Q: Where does ‘Mel Had Tea’ come from?

A: When I signed up for Twitter in 2009, @melhattie was already taken. I liked tea and @melhadtea sounded similar, so I grabbed it. Same thing shortly after on Instagram . The concept of Mel Had Tea as a blog, traveling to Japan, or me becoming a tea sommelier were not even a thought in my brain.

Q: What kind of camera do you use?

Most of the older content here I shot with a Nikon D300s or a D800. A couple of years ago I switched to a Fujifilm X-T1 because it was so much lighter and portable. I also take a lot of shots with iPhone and usually edit them with VSCO.

Q: What is a tea sommelier?

A: Kind of like a wine sommelier, for tea. Tea sommeliers are knowledgeable in the taste, terroir, and history of various tea regions and tea producing methods.

Q: Can I send you my tea to review?

A: Probably. Check out my Tea Review Policy for more info!

Q: How often do you travel?

A: It depends. For the last few years my pattern has been to travel abroad a lot one year and stay home the next to do more work and build up my savings again. Someday I hope to be location independent and do a lot of work from the road so I can travel more. I also do a lot of domestic North American trips too.

Q: What’s your travel style?

A: I like to stay in a place a long time. At least a month if I can. I did this in Japan, Germany, Bosnia, and the UK, and I prefer it by far. I feel like if you’re going to visit a place, you might as well stay there and soak up the culture a bit. How can you really experience a place if you’re never done your laundry or had to get groceries there?

Q: What’s your favorite tea?

A: I’ll never tell.

Q: When did you start Mel Had Tea?

A: I started a Tumblr in 2012 when I went to Japan as a an exchange student in university. I wanted to share all the cool stuff I’d be seeing and share it with friends and family back home. I kind of fell in love with blogging then and have done it ever since. I re-named the blog ‘Mel Had Tea’ and bought the URL in 2015.

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