About

Thanks for reading Mel Had Tea!

Hi! I’m Mel Hattie, a tea sommelier and photographer from Canada. I write Mel Had Tea, a blog that explores tea and travel culture around the world.

I’m a twenty-something book nerd, feminist, traveller, writer and photographer currently based in Nova Scotia.

Growing up, you could always find me curled up in a pile of blankets with either a National Geographic, fantasy saga, graphic novel, or one of the World Book that my Nana used to sell as a door-to-door encyclopedia saleswoman (actually, that probably explains a lot about me).

If you’re new to Mel Had Tea, here are a few posts to get you started:

Now, I try as best as I can to write about the amazing world around us.

Along the way, I became a tea sommelier. I also run a photography business.

Tea has always been a comfort to me—it steeped by my bedside as I wrote my undergrad English exams, got me through James Joyce’s Ulysses (well, halfway through), and has always been a warm companion.

“He who must travel happily must travel light.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

As I grew, I realized tea also united my passions of travel, history, culture, and societies. The story of tea is a story of people, or colonialism, of a quest for deliciousness, of tradition, and many more things. 

I’ve always been restless. On my mother’s side, my Opa was a travelling bandleader who played shows from Siberia to Korea to Canada’s northern communities, after emigrating from Holland in the ’60s. My second cousin on my Dad’s side is an astronaut. I guess you could say the urge to wander seems to run in the family.

So far I’ve gotten myself to more than 15 countries on three continents. I’ve studied abroad in Germany and Japan, been an intern abroad for the CBC in London, driven across North America in a van, woken up at 3 A.M. to chant with Buddhist monks in South Korea, volunteered for an NGO in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and more.

I speak German, Japanese, and French. I’m not too bad at English either, and have a Master’s in Journalism.

In my spare time, I’m either practicing shotokan karate, learning new languages, reading all the books, or trying new teas.

I’m married to the loveliest guy from Labrador, and we live with our two cats (Taters and Trout) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in an apartment with a whole lot of books, tea, and books about tea.

How did Mel Had Tea start?

I started blogging on Tumblr in 2012 while I was a foreign exchange student in Japan. While I used to blog just to share my experiences with family and friends, I quickly fell in love with hititng ‘publish.’

In 2015 I launched Mel Had Tea, a mix of personal anecdotes with helpful tea and travel guides. 

What I believe

Traveling through many countries not my own, sharing lots of tea, and meeting people along the way, has shown me the world isn’t as scary as the news might have you think. Instead, travel can foster cross-cultural friendships that I genuinely believe makes the world a better place. Furthermore, you can find good times both sitting with a couple of cold beers in the middle of nowhere, or during high tea in upscale London.


Still curious? Here are some more FAQs.

Want to work together? Contact me here.


5 Comments

  • Karen

    My daughter just found us an awesome Airbnb studio on St Margaret’s Bay overlooking Long Cove! That will be our last night unless I can talk her into taking one more day off from work! ☺️ Hope your trip is amazing, as well!

  • Karen moore

    Hi Mel. My young Scotish cousin Katie MacLeod told me about you and today I visited your blog. I can see why she enjoyed you so much! I am not great with technology but I searched “Nova Scotia Travel” on your site and found a few of your posts. Do you have any specific “to do or must sees” blogs for our upcoming visit to Nova Scotia? My 28 yr old daughter and I are taking a week to drive around NS in a few weeks. I know you are leaving for your exciting trip too so don’t fret if you can’t come up with any previous blogs of your own or links. I have of course talked to the tourism people! My daughter and I love nature–hope to kayak and to see whales and to hike but we also love food and wine and craft beer!! Sometimes its hard to find great food out in the boonies! It is here, anyway! That’s all, except that I read your explanation about the blog house and we MUST get Katie to the next one. DEAL?
    Have a blast on your upcoming trip! Sincerely, Karen

    • Mel Hattie

      Hi Karen! Nice to hear from you. I was actually delaying responding to this comment because I wanted to post this suggestion for a day in Keji! It’s like you read my mind. Keji is awesome for kayaking (and free) and you don’t even have to be camping there – you can come in for the day and park your car, then kayak to your heart’s content.

      Also, I don’t think I mentioned it in the post but The Wilder restaurant near the Keji entrance does serve local craft beer and cider, and they’re really great.

      Other good spots to stop! I recommend:

      Wolfville (Rent a bike for the afternoon and bike over the dykes, or enjoy the local farmer’s market and vintage thrift stores in a small university town)

      Lawrencetown Beach (20 minutes outside of Halifax; hike the Salt Marsh Trail for a bit, and then sign up for surf lessons or enjoy a dip in the waves. Be warned though – it is a bit chilly!)

      Cape Breton (Drive through the Cabot Trail, or visit Gampo Abbey. The Cabot trail is beautiful and Gampo Abbey is a bit unique in that it’s a fully functional Buddhist monastery in the Cape Breton Highlands. They do tours – Google them and check their website for details!)

      I hope that helps. There are all sorts of great spots to discover while road tripping about Nova Scotia. Even if you guys don’t hit anything on this list, I’m sure you’ll have a great time, but these are definitely some of my favourites. 🙂

      All the best and happy road tripping, thanks Karen!

      Mel

      ps. Agreed! Katie needs to do the next Bloghouse; it’s totally her cup of tea.

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