Just in case you’re either one (rich and/or famous) and read this blog, consider purchasing from this incredible New York company, MarieBelle. And no, I don’t receive a cent for promoting them (yet!). But if you celebrate Valentine’s Day and ever give chocolate, wouldn’t you just love to give works of art as pictured on their homepage? I found the picture of their chocolate at Adagio Teas‘s website and Christine Rillo’s article, “Love, Tea is in the Air“. And then to my delight, as I went to MarieBelle’s homepage, one of their headings listed Cacao Bar/Tea Salon. Could it be true?

Oh, that I could hop coasts in a day like the rich and famous (much less purchase chocolates such as these) and visit. Imagine! Unfortunately, they call their afternoon tea “high tea” and their hot chocolate bar is larger than their tea selections. But I am enamored simply because they have elevated tea to “foodie” status, those of us who pay good money for fewer bites of the best ingredients understand. Yes, we would rather taste less of the best than drink gallons or eat buckets of the cheap fare. Instead give us artisan chocolates, local produce, free-range meat, real (yes, that means raw) cream, bakery whole-grain bread, and small-farmed coffee and tea.

By the way, my new FAVORITE book about eating this way is Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution. If you read cookbooks for fun or want to enjoy food while still watching how you eat, this is a must-have.

In a world of wine and coffee bars, co-ops and CSAs, finding a decent cup of tea out in public is rare indeed, especially outside a Victorian-decorated tearoom (and often not even there!). I hope MarieBelle’s Cacao Bar and Tea Salon knows how to make great tea. But at least I could sit among twinkle lights and the fragrance of rich chocolate nibbling their homemade pastries while I found out. It is worth noting as well, that the first time I tasted decent tea in public was at Alice’s famous restaurant, Chez Panisse, at five dollars a pot (and this was before people paid this much for adulterated coffee drinks). “Worth every penny,” my mom encouraged. She was right!

Anyone else who lives a little closer to New York City want to find out for me? Don’t worry, you can take your coffee-only friends along. MarieBelle’s Cacao Bar/Tea Salon offers espresso as well.

The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution

Have you read this book yet?