Travel Journals You Need in 2018

No doubt that you are already planning travels you want to make in 2018. What will you do on that day? What will you bring? A camera to visually document the trip? A journal? Is the weather cold or warm? Will you need sunglasses or special vaccinations?

Planning for travel can be a frustration at times. However, do you know what can make it all easier? A simple pen and an inspiring paper!


Yes! In a travel journal, you can scribble down every little detail surrounding your trip. You can add a section on preplanning, during the journey, and after the trip.

This is the phase where you’ll usually scratch your head and wonder. What will I be doing in <Insert place >? If you’re a budget traveler like I am, you will frequently check cheap flight ticket rates. I check mine at and make alerts. By making alarms, I get an email notification everytime the price of the destination has dropped. In this way, I can buy when the price is low.

In the past year, I have made short travels to Madrid, Paris, and Bremen of less than a 2 weeks. And it’s good to know which companies have cheap tickets and are super reliable. One of them is Transavia, they have a fantastic customer service and usually answer within an hour via email. Transavia also has frequent discounts.

Another tip is to make an itinerary and include places you’d like to visit. Make a list of them and their addresses. In Google Maps you can add all addresses and check out the distance between them. Super useful.

Jot down your plans. It’s better to have an idea where you’re going than to wing it at times. The best way to do it is by having a cutesy journal at hand to inspire you to write more. These journals below are beautifully designed by several artists at for just $16. W..T..F..

Travel Journal - 2018 - Caroline Smith - Itineraryac7e70cf0debedb5e799a3f8cd5147ce_best78fd95ca123f4a4d5bcbb1ea4a1a60b4_best39d8c87461c0379e09577ede7332f9d6_best

Minted is a community of independent designers and artists who are located in over 60 countries.  They are illustrators and textile designers, painters and packaging designers, marketers and stay-at-home moms. Some have design degrees, and others are participating in Minted competitions to learn design for the first time. They share a deep love for creative expression, personal development, risk-taking, and most importantly, paying it forward by helping each other.

During and after the trip
During the trip, you can write down you feel about a place. What you’ve discovered and what you’d like to visit again should you return to the place. Don’t forget to add pictures, stickers, typical postcards of the country, and pressed flowers or leaves.

Why? Without a doubt, you’ll know people back ‘home’ who’d like to hear all about your trips from you. They have seen your Instagram/Snapchat/Facebook/Messenger stories, and they can’t wait to hear your stories once your back. They’ll also know friends who might be going to same places and want recommendations. For these purposes, you’ll thank me later.

After the trip, if you have some pages left in your journal. Plan another one!

Have a great one!

Happy New Year

Hey folks,

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2018 already.

Time has gone so fast, and within a blink of an eye, it is 2018.

This year I will live the “New Year, New Me by being comfortable with the uncomfortable” motto. As a recent graduate, it feels as if I’m reborn. Stepping into the new year to take a chance at life. I want to take risks I am not used to making. I will live the life. I want to live. I will pave the way to my own path.

Cheers to a New year!

Your Daily Tea Cup – Lovely Jasmine

Today I have a delicious review for you, but that is already stating my subjective opinion. The tea in the matter is called “Lovely Jasmine.” I have a long relationship with jasmine. My mother used to collect jasmine petals and mix them in baby oil to create scented oil. Only a year ago I started to grow fond of drinking it in tea. Every time I would visit a cafe I would request a green tea jasmine as my tea order. I guess it has a calming effect on whatever that needs to be calmed.

The descriptionGreen tea jasmine tea package
Flower Experience in a cup. Refined green tea with a soft flowery jasmine taste. Create your own zen-moment. Ingredients: Natural green tea and Jasmine (no added chemical or synthetic pesticides)
This tea can be prepared by putting 1 teaspoon in a tea infuser for 2-4 min with 80 degrees Celcius hot water. *Okay, maybe lukewarm-ish*

The Senses

Green tea jasmine

The leaves have a dark green and brown color of which some have a light ashy green top. They are rolled not in balls but folded.

The dry leaves smell like scented oil at first, but when I take a long sniff, it smells like jasmine petals. The infused leaves seem to extract the scent of the jasmine even more. The wet leaves confirm the strong odor of jasmine. The color is a shade of light brown. I have tried this tea several times. And I wanted to taste the difference of when its 80 degrees and colder by just letting it sit outside. Before this process, I had already steeped it for 4 min. The color changes from light brown to dark brown. The taste gets even more bitter.

Green Tea Jasmine Steeping

I Love Tea Cup with Lovely Jasmine Green Tea

The taste
This tea has a robust, aromatic jasmine flavor but yet there are traces of other flowers. I can’t quite put my finger on. The best I can describe it is as garden flowers such as roses or peonies. I can’t  taste the green tea, but then again I compare it with a Chunmee or Goal Para where grassiness is dominant.

