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Faith Hope Consolo

Faith Hope Consolo

Posted: May 28, 2010 05:32 PM

The Faithful Shopper: Tea Is the New Chocolate!

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These days, everyone is looking for an affordable luxury, a way to treat yourself without busting your budget. A few years back, that might have been a specialty coffee (a quadruple-shot-no-whip non-fat whatever??). And my love of chocolate is well known. But now there's a new - or rather ancient - way to indulge: tea.

Whether it's black, green, red or white, tea is the new chocolate - an indulgence that because of its antioxidant varieties is actually good for you. And a number of new purveyors from around the globe are opening in the city to give you a chance to learn what people from India, China, and Africa have known for centuries - there's more to tea than what's in your supermarket!

Among my favorites:

Argo Tea
949 Broadway

1792 Broadway

530 1st Avenue

An import from Chicago, Argo offers loose red, black, green and white teas - or visit for a signature drink such as the Red Velvet, with red tea, raspberry and white chocolate.

Bosie Tea Parlor
10 Morton Street
This tea salon offers more than 100 loose-leaf teas, and is available for breakfast, lunch, dinner and private tea parties.

Alice's Tea Cup
102 West 73rd Street

156 East 64th Street

220 East 81st Street

You may not spot the Mad Hatter at any of these shop/salons, but you will find loose teas, tea accessories, curiosities, and a fun place for a party.

Tea Lounge
837 Union Street
Serves organic teas, coffees, cocktails and food in the heart of Park Slope.

Tavalon Tea Bar
22 East 14th Street
Offering one-of-a-kind tea blends, organized by its benefits; anti-aging, calming, energinzing, Tavalon claims to be the "future of tea." And celebrating its fifth anniversary by offering 30% off through June 8.

T Salon
495 West 15th Street (Chelsea Market)

Marries sustainability with tea - an environmentally responsible shop (they call it an eco-bar) that sells a variety of teas and goodies.

And the granddaddy of them all:

McNulty's Tea & Coffee Co.
109 Christopher St.
A visit to the 19th century, literally - McNulty's has been selling premium tea and coffee since 1895. Offering both packaged teas from Twinings, Bewley's and others, and loose blends from the traditional Earl Grey to flavors such as Blueberry and passionfruit.

Tracy Stern SalonTea
501 East 75th Street
(no phone)
Located in some of the world's major cities, Tracy Stern's cafe/shops offer custom blends in small batches that are packaged when you order for maximum freshness. Also a great place for celebrations.

Others are coming up soon:

Jujomukti Tea Lounge
211 East 4th Street

Kusmi Tea
1037 Third Avenue

For those of you who insist on java and desserts, here are some other alternatives:

Cupcake Stop
Limelight Marketplace
47 West 20th Street
The city's first mobile cupcake shop has found a stationary home at the new Limelight Marketplace. Year-round choices such as Apple Crumb and Cream Cheese Brownie are joined by seasonal offerings such as Mango Poppy.

The Little Candy Cake Company
Limelight Marketplace
47 West 20th Street
These small chocolate favors are almost too pretty to eat. But do! Chocolate minis that resemble wedding cakes are a bite of heaven.

Macaron Cafe
161 West 36th Street
Handmade macarons in flavors ranging from chocolate to flowers. Also coming soon to 625 Madison Avenue.

Others are coming up soon:

Bourbon Coffee
43 West 14th Street
Originating from Rwanda, this company is dedicated to economic development of Africa while using sustainable practices.

Lulu Cake Boutique
112 Eighth Avenue
This Scarsdale patisserie will specialize in the decadent, made from organic ingredients.

The Best Chocolate Cake in the World
55 Spring Street
The chocolatier comes from Portugal and Brazil.

Molly's Cupcakes
228 Bleecker Street
Chicago-born and bred, Molly's makes small batches daily, allowing you to decorate and frost as you wish

Cafe Mola
303 East 80th St
Your source for Turkish coffee.

Clearly, there are plenty of alternatives for that quick sip of tea or coffee, and a quick nosh. So visit and learn the variety of tea and coffee that exist beyond your grocery aisles.

Happy tasting!