Author: Mel Hattie

Mel Hattie is an award-winning photographer and travel journalist based in Halifax. She has a Master of Journalism from the University of King's College. She appreciates a good cup of tea and extra legroom on long flights.

Happy Little Tastebuds: Adagio Teas’ Master Collection

It is very satisfying to reach for a tin of tea, pop off the top, and be rewarded with the sight of fresh tea spilling out. That was the first thing I noticed about the samples I ordered from Adagio Teas—they were filled to the brim and aesthetically pleasing, like something I’d want to give a friend. By default I’m suspicious of fancy tea packaging, as too often it hides a less-than-superior product. I’m glad to report that’s not the case with Adagio Teas. The high quality of their product matches the thoughtfulness of their fine packaging, which even includes steeping instructions on the bottom.

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Sweet and Classic: Japanese Green Tea IN and Arahataen Green Tea Farms

When Kei Nishida from Japanese Green Tea IN reached out to ask if I’d like to try their product, I knew I couldn’t say no. Sweet and refreshing, Japanese green teas have been a weakness of mine since I was a teenager, drinking Canadian grocery-store brand greens and dreaming of someday traveling to Japan. Now as an adult with some tea experience, I drink a good, dark gyokuro or sencha on a near-daily basis. Japanese Green Tea IN’s teas are a classic example of high-quality, sweet and full-bodied Japanese green teas. That they keep up a close relationship with their tea farmers in Shizuoka prefecture near Mt. Fuji makes me like them all the more.

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The Best Tea House in Sarajevo

I first heard it whispered about in the cozy kitchen of The Doctor’s House hostel in Sarajevo. Čajdžinica Džirlo, or ‘the hippie tea shop’ as the girls at the hostel put it. It was my second day in Bosnia and I was having breakfast with some other guests at the hostel, girls from Spain and Britain. We got to talking about when they told me I had to visit this place, near the Ottoman fountain in Baščaršija, the old town market.

One girl grabbed a map and the place was pointed out and circled.  “It’s awesome,” she said, “You have to go.” I did go, and it was awesome.

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All About Genmaicha

Pronounced with a hard ‘G’ like game or gold, genmaicha (玄米茶 — ‘brown rice tea’) is a traditional Japanese tea blend made of green tea and roasted brown rice.

It’s mild and sweet, toasty flavour makes it one of the most drinkable and accessible green teas out there. Perfect for a burgeoning tea fan. The sugar and starch from the rice makes you feel warm and full. It’s also great if you’re sick and is easy on the stomach. It’s nickname is ‘popcorn tea’, because of the rice that sometimes pops during the roasting process.

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