The Big Teas

Press Tea's robust brews go beyond the bean

Don't look for coffee, don't ask for coffee, don't even think about coffee.

Because you will not be drinking coffee at the West Village's new Press Tea.

Here, tea leaves break free from java's hegemony, and overtake the shop's coffee-making machinery as part of their coup d'état. And a surprise topping may make you give up your coffee for good.

The bar's gleaming espresso machine looks like one you'd find at a top-flight joe joint, but don't be fooled: The appliance is tweaked to produce hair-raisingly strong tea shots used in hot or iced lattes, "teapuccinos" and macchiatos ($3.25 to $4.50).

The four choices of tea–wild Himalayan black, Formosa green, Cape Town rooibos and Masala chai–are put under such pressure that the resulting brew is a deeply robust flavor that trumps any wimpy tea bag.

All of the drinks can be topped with the signature, dairy-based Mont Blanc Crème. Lighter than yogurt and heavier than cream, the sweet and slightly salted frothy concoction sinks languorously into the tea. It's the next-level addition your iced tea never knew it needed.

So long, joe.