The Bellocq Tea Atelier, an enchanting tea shop tucked away on 104 West Street, has reopened after a year and a half pandemic-related pause. The atelier has called Greenpoint home for a decade, and acts not only as a store, but also as a workshop, where the tea blends are assembled by hand behind the storefront.
The Bellocq Tea Atelier exudes a certain speakeasy charm. Neighbors might walk right by if unaware of its existence, but they’re missing out on, not only delicious tea, but a transportive experience.
Everything in the store has been meticulously designed and curated by one of Bellocq’s founders, Heidi Johannsen Stewart, and her team. “Bellocq has its own feral spirit,” says Stewart, who has translated that in the store with natural elements like tree branches and flowers.
Stewart’s expertise and passion is present, but not condescending. “I want the atelier to be transporting, yet welcoming,” says Stewart. “I want to take snobbery out of the experience,” continued Stewart, hoping to educate and not intimidate.
Bellocq also leaves room for humor and fun, getting especially creative with the names of the teas. “It’s a creative endeavor,” explains Stewart, who worked with her son to create a blend for children and called it “Little Dickens.”
Although all of the production takes place in Greenpoint, Bellocq teas are stocked in various stores all over the world. The company even created a special bend for Tiffany & Co., after the renowned brand reached out to Bellocq.
The Bellocq Tea Atelier also offers tea ware and a curated selection of home goods. In the shop’s second room sits delicate cups made from Italian hand-blown glass. The cups are handmade by a brother-sister team in a hilltop village in Tuscany. There are even bath items including a detailed soap in the shape of a fish, that would make the perfect housewarming gift. Stewart says bath items are connected to tea because “tea is a journey of water.”
Every item in the atelier tells a story, and many were hand selected from Stewart’s travels. “More products found from travels will be added to the atelier in the coming year,” said Stewart, who longs to succumb to her wanderlust after two years.
The team at the Bellocq Tea Atelier is hoping to welcome more visitors in the coming months for tastings and possibly other events. The atelier recently opened up to shoppers seven days a week.