All Posts By

Mel Hattie

Tea Reviews

Environmental Commitment with Arbor Teas

Here’s one I’ve held on to for a while! I received some samples from Arbor Teas in Michigan. They caught my eye not only because of their tea selection, but also their dedication to the environmental production side of tea creation. All industries have waste. Most tea comes in packaging. It was nice to get these purse-sized packets that I could put in my compost, guilt-free.

Arbor Teas packaging is 100% backyard compostable and made of either hemp or sugarcane. Here’s a bit about what they tasted like!

Makaibari Estate Silver Tips White from India

This little beauty had a rich, full-bodied vanilla flavour, slight astringency and muscatel character, with an earthy floral suggestion. Very pleasant to drink.

Steeped at 80˚ C for three minutes. Find it here.

High Mountain Oolong from Vietnam

This liquor was smooth and sweet, almost like someone added a little honey. It had that lovely oolong wet floral taste, like peonies in an afternoon greenhouse. Slightly vegetal and reminiscent of fiddleheads.

Steeped at 90˚ C for five minutes. Find it here.

Look at this beautiful tea. Mwah!

Hawaii Premium Black

Now THIS was a cool one. I’d never tried Hawaiian tea before. Heck, I didn’t even know they had producing tea farms on Hawaii. What struck me first was how ‘fresh’ it seemed. Long, twisted brown and pale yellow leaves. Almost a fruity smell, like tobacco. It was so sweet! Drinking it I tasted a little bit of cherry and malt. Medium body with astringency hitting me in the middle of the tongue.

Steeped at 95˚ C for five minutes. Find it here.



Fall Tea Giveaway with Yatra Tea Company

Cozy up with these smooth Indian Teas and honey-sweet poetry from Rupi Kaur.

It’s still warm enough that you’ll call it summer, but you’ve started wearing cardigans at night. You’re still enjoying summer tomatoes from the garden, but the though of pumpkin filling is also starting to occupy your thoughts. I’ve got some cozy goodness to give away today (yay!).

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Tea Reviews

Changing Lives on the Third Highest Mountain in the World with Nepal Tea

Brews from the steep hills of Nepal’s first organic tea garden give back to the community.

The packages have charming colourful labels, and come in flavours like, ‘Kathmandu Cosmos,’ ‘Silver Yeti,’ and ‘Shangri-La Oolong.’ As a writer, I can’t help but feel fond toward this tea company that plays with its names. Even better, the Nepal Tea LLC is a social business venture, bringing you tea straight from the Kanchanjangha Tea Estate and Research Center, the country’s first organic tea garden, founded in 1984.

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Tea Reviews

A Flight Through China with Teavivre

I had seen the Teavivre logo floating around the internet, but before I received their sample pack in the mail, I’d never before tried a Teavivre tea. When I broke open the big package they sent, the little individually sealed packets that tumbled out reminded me of a care package a kind dorm mate in London had once sent me from her favourite tea fields in China—packages just the right size for a gaiwan, or great to throw in your bag (if you’re a gaiwan-carrying nerd, like me).

Tea lovers will appreciate Teavivre’s regional focus on traditional and organic production from China.

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Bosnia & Herzegovina

36 Hours in Sarajevo

The cosmopolitan capital city is reclaiming its identity from the war in the early ‘90s, and is polishing up a beautiful tourism trade.

Sarajevo is the capital and largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hugged by its hills, the metropolitan area is home to about 643,000 people. The Dinaric Alps surround the city, and has the Miljacka River running through it. Often called the ‘heart-shaped land,’ Bosnia lies in the heart of Southeastern Europe, and the Balkans.

Many people still associate Sarajevo with the war in the early ‘90s, but it’s a modern city, and hosts the premier and largest film festival in Southeast Europe—The Sarajevo Film Festival. It’s also the leading political, social, and cultural center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is the only major European city to have a mosque, Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and Synagogue within the same neighbourhood (Baščaršija). Because of its long and rich history of cultural diversity, one of its nicknames is ‘The Jerusalem of the Balkans.’

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