There are places, real gems of places, that are so alluring and dear that you wish you could just dissolve into their surroundings so that you could stay there forever. Bellocq Tea Ateliers is like that. When we happened upon the store front blended into an old warehouse building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, I could hardly contain my excitement. Being a life long wooer of tea, I had found my heaven.
Bellocq has a certain charm that goes beyond it's beautiful, organic loose leaf tea. The space is quite poetic, from the jungle of hanging ferns and the walls of collected copper tea pots to the chandelier hung, dusty pink sitting room out the back. There is a warmth inside and a knowing that every tea has been blended in house with admiration and attention to its natural richness and depth of flavour. Given the opportunity, Michael, co-founder and proprietor of Bellocq, will graciously tell you that. Quite easily the most generous and inviting store owner that I have ever met, it is clear that Michael adores tea. He poured us brewed tea to taste, gave us samples to take home and spoke lovingly of his favourite blends. We stayed for quite some time, smelling the teas and chatting about this and that. Never did we feel that we had out stayed our welcome. In fact, I would have loved to have sat and stayed a while more. It was time and place that happens all to infrequently. It was special, and just so lovely. We left with our samples, a brass tea strainer and a packet of my daily staple, English Breakfast tea. My only regret is that I didn't buy more and that I don't live in Brooklyn to be able to linger in the store, among the poetic charm and wafts of tea, more often.
Bellocq Tea Atelier, 104 West Street, Brooklyn, New York 11222