Hey, I'm Mel!
I'm a tea sommelier, an adventurer, a language lover, and a photographer! I love finding new ways of seeing the world. Chasing an unconventional life inspires me. In my writing here I'm pursuing to be as raw and honest as possible. I'm goofy, sarcastic, and straightforward. I want to make you feel comfortable so you can sit down with a cup of tea and chat like we're family. Welcome to my corner of the internet.
Japan November 15, 2018 300 years of tea distilled into one afternoon at Ippodo A solitary cube of ice swirls in the middle of my blue-green matcha frothed to perfection. I’m sitting on a table facing a thatched window in the Kaboku Tearoom at Ippodo. A light breeze slips in wit... Tea November 14, 2018 Samovar Tea Lounge in San Francisco Samovar tea lounge in San Francisco is exactly how you’d expect Silicon Valley would do tea. Not with fancy tech and gadgets. Oh no, that would be too on the nose. But, with precisely catalogued orga... Japan November 7, 2018 How matcha tea whisks are made in Takayama, Japan When it comes to making matcha tea, using a proper bamboo whisk is key. It’s the only way to get that frothy, smooth, clump-free, delicious matcha. These unique bamboo tools were created in a small J... Tea November 6, 2018 More goodness! Brewing kombucha from tea and botanicals with Goodmore Kombucha Kombucha is one of those drinks that is having a moment in pop culture. This slightly sweet, sour, acidic, effervescent, fermented tea drink is usually made with green or black tea. It roots lie in C... Japan November 5, 2018 25 Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit Japan’s Tea Country Japan’s tea farms are one of a kind—relentlessly manicured and groomed, tea bushes kept exactly 40 years at which point their diminishing yields require replanting by newer, younger bushes. The easy ... Photography November 4, 2018 The Misty Mystery of Wales in 25 Photos Once in the late spring I took a train trip to the misty environs of Wales in the United Kingdom. Shooting away from the London train station and into the outer countryside, I found myself ... Tea November 3, 2018 Enjoying matcha at Kyoto’s Golden Temple Kyoto’s famous golden temple is one of Japan’s most popular sites. the old Japanese capital’s most-visited sites. While it’s not hard to miss the sun-catching, gilt Zen Buddhist temple at the centre ... Tea November 2, 2018 Catnip tea: the herbal tea you can drink with your cat There are few things better than sitting down with a hot cup of tea and a cat on your lap. Now imagine you and your cats sitting down to drink the same tea. It turns out—you can! Catnip tea is ... Croatia November 1, 2018 A City in Perpetual Sunset: Dubrovnik The afternoon shadows were long when we arrived in Dubrovnik. The orange rooftops of the Croatian city add to the continuous glow. Even during the day, the rustic stone walls and adobe colours lend a... Japan October 18, 2018 Firewalking, water, and whiskey: Three days of purification and celebration in Kyoto Whenever you go to Japan, you should always check and see if there will be a festival where you are. I don’t mean the major holidays—golden week, and so on. I mean the niche festivals—or matsuri, as ...