Restaurants / Bars / Openings

A New Montrose Bar Redefines Coffee and Tea in Houston: You’ve Never Taken Caffeine Quite Like This

BY // 10.31.17
photography Jenny Antill Clifton

As many of Define Body & Mind’s devotees know, the brand is not just about fitness classes — it’s all about a holistic lifestyle. Founder Henry Richardson and co-owner Erin O’Leary Stewart are obsessed with staying ahead of the curve when it comes to wellness in body, mind, and spirit. Stewart, a former professional dancer with a culinary degree from Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, created the Define Foods program several years ago to provide better-tasting nourishing foods and redefine healthy eating.

Stewart has now opened Define Foods Tea + Elixir Bar inside the new Define Living space in Montrose, which is equal parts meditation studio and happy hip-zen retail and community space.

The tea bar was an obvious extension of Define Living, Stewart says. “Tea slows you down. Part of the process of being mindful and practicing self-care is allowing yourself to sit down and take a moment out of the day instead of rushing from class to the next thing.”

Stewart is realistic, however; Wi-fi is available so you can work during your tea break, and all beverages are available to go, as are the salads, muffins, and juices.

Stewart took the centuries-old tea concept and added a cool factor. Adapotegenic elixirs are a unique class of botanicals that help the body adapt to changing situations and stressors (balance hormones, boost immunity, cope with stress, enhance mood, etc.). Reishi, for example, is a healing mushroom used for longevity that supports immune resilience, stress relief, and mental clarity; He Shou Wu is a rejuvenation tonic that nourishes the hair, skin, nails, and nervous system.

Custom tea blends at Define Foods Tea + Elixir Bar.

Activated milks, made daily, are all plant-based. Nuts or seeds are soaked overnight and get to a sprouting point where the enzymes are alive (activated) and easy to digest. Superfood lattes are shining stars of the menu — the charcoal latte (yes, it’s charcoal gray in color) is made with activated milk and coconut-base charcoal, which is detoxifying and anti-inflammatory, imparting a sense of vigor without caffeine. The matcha latte is the ideal caffeinated beverage, with smooth and creamy activated milk and pure green tea, which is high in antioxidants, and a little sweetness in the form of raw honey.

Thankfully, Stewart is also realistic about coffee habits. “We want to provide a better option for coffee,” she says. For the nitro cold brew coffee, beans are cold-soaked for more than 12 hours (heat destroys coffee’s benefits), then the strained liquid goes into a pressurized chilled keg. Once poured, the nitrogen adds a foamy, bubbly, incredibly smooth finish (no milk or sugar needed), all while enhancing the caffeine.

If you prefer hot, French press coffee and Mushroom coffee with adaptogens are healthful options.

In addition to the beverages, Stewart’s delicious salads (we’re partial to the raw pad thai), energy bites, and juices are all available at the tea bar, either for dining in or to go.Most of the menu items at Define Foods Tea + Elixir Bar are available on UberEats, too. Stewart’s mantra is “eat to feel good” — for her, eating is all about healing and feeling your absolute best. Stewart laments the fact that most diets and healthy eating programs have a focus or an element of deprivation. In the Define Foods program, she sources the most healthful and delicious ingredients without compromising color, visual appeal, texture/crunch, and taste.

Stewart will continue to add functional food menu items, including on-tap kombucha, avocado toast (Stewart’s version is truly delicious), morning yogurts, grain bowls, and seasonal soups.

Define Foods Tea + Elixir Bar in Define Living, 2515 Morse St.,

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