After the Jump: Bellocq Tea (mp3)

by Grace Bonney

One of the most wonderful parts about taking the leap to get an office for Design*Sponge this year was getting a chance to meet with other artists, business owners and creative people in our neighborhood. Running a blog, even with a team, can be a pretty isolating endeavor (lots of couch time over face time) and I’ve really relished the chance encounters that have occurred because of our new space. One of which was getting to meet the incredible team behind the artisanal tea company, Bellocq. We had no idea they were in Brooklyn, let alone next door to our building, so when we stumbled upon their exquisite tea atelier (stay tuned for a sneak peek later today!) during Atlas Obscura’s Field Day, we were instantly smitten. A few days later Amy and Max were at the tea salon photographing the space and stocking up on delicious teas and their trademark yellow and silver containers.

So as I wrap up the last three shows of my radio season for 2012, I wanted to invite this creative group to come talk about the passion behind their project, their love of tea culture and the way they’ve used their creative backgrounds to launch a new brand that seems to have been a huge success from day one. Yesterday Bellocq‘s co-founders, Heidi Johannsen Stewart, Michael Shannon and Scott Stewart, joined me to talk about the inspiration for their company, the incredible aesthetic behind the brand and all of the things that inspire them to embrace the lifestyle of tea culture from top to bottom. I’m always incredibly inspired by people who clearly live and breath every aspect of their work (from concept and packaging to the actual quality of the product) and Bellocq is a wonderful example of that. I hope you’ll enjoy their interview- and stay tuned for a tour of their gorgeous Greenpoint tea atelier later today! xo, grace

“We wanted a product that caught your eye immediately — that you wanted to touch. Then, also the tea itself had to be the finest quality tea we could find. It needed to be a complete immerse experience.”
-Heidi Johannsen Stewart of Bellocq

“We’re very much tea people, but we’re also about lifestyle. In the tea world, there’s this style of person that only likes tea and we’re not like that. We want to open the experience up to everybody. We try to take all the snobbery out of tea.”
-Michael Shannon of Bellocq

“There’s a slightly slower speed to tea than to coffee. The caffeine effect is more subtle. It guides you into this really relaxed, sharing kind of spirit, and I love that about tea.” [17:00]
-Scott Stewart of Bellocq


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