About

Hi! I’m Mel. I’m your humble writer, travel guide and tea sommelier.  As a child I was an asthmatic, highly anxious, book-loving, nerd.  Not much has changed! I set out to travel the world because stories I heard led me to believe it would be amazing.  I kept traveling because it was true.  I’ve met some amazing people, seen some crazy things and had a lot of great tea.

If after reading this blog, you make better tea and renew your passport, I’ve done my job.

I started blogging on Tumblr in March 2012 when I landed in Tokyo, fresh off the plane and ready for my student exchange in Yamaguchi, Japan. In terms of a ‘blog’, it was total chaos. Mostly just me posting pictures of things I thought were awesome in the land of the rising sun.

Mel Hattie standing by o-torii on Miyajima, Japan
Japan, I miss you! 会いたい!(Mel Hattie/Mel Had Tea)

When I got back home, I realized I was addicted to blogging (whoops) and missed it dearly.

Growing up I spent a lot of time in my Dad’s study, flipping through National Geographics and cutting out the pictures when he wasn’t looking. I was raised on a diet of steady stories about serving with the overseas military band from my Opa (by way of Holland) and learning the WAYS OF THE WORLD via my Nana’s various editions of World Book (she was a door-to-door World Book saleswoman — how cool is that?).

What I’m saying here is that I’ve always been curious. Always loved a good story.

In high school I went on exchange to Hamburg, Germany where I made lots of awesome teenage friends who I could drink beer with (yay, Germany!) and played in a youth orchestra that toured Bavaria, which was an awesome experience until I got pneumonia and spent a few feverish nights in a youth hostel looking towards the Austrian border and hallucinating Mt. Crumpet (ugh).

I’ve been lucky enough to have also spent time as an intern for a national Canadian broadcaster in England, spent a month volunteering for an NGO in Bosnia and Herzegovina, taken a month to drive across North America with my best friend, found a café shaped like a giant camera in a field in the middle of nowhere, woken up at 3 A.M. to chant with Buddhist monks in South Korea, amongst other adventures and met so many amazing friends through the blogging community.

But what about this tea thing?

Right. The tea thing. This is my binder from Grade 11:

I feel like this establishes some baseline weirdness for how long I’ve loved tea.

But Mel, why do you love tea? It’s not even coffee.

I could say it’s the elegance of one plant being simultaneously interpreted thousands of different ways by people around the world. I could say it’s the ritual and history surrounding it (tea caused the Opium Wars, guys). I could say it’s because the act of making tea is a beautiful act of self-care and reflection (and caffeination).

As a cold-blooded writer with poor circulation, tea and me are a match made in heaven. I don’t know why we’re together, we just are.

I started studying tea seriously a few years ago, and I’ve been lucky enough to be to some amazing tea gardens and tea houses. But as Ariel the Little Mermaid sings, “I want mooooore.” I’ve also passed all 8 of the Tea Association of Canada’s tea sommelier training courses.

What else can I tell you? I’m in the middle of a Master’s of Journalism — I finish in April 2017. I’m the year of the Metal Horse. My blood type is B+. Is this enough?

I live with an AMAZING fiancé who makes breakfast and our two fat cats, Taters and TroutI read a lot. I like musicals, and samurai movies. Planet Earth is a fucking treasure. I also like learning languages. Hit me up on Duolingo!

I also work as a freelance journalist. Here’s some of that work.

 

5 comments on “About

  1. Hi Mel. My young Scotish cousin Katie MacLeod told me about you and today I visited your blog. I can see why she enjoyed you so much! I am not great with technology but I searched “Nova Scotia Travel” on your site and found a few of your posts. Do you have any specific “to do or must sees” blogs for our upcoming visit to Nova Scotia? My 28 yr old daughter and I are taking a week to drive around NS in a few weeks. I know you are leaving for your exciting trip too so don’t fret if you can’t come up with any previous blogs of your own or links. I have of course talked to the tourism people! My daughter and I love nature–hope to kayak and to see whales and to hike but we also love food and wine and craft beer!! Sometimes its hard to find great food out in the boonies! It is here, anyway! That’s all, except that I read your explanation about the blog house and we MUST get Katie to the next one. DEAL?
    Have a blast on your upcoming trip! Sincerely, Karen

    • Mel Hattie

      Hi Karen! Nice to hear from you. I was actually delaying responding to this comment because I wanted to post this suggestion! (https://melhadtea.com/blog/how-to-have-a-great-day-in-kejimkujik/). Haha, it’s like you read my mind. Keji is awesome for kayaking (and free) and you don’t even have to be camping there – you can come in for the day and park your car, then kayak to your heart’s content.

      Also, I don’t think I mentioned it in the post but The Wilder restaurant near the Keji entrance does serve local craft beer and cider, and they’re really great.

      Other good spots to stop! I recommend:

      Wolfville (Rent a bike for the afternoon and bike over the dykes, or enjoy the local farmer’s market and vintage thrift stores in a small university town)

      Lawrencetown Beach (20 minutes outside of Halifax; hike the Salt Marsh Trail for a bit, and then sign up for surf lessons or enjoy a dip in the waves. Be warned though – it is a bit chilly!)

      Cape Breton (Drive through the Cabot Trail, or visit Gampo Abbey. The Cabot trail is beautiful and Gampo Abbey is a bit unique in that it’s a fully functional Buddhist monastery in the Cape Breton Highlands. They do tours – Google them and check their website for details!)

      I hope that helps. There are all sorts of great spots to discover while road tripping about Nova Scotia. Even if you guys don’t hit anything on this list, I’m sure you’ll have a great time, but these are definitely some of my favourites. 🙂

      All the best and happy road tripping, thanks Karen!

      Mel

      ps. Agreed! Katie needs to do the next Bloghouse; it’s totally her cup of tea.

  2. Thanks so much! We are psyched!

  3. My daughter just found us an awesome Airbnb studio on St Margaret’s Bay overlooking Long Cove! That will be our last night unless I can talk her into taking one more day off from work! ☺️ Hope your trip is amazing, as well!

    • Mel Hattie

      Nice score! St. Margaret’s Bay is beautiful. Haha, maybe you can talk her into just ooooone more day. ;- )

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