Author: Mel Hattie

Hi, I’m Mel, blogger and tea sommelier at Mel Had Tea. I love to explore, learn, and meet new people. Nothing inspires me more than traveling the world and finding new cups of amazing tea. You can find more info about me on my website and on social media.

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

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.

Nepal Tea LLC packaging.

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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).

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36 Hours in Sarajevo

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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Matcha Affogato Recipe

It’s a hot summer day. You’re staring at your ice cream. It sits naked in its bowl, looking like it’s missing… a little something. What that sultry sucker needs is to be drowned, in a bit of classic matcha tea. Hello, 21st century, meet my dessert needs—the matcha affogato.

Not only will it look great on your Instagram feed, but using matcha is a delicious way to dress up your ice cream without using sugary syrups or other crap. Alternatively, it’s a way to make your morning matcha a little bit extra.

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Teas Foreign and Domestic at The Camellia Sinensis Teahouse in Montréal

I first wandered into the Camellia Sinensis Teahouse in Montréal during a summer road trip across the country. It was around the corner from the Jean Talon Marché where our friend was taking us on a neighbourhood tasting tour of Montréal’s Little Italy, including succulent oysters, artisan sausages, and delectable duck meats. Finding the unassuming Teahouse entrance and enjoying some nice iced matcha and nerdy tea conversation with the staff inside was a highlight of the day (it also relieved Rob of having to listen to my tea gibberish for ten minutes).

So of course I got when Camellia Sinensis reached out with some samples. When I think quality Canadian tea, and especially ‘Quebec Tea,’ they’re one of the first to come to mind.

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Nuts Huts in The Philippines

When I think of Nuts Huts, I think of sitting in their large communal room on a covered deck two stories high, looking down into the milky green Luboc River.

If I pop my head of the hammock and look through the layers of thick green foliage, down the hill I can see a little lunch boat floating down said river, blasting 80s music while the middle-aged crowd on board eats the buffet table within an inch of its life. A karaoke cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” comes on, and sneaks up the hills to reach me in my synthetic cocoon.

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