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 reading, traveling the world, talking to strangers, and drinking tea.

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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Fresh Matcha at O’Sulloc Tea Museum on Jeju Island, South Korea

When I wrote about South Korean Teas from Teas Unique on Monday I realized that I’d never but into blog-post-form the story of how Rob and I visited this really cool place on Jeju Island: The O’Sulloc Tea Museum.

I know, a tea museum? But trust me, it was so, so, awesome. Even if you’re not a tea freak like me, I’d bet you’d still get excited at the adorable demonstrations of Korean tea culture and beautiful, historic tea artifacts found inside. Plus, there’s a delicious café that serves FRESH matcha and these delightful matcha Swiss rolls, served chilled so their creamy centres are almost an ice-cream-like consistency.

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South Korean Teas with Teas Unique

This American importer of organic, single-estate Korean teas has offerings that would pair well with your summer picnic.

Back in 2015 when Rob and I visited South Korea, a highlight of our trip there was taking the ferry to Jeju Island, the ‘Hawaii of South Korea.’ As beautiful as you might think, this island paradise and popular Korean vacation destination is just a few hours by ferry south of the mainland. We took the ferry from Mokpo and spent a week frolicking around sex museums, climbing South Korea’s highest mountain (with no water), eating delicious black pork belly, and visiting the O’Sulloc Tea Museum (which I was VERY excited for).

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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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