy. 'Remember that book I told you about the first sip is joy the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.'
Bartek / December 2, 2012 at 08:50 pm
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Lovely addition to Kensington
Miles / December 3, 2012 at 11:44 am
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Sounds great. Looking forward to experiencing it in person.
Shideh / December 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm
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I had Hamed’s amazing chaqa tea. I had a terrible flue and it helped me to fight it and get well quickly. I used to be a coffee drinker.. morning to night.. just black!!!… I tired different teas… But Samadi’s tea, what Hamed adivised me, was the ONE that gave me energy more than caffeine. I tried his other types of teas at Samadi’s Tea Shop… Try them and find out the real taste of tea!!!
Maggie / December 12, 2012 at 11:38 am
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LOVE
Ranjit banga / December 23, 2012 at 09:15 am
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Congratulations on the success of your tea house. I'm so proud of my dear friend Hamed. I truly love the aura in the tea house makes me feel cozy and relaxed. All of the teas are fabulous and organics food as well. I loved the raw vegan pizza and his mom's homemade date with walnut. I drank a ginger tea yesterday to heal my throat and chest. I'm feeling so much better today. Your tea house is awesome and I'll be coming again. Cheers!!
Pam / December 23, 2012 at 06:32 pm
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Hamedsito!! Muy feliz de ver tu éxito! méxico te extraña.
Teresa / December 27, 2012 at 05:09 pm
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Love this place!
Tried the Beauty Curls green tea, it was delicious- very mild and subtle taste.
I also love the decor, very harmonious and the music is perfect for relaxing with a book or quiet conversation.
Definitely a new tea destination, next time I'll try the Chaga mushroom tea!
Jess / April 5, 2013 at 02:50 pm
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Wonderful little tea shop. A friend and I spent a couple hours hanging out there. The staff offered us snacks and personally recommended teas. They were very gracious and hospitable, I'll definitely be going back again soon.

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