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Andreana Bitsis

At Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company, Bespoke Brewing Is An Art

Located on a side street of the West Village, not far from Washington Square Park, Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company is stocked with fresh spices, herbs, and a seemingly endless variety of tea.

Mark Greenberg, who hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, opened the store in 2011, and it has since become a staple for comfort-seeking New Yorkers and visitors interested in getting a perfect cup of tea. At the time of Sullivan Street’s inception, Greenberg had been running the coffee shop Grounded in the West Village with his sister, when they decided to expand to make these products available to take home.

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Andreana Bitsis

With a library available to peruse, the shop aims to be an education hub of sorts, where customers can learn about which herbs and spices would suit them best, and make decisions accordingly. One of their specialties includes the basic salt and pepper. They carry upwards of 20 options for salt— from Hawaiian Sea Salt to Himalayan Pink Salt to Bonfire Smoked Salt and Black Truffle Salt (which is a good way to get the taste of truffle while saving on the price).

The shop is geared towards making spices and teas simple and convenient for everyday use. Sullivan Street stocks a variety of capsules (6 for $1.00), for example, which contain simple spices or blends. Although it’s possible to buy the empty capsules and make them yourself, the pre-packaged version is a lot more convenient. (They even carry a turmeric and maca blend for treating a cold.)

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Andreana Bitsis

There’s also a wide array of pre-packaged selections with playful handmade labels. These make great gifts but are also an affordable way to try a wide selection of many different spices at once. Some options include: Sullivan’s signature Scorched Earth Pepper package, a Spanish spice set, and a gift package of their 9 most popular salts (Packages range from around $18-40 dollars). The packaged loose-leaf tea — a favorite among regulars– includes their 14 most popular flavors.

The experience of entering the shop is itself aesthetically pleasing, as glass mason jars line the shop walls. As the fall approaches, seasonal teas including Masala Chia, Orange Spice, and Winter Rose tea are rotated into the fore. There are also a wide array of black teas available, which Greenberg mentioned he often recommends to customers trying to wean off caffeine. The Mauritius Vanilla, in particular, is a good option for those with a sweet tooth, given its vanilla spice flavor– and during the summer, they also carry iced tea like the popular Moroccan mint tea blend.

Sullivan Tea & Spice Company imports their products from different corners of the world, but they still maintain a particular penchant for the local. Their Masala Chai blend, as well as their Japanese and Sri Lankan tea, comes from a provider in India, while their Chinese and Taiwanese tea comes from a family they work with closely in California. Another Colorado provider specializes in peppercorns. In a neighborhood filled with coffee shops, the attention to detail does not go unnoticed.

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