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 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 ... Japan October 16, 2018 Cold brew sencha at Byodoin temple in Uji, the heart of Japan’s historical tea territory The city of Uji in Japan is famous for its green tea. The phrase “Uji tea” carries a unique history and promise of quality amongst Japanese tea lovers. Located half an hour south of Kyoto by car or t... Japan July 3, 2018 How French entrepreneurs hope to save Japanese matcha blends As I’m living in Japan and getting more and more acquainted with Japanese tea cultivars, and styles of matcha, I’m also sliding deeper and deeper down the Japanese tea rabbit hole. Here in the ra... Japan June 22, 2018 This is what happens inside a Japanese tea factory Most of us only see one phase of tea, the dried leaves that end up in our cup. If you’re drinking tea from a tea bag, you might actually never see your tea at all. Between the bush and cup tea takes a... Japan June 20, 2018 I’m living on a Japanese tea farm! You might know by now that for the past month and a half I’ve been living on a Japanese tea farm in the Kyoto countryside. The place I’m staying at is called Obubu Tea Farms and is a really amazing m... Japan June 18, 2018 Sencha do, the other Japanese tea ceremony Kaoru Nakai welcomes us into her family's home. It's more than 130 years old and cool in the summer. "And also in winter," she jokes. Nakai speaks Japanese but between my small knowledge of the langu... Japan July 17, 2015 Five Memorable Experiences in Kyoto There are many memories waiting to be made in Kyoto. You would really have to work hard to have a bad time in the city. It is very walking friendly, and surprisingly most things are relatively close ...