Flatlay teacup and tea

Before I got this tea, I used to drink jasmine green tea from the brand Kusmi tea which was heavenly. When that finished, I drank Jasmine Green Tea from Kaldi’s which tasted like jasmine but a bit bland. This time I got to try out Lovely Jasmine offered by Your Daily Tea Cup which is initially from Teastreet.

Your Daily Tea Cup is a webshop run by Rensina Steursma. She started the webshop more than 3 months ago.  She recently created a tea advent calendar which has been ordered more than a 100 times. At Your Daily Tea Cup, you can buy teas from the brand Teastreet, tableware, Tony Chocolony chocolate, and the KoffieTCacao Magazine.

Rensina also runs a Dutch blog called I met Rensina at a blogger event for the Dutch Tea Festival this year, after that, I started following her on Instagram. I like her style of photography which is very light, fresh and inspiring.
Around three weeks she asked me to review one of the teas she is offering on her website. Seen my long history of Jasmine, I scoured the site and selected exactly that.

At times when I can’t afford Kusmi Tea, and my lovely Jasmine is finished I know I can put this one in my shopping cart.

P.s I also got a gift from Rensina
Good Morning tea sample

See ya ♥

What Everyone Must Know About Tea for Millenials

Last week I read an interesting article on the website of Uk Tea and Infusions Association. The article pointed out to increase consumption of tea amongst millennials and younger people to promote its health benefits by the World Health Organization and UN. I made some points that I’d like to discuss in this blog posts.

The World Health Organization encourages tea for health. The appeal was made last month when the Inter-Governmental Group on tea under the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO IGG) of the UN met in Colombo.

The article further claims that:

“Tea is the world’s second most popular beverage after water.”
Production is expanding. Approximately three billion people drink tea, but the majority of them are aging, thus inspiring marketing efforts towards youth.”

In my opinion, the article had to specify and could’ve gone into more detail as to which tea types could be made more attractive for youngsters. Most millennials I know are crazy about green tea. Especially, Matcha. *No hate*

Even though green tea, oolong tea, and white tea have almost *almost people, almost* the same amount of health benefits, green tea is more famous. I surely don’t hope that the next coming years are going to be more about green tea and its health benefits, since the regular Joe and Jane already know that. If you look at this image, you may also see that oolong tea has an immense amount of health benefits. *Including weight loss*

Next, to that tea, *loose leaf* goodness from the plant camellia sinensis sinensis isn’t that well known. Most people are used to tea bags and broken leaf teas that are presented as good leaf teas.

Unless you’re a tea lover or go to a tea-only store, I wonder how the UN will highlight and promote tea among millennials. An advantage for the UN is that millennials and younger generations are now very health conscious. They know exactly and choose consciously what they consume. If the UN can play in on tea’s benefits and values, it might be a game changer. However, the article also states that more research has to be done to promote developments in the tea industry. More investigation has to be undertaken to identify consumer demands and develop the right product.

Photo by Alexandru STAVRIC

What the Cheese?​

Hey folks,

Recently I came across an astonishing article about tea in It seems to be the talk of the town and shops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Los Angelos, and London, are all jumping on the bandwagon.

It appears that cheese tea is a thing! According to Jenny Zheng, founder of Little Fluffy Head Cafe, cheese tea has iced tea as a base and is topped with cheese cream at the top. It’s a mixture of a salty and sweet taste of the cheese cream with an earthy and grassy flavor of the tea.

Some people have been enjoying this innovative drink all too well on Instagram. A whopping 3000 pictures already.

Here’s a screenshot of #Cheesetea on Instagram.

*Meest recent = Most recent

Source: #Cheesetea on Instagram

I heart the “Say Cheese Tea” sign of LA’s Little Fluffy head. It’s so adorable and definitely Instagram picture worthy.

To be honest, I would want to try and taste cheese tea. I think it might surprise me. However, I would drink it as I do soft drinks which are not that often. The reviews of people on YouTube haven’t convinced me as much. But I would want to give it a try.


Yikes or Yum? Tell me on Instagram 🙂


Matcha on the Web

During my thesis, I had to do a lot of research about tea and marketing communication strategies in the Tea industry. I encountered a pro and a con during my research.

I love discovering new things about tea so that I couldn’t stop my thirst for more knowledge. I am a person who likes to look at the nitty gritty details of a cause and intends to know in depth about the why, hows, whats, and whens. The downside is that it might also take a lot of time and that information sought out might not be relevant.

Well, Guess what! What might not have applied for my thesis might apply for my blog! No information indeed is wrong information. It all depends on the time.

One of the trends that I spotted is the world’s craze for powdered green tea. Gotcha, I’m talking about Matcha tea. Although the matcha revolution began in early 2014, it already exists for longer than 500 years in Japan. Currently, it’s everywhere and slowly also making its way to the Netherlands.

See this post by Chapter Friday on where in Amsterdam you can sip this coveted drink.

On Steller, I found creatives who shared matcha-related stories with the world and curated my own list. Find it here.




Dutch Tea Festival – Festeaval Recap

The Dutch Tea Festeaval is a a place where tea suppliers who sell tea, and retailers looking for something new, meet. Festeaval had a very homey, saturday barbecue kind of feel to it. I would almost call it urban mixed with its industrial setting.

