Monthly Archives

January 2017

Tea Education

Salabat in the Philippines

When I left for the Philippines I knew it wasn’t a big tea-drinking country. It wasn’t even a small tea-drinking country. Whenever I asked for tea at restaurants the most common response was the splat of a Lipton’s Hot or Iced teabag in my cup and a sad look from the waiter. Expressions of, “Poor girl, asking for tea. She must not know we have coffee,” Or “Oh, she must be sick,” appeared on their faces.

The truth is, the best teas to drink in the archipelago are not made of camellia sinensis. They’re herbal infusions, often with a base of ginger, turmeric or lemongrass.

Continue Reading


Mel’s Book List 2017

2017 is going to be a good year for reading. I can taste it. I’ve already finished five books and broke open the spine on my sixth.

There’s a proverb floating around the internet that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I Googled it to make sure before I hit publish. Conveniently and coincidentally, I’m writing to you from January 21 and I am going to surmise that I’ve unintentionally habited myself into reading a lot of books this year and I’m very okay with that. This ‘hit the ground running’ mentality was possibly spurred on by a visit to ‘The Strand’ bookstore in New York City last week. Continue Reading