My Story

Hi! My name is Mel Hattie and I’m a professional tea sommelier and travel enthusiast based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Mel Had Tea is a blog that explores tea and travel culture around the world.

As a child, you could always find me curled up in a mountain of blankets with a pile of books at my feet. And today… well, it’s pretty much the same, except in between book binges I plan adventures around the world.

With a neverending sense of curiosity, I travel to learn more about the world we live in, meet people, and try to understand the world we live in. I’m an advocate of solo female travel, and slow travel. I’ve lived in Japan, Germany, and spent a lot of time abroad in various places, for various reasons.

Adventures short and long

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.

Along the way, I became a tea sommelier. I realized tea blended my love of food, culture, history, and travel. It’s been a lens and given me an in to make connections with people from all over the world. Who needs to speak the same language when you can share a cup of tea?

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, write about tea, and other things that are important to me.

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

I’ve always been restless. On my mother’s side, my Opa was a travelling bandleader who emigrated from Holland to Canada. He played shows from Siberia to Korea to Canada’s northern communities, after emigrating from Holland in the ’60s. My Nana was a door-to-door World Book saleswoman. My second cousin on my Dad’s side is an astronaut. I guess you could say that curiosity wanders through our family.

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

When I’m not working, writing or reading, you can find me re-watching old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, walking, practicing shotokan karate, learning new languages, 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.

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 hitting ‘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.

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  • 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!

    • Nice score! St. Margaret’s Bay is beautiful. Haha, maybe you can talk her into just ooooone more day. ;- )

  • 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

    • 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!


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