Last week we enjoyed our much needed dose of caffeine at Bellocq Tea Atelier. The tea room is hidden in a more intimate part of Greenpoint, on West Street. It’s a lovely place to enjoy intricate teas of over 50 varieties from places like China, Japan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malawi and more. Every single detail there is worthy of attention. From the choice of drink, to the delicately rustic interior and decor. As mentioned by the owners, „Even before you take a sip, a cup of tea can transport you. The aroma of leaves opened and unraveled by heat can whisk you into a heady repose, olfactory memory taking you back to the lush, moss-carpeted woods of your childhood.” This place is undoubtedly not just about the tea; It’s about the ritual.
For the enthusiasts we are sharering recipe
INDIA + MASALA CHAI
A story and recipe curated by www.whiteplate.com
Translated from Polish by Emilia Kaplan
India has a intricate place in my heart. I’ve traveled there twice – to the North, in the Himalayas in the region of Ladakh, and also in the South in Kerali. Not only did the whole diverse culture leave an impact on me, but more specifically the food stood out to me; Especially Chai. Everyone who has been there knows the taste of it, whether they drink it in the icy winters or heat waves.
The basic of chai is the tea, the cheapest kind to be exact. It is called „tea dust”. The Hindi also use express tea. It is all dependent on the region. The tea is mixed with a variety of spices including but not limited to: cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, ginger or lemon grass. The chai is thick and very sweet, mixed with a thick milk.
There was not a day during our visit that we didn’t enjoy a cup of it. It joined us during breakfast with our banana oatmeal, and during lunch with our samosa’s. We drank it instead of dinner. Always. I feel I will never get bored of it, so now I prepare it regularly at home!
* 1 glass of water
* 2 glasses of milk
* 1/2 a teaspoon of grinded cardamom (green, not black!)
* 10 carnations grinded in a mortar
* A small piece of cinnamon – thoroughly grinded
* 1/4 a teaspoon of black pepper
* pinch of nutmeg + dried ginger
* optional : lemon grass
* 3 – 4 spoons of black tea powder ( I use Brooke Bond, generally the stronger the better. The Hindi use tea dust. )
Pour the water into a teacup, pour the spices and boil 15 – 20 min. Next, pour the tea and boil again. Take it off the heat, and strain. Finally, add 6 spoons of sugar + milk. Boil once more. Enjoy!
Photography – Ivona Kaplan