FAITH-FILLED LIVING | SWEET TREASURES | SIMPLE PLEASURES

Feb 28, 2012

Tea for Tuesday


Once upon a time, I did a regular tea feature on most Tuesdays. Then, vita factum or life happened! I frequently thought about it, but at some point a blogger has to cleanse their brain of good intentions and Martha Stewart Living was my catalyst.

In the March 2012 issue, Jenny Comita wrote a piece entitled "A New Leaf." Comita spotlights an innovative tea shop, Bellocq Tea Aterlier, located in a rustic warehouse. The interior looks old-world with natural lighting. The dark wood displays are offset with ample silver canisters bearing the cheerful yellow labels of their premium teas. Bright florals add additional contrast.

The co-founders, Heidi Johannsen Stewart (once a food editor at the magazine), Scott Stewart, and Michael Shannon, have reworked the concept of tea altogether, offering uniquely blended teas partnered with delectables such as smoked fish, "Nordic rye bread, sorrel-and-red-onion butter, and flaky sea salt with crushed juniper berries." They have also developed a "sip and snack" philosophy that couples tea with fare much like a wine connoisseur selects proper food pairings.

I found their style of hospitality especially engaging...
"When in the mood to entertain, they light a candle in the window of their shop in Brooklyn, New York, signaling that all are welcome. Inside, guests might find an accordion player, a chocolatier hosting a tasting, or a beekeeper debuting his honey — and they will most certainly be offered one of Johannsen Stewart's novel cocktails, blended with tea."
Bellocq's tea blends include a traditional Earl Grey without synthetic flavoring, and enchanting teas such as The White Wolf, Majorelle Mint, Le Hammeau, The Queen's Guard, Little Dickens, and Gypsy Caravan. They also strive to elevate the use of loose teas, dismantling any intimidation.

What you won't find at Bellocq Tea Aterlier are the parlor-like teatimes we love and are accustomed to — and not because they frown on tradition. Their thrust is for the modern take on a pastime steeped in history and they are definitely succeeding!

Bellocq Tea Aterlier | No. 12, Le Hammeau
Description: "Beautiful organic herbal blend evocative of a summer meadow. Think: 'Manon of the Spring', meets Marie Antoinette after a stroll through l'orangerie. Organic lemongrass and verbena mingle playfully with lavender, rose petals, mint and sage. Refreshing and light-hearted, Le Hammeau may inspire you to adorn your livestock with blushing pink ribbons too. Caffeine-free, this tisane may be enjoyed all day. Delicious iced as well as hot, serve garnished with thin slices of orange and a sprig of just plucked mint, sage or lavender." 

Ingredients: "Organic lemongrass, organic lemon verbena, organic chamomile, organic lavender, organic rose petals, organic mint, organic sage, natural essence."

Be sure to peruse the March 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living!
Visit Bellocq Tea Aterlier by clicking HERE.