The Style Saloniste - My Totally Delicious New Taste Discovery

The Style Saloniste - My Totally Delicious New Taste Discovery


The Best Teas in the World 
I love fine tea. It restores, inspires, encourages, and uplifts.

You can imagine how delighted I am to discover the most elegant new tea company, Bellocq.

I’ve traveled the world—Paris, Tokyo, London, remote high-elevation corners of India, St. Petersburg, Colombo and Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka and beyond—in search of the most delicious and fragrant teas. I’m always looking for rare Broken Orange Pekoes, First Flush teas, single estate teas (Margaret’s Hope), velvety Assams, refreshing Moroccan mints, the best-quality tea leaves, the loveliest and most delicate blends, and for breakfast always a fortifying brewed tea.

And now I’ve found the very best tea, in Brooklyn.

It’s the chic new tea company, Bellocq. Such a divine name, and dozens of extraordinary blends and teas. I’ve added a complete listing of Bellocq teas below. One or two will tickle your fancy.
Come and meet the three fabulous and poetic talents who created Bellocq, discover their glorious teas, and then you must taste them yourself. Order a canister. Brew. Instant bliss.
“We wanted to create something that we couldn't find that represented the kind of integrity that we feel is lacking in the tea market. This was a chance for all of us to use the multitudes of skills we’ve been honing for so long but that might not be needed or appreciated in the corporate/mass-market world.” – Michael Shannon, co-founder of Bellocq
Bellocq’s founders, Heidi Johannsen Stewart, Michael Shannon and Scott Stewart joined creative forces a few years ago. They wanted to collaborate on a shared aesthetic vision—an appreciation of traditional artisan work and a passion for tea.

“Tea is an affordable, everyday luxury,” said Heidi, a former Martha Stewart Living editor, stylist and columnist, whose work is featured on the pages of publications including Food and Wine magazine, and the New York Times.

“Bellocq’s approach to flavor and fragrance is tailored to a stylish, well-traveled, and knowledgeable client,” said Heidi. “We are re-imagining the tea business to suit the needs and desires of the modern discerning tea drinker. We want to cultivate a genuine relationship with our clients and provide the highest level of service which is, to some extent, intuitive.
Michael Shannon worked in the world of product design for notable companies such as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where he contributed to the beloved catalogue Martha-by-Mail. He also contributed his style and savoir-faire to cult favorite clothing and housewares company, Anthropologie.

“I’m fascinated with early techniques so I continue my education in many forms of artistry including blacksmithing, tailoring, glassblowing and carpentry,” said Shannon.

“The craftsmanship of tea is an art-form in itself,” he noted. “Growing and processing leaves requires great skill and sensitivity, I continue to be amazed and humbled.”
Scott Stewart, partner in Bellocq, is co-owner and founder of fabrication firm, SAAW, inc. the firm behind high-end commercial interiors such as Anthropologie and Barney’s New York.

As a sitting member on the board of directors for the pioneering eco-clothing label Stewart+Brown, Scott notes, “There is a choice to be made and we have committed ourselves to working with responsible gardens and merchants to select the finest and freshest organic teas. Teas are a seasonal commodity, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at most of the product available, it’s been on the shelves for a long time. For us, it’s quality over quantity. Furthermore, as a company committed to preserving traditional craft techniques and the communities in which they thrive, it’s not just about the product, but also the process, which includes the health and well-being for all involved. For Bellocq, it’s not about providing an incredible product and honoring relationships along the way.”

The trio find themselves traveling, often with children in tow, to far-flung locations in search of traditional techniques to integrate into Bellocq’s modern expression.
The fabulous Bellocq teas

What sets them apart: the leaves are fresh, the leaves and flowers and pods and natural ingredients are of the best quality.

These are incredibly refined and complex flavors, the best of the best. They are sold as loose-leaf teas, though you can make bags from provided sachets.

I love the Bellocq Breakfast tea—and a tea-lover only has to look at the tealeaves, which are twiggy and long, with a bracing bouquet.
Bellocq teas were introduced in the first tea atelier in London last year. Now the Bellocq teas are selling like…er, hot cakes…at Bergdorf Goodman in New York.
Restoration Hardware in Los Angeles, where I first discovered Bellocq, can’t keep some blends in stock. And the Bellocq team is constantly traveling to find more tea.

“Picture us, traveling through deepest Central Mexico, packed to the rafters in our little rental car—indigenous textiles tucked into every available nook and cranny—our bumper nearly dragging along the highway while the rear window is obscured of vision because of the 20 pounds of tuberoses we didn’t have the heart to leave behind. But we’re loving every minute of it and are so inspired by the wonderful people we’ve met along the way. We’ve been fortunate to be part of an exceptional creative community and wish to share our knowledge and inspiration with each and every customer.” – Michael Shannon


“It is in Brooklyn where it all happens. Our showroom has been a labor of love which makes it all the more enjoyable when we get to entertain others. We are now working on a series of events that will include everything from lectures to intimate musical performances.”

The showroom/tea atelier will also act as a retail store several days a week. It's an opportunity to interact with customers in a way that we feel closest. Customers are able to try any tea they find curious. "We are also beginning to carry teas that are too rare to wholesale. It is important to us that any environment we create touch upon the senses in more than just taste. We create everything here by ourselves right down to the plaster of the walls, building and upholstering of furniture... not to mention the work that goes into creating and producing the teas,”  said Michael Shannon of Bellocq.
Small-batch tea blends will continue to evolve, reflecting the seasons and Bellocq will be offering bespoke blending opportunities as well.
Heidi said, “Scent and flavor not only bring back forgotten emotions and memories, but envelope us in the present and influences mood. It’s a powerful conduit. I read, somewhere, that tea is, essentially, a journey of water.” That’s a wonderfully poetic sentiment.
Bellocq Teas:
Prices from $15.95 for the vivid yellow Bellocq box of Ceylon OP, to $104 for a large, luxurious silver tea caddy full of Darjeeling Second Flush.
Tea Atelier:
37 Greenpoint Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11222
{entrance at 104 West St.}
open to the public Fridays and Saturdays
T: 1.800.495.5416 
“The Brooklyn Atelier is only open on Friday and Saturdays 12-7 and it is our main focus now. We are hosting events all all kinds and the experience here is the true experience that one would have gotten in London. Customers are able to taste and smell anything they like. We also are carrying teas that are too rare for our wholesale line as well as short run blends that we can't help our selves from creating!” said Michael Shannon.
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Thank you to Diane Dorrans Saeks! You are a great inspiration!