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Martha Stewart Living - A New Leaf

February 16, 2012

From Japan to the United Kingdom, tea is steeped in history - perhaps more than any other beverage. But with their boozy tea parties and hugely original blends, the trio behind Bellocq Tea Atelier is infusing their brews with 21st-century cool.

For most of us, the words tea party conjore up little girls pouring imaginary beverages for their dollies or fussy old English ladies nibbling scones. Heidi Johannsen Stewart, Scott Stewart and Michael Shannon - the cofounders of Bellocq Tea Atelier - have a more intriguing idea. 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 bee keeper debuting his honey - and they will most certainly be offered one of Johannsen Stewart's novel cocktails, blended with tea. "It's a more festive way to enjoy tea," says Johannsen Stewart.

The combination does make sense. Pots of Ceylon and mixed drinks are both traditionally consumed in the hours between afternoon and evening, as a means of boosting spirits and taking the edge off. In place of tea sandwiches, Johannsen Stewart recommends less dainty fare, such as dark chocolate, cheese and smoked fish.

Would Queen Victoria have approved? Maybe not, but that isn't the point. "This isn't English teatime," says Shannon. We want Bellocq to reflect our time and our culture."

Full Article and Recipes Published in Print and iPad: Martha Stewart Living, March 2012

Photography: Anna Williams

Text: Jenny Comita

Styling: Ayesha Patel

Food: Heidi Johannsen Stewart

Location: Bellocq Tea Atelier

Surfaces and Interior: Saaw, Inc

BROOKLYN TEA PARTY - Haven's Kitchen

August 15, 2011

A few weeks back, the Haven’s Kitchen team took a field trip out of the balmy summer rain and into the dreamy workshop of Bellocq Tea Atelier in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Bellocq founders Heidi Johannsen Stewart and Michael Shannon welcomed us inside and immediately, we were taken by the warmth and beauty of the atelier. The unfinished wood floors and bold eggplant walls, offset by bright yellow tea canisters, made for a warm and tranquil setting to taste an elegant selection of Bellocq teas.

Heidi and Michael shared their story as we began a tasting of carefully blended teas. They told us how the atelier was born of sophisticated taste, an appreciation for producers and authentic products, and a love of fine teas. We smelled the various blends — inhaling deeply, we swooned over the intoxicating bouquets of beautifully rolled leaves, flecked with colorful herbs and flower petals.

We sampled a range of teas, expertly brewed for us at optimal temperatures, starting with Bellocq Breakfast, a blend of three black tea leaves. Heidi and Michael explained tasting notes and weighed in on which teas would benefit from milk or honey, which would pair well with a triple creme cheese, or which would gracefully finish a late evening meal. We then tasted two different chai blends — an intensely warm combination of red poppy flowers, green cardamon, star anise, ginger, clove and black pepper, and another more floral, summer blend of South African rooibos, cardamon, and ginger with rose, jasmine and marigold petals.

Among my favorites were lighter blends with floral and herbal components, like Siam Basil Lemongrass and Etoile de l’Inde — a tropical blend of organic green tea, passion-fruit, rose and marigold — unsurprising for an avid consumer of tropical-fruit-forward Sauvignon Blanc. An overall HK favorite was The Queen’s Guard, an aromatic blend of black tea, rose, and lavender, inspired by English gardens.

From the selection of Bakeri pastries on the communal tasting table, to the elegant packaging of bulk teas and tea samplers alike, the Bellocq Tea Atelier exuded elegance, sophistication, warmth, and sharing. We left the workshop feeling so inspired by the beauty of Heidi’s blends and the opportunity to share them at Haven’s Kitchen, that we almost didn’t mind the rain.

Posted by Julia on

POT LUCK - British Elle Decor

March 02, 2011

"The best remedy for a chilly winter afternoon is a good old-fashioned brew and this cosy (choose between striped cotton and decadent fur) is perfect for keeping things toasty."

Fur/cotton tea cosy, £60, Bellocq (

Thank you British Elle Decor for recognizing our heat conservation efforts.