I attended Festeaval with my friend Mira Begova of World Citizens account on Instagram. World citizens is a travel account which showcases beautiful places in Europe through the eyes of world citizens. 

When attending Festeaval I first wanted to observe and see what I haven’t seen before. My second task for myself would be to take pictures of what’s in my eyes interesting. And honestly I took way more time observing than I thought because the pictures I took are not describing the totality of the event. 

At the event we got a bag with coupon cards, magazine and a tasting cup. You could go to each stand and taste the teas they had. The first we tried was this soft oolong by Essentials Tea.

We also saw tea ceremonies in the hall on our way to the workshops. We attended a Matcha workshop, a tea jam (how kombucha is made), and a tea and chocolate pairing by tea sommelier Mariëlla Erkens.  

At the teajam I was thrown off by a new method of following a workshop. The workshop was taught by Kiona Malinka of Crusio Tea and she explained how she discovered Kombucha. She describes it as a drink between alcohol and softdrink. 

Kombucha takes two weeks to prepare and can be made with simple ingredients like looseleaf tea, water, sugar and a swamp. You mix all ingredients together including the sugar and put it in whichever utensil. Then you put in the swamp. The swamp obsorbes the sugar and makes it sour. After a week or two the Kombucha is ready to drink. The result is a sparkly soda like drink which is as sour as apple cider vinegar but weirdly energizing and refreshing. 

Next to the tea stands and workshops there was a backyard chill kind of vibe. Like a Saturday barbecue kind of chill. You could sit near a fountain, chill and listen to music. 

That was my experience attending the Dutch Tea Festeaval. What’s yours? Let me know on Instagram, I would love to hear it. 
See ya 

Tea Journey


*If you’d like to stay up to date on Memarustan. Follow me on Instagram: Tea.Marustan*

Hello lovelies,

When I started reviewing teas, I was unaware of the world of tea. I knew tea as the Pickwick English breakfast and their other flavored teas. This love grew by trying other brands like Lipton, Lord Nelson, Dogdan and finally making a big step in tasting loose leaf goodness. When I entered the world of loose leaf tea, I was lost. Like literally lost. It’s like Disney land for tea lovers. Seven different types of tea with so many sub-variations. If you would ask me what my favorite is right now. I can give you my top three and the next month that might change again.

Tea Collection
Back in 2014, when I started blogging about tea, I posted my tea collection as a way to officially launch my entrance into tea blogging/reviewing. My box was filled with tea boxes and different brands. Some of which are still in my tea box, only now I have two boxes.

Box full of different Tea brands
Marustan’s Tea reviews


Tea Collection 2017
Three years later, still a fan of tea and I continue to be so. The difference is, now I know way more than I used to know back then. In the beginning, I researched a lot. I tried to find out more the world of tea and didn’t stop until I was satisfied. Should I feel unsatisfied as the day ended, I just sipped a cuppa tea and enjoyed the serenity. Wait….where was I? Oh yes, my tea collection!
If you’re following me on Instagram, then you might have seen my tea collection. But I guess I left out an explanation part. I did that deliberately…. I’m sorry, but I’ve always liked the suspense and teasing with sneak peeks.

So let’s begin!
Slide 1: Jadu Tea
Slide 2: Ahmad Tea
Slide 3: Kusmi Tea
Slide 4: Tea Bar
Slide 5: Simon Levelt

Want to know more about these teas? Click on the titles!

Dutch Tea Festival

Last year, I missed the first ever Dutch Tea Festival while being in Madrid. However, this year will be no way that I’m missing it. I’m psyched!

Yesterday, April 30th, I went to the blogger’s event where all deets of the program were shared. These are some of them that get me excited *I mean, I can’t sleep the day before excited*:

30 and counting tea stands
Since this is one of the first tea-only festival in the Netherlands, it’s such an awe meeting and seeing all tea lovers unite and being under one roof.

I Can’t wait to check out more companies I haven’t seen or heard of before.

19+ workshops
The workshops vary from the origin of tea given by Dutch Tea Championship 2017 jury member Viral Sheth to workshop about different types of tea like Oolong, Puerh, to Hennep (weed) tea! More on the lists are trends in tea, matcha!, mindfulness, and (of course) way more. You can check out their program here

The workshops are not only for beginners but also more advanced people. Learning and exploring tea can be quite overwhelming at first which is why one might feel intimidated when sitting in a room full of tea aficionados who know more than they do. This is a very smart move of the Dutch Tea Festival as they offer something for people of all levels of tea knowledge.

Tea and live music
That I love music is not really a secret. *Read here and here
When sipping or even preparing tea, I usually have either Indian or western music on. It feels as if all senses are connected and plugged in just right. The touch of a teacup in my hands, while slowly or at normal pace bringing to my nose and mouth for the very first sniff and then slurp. While listening to music and watching the scenery, is just everything.

These are my faves. What are yours? Drop me a comment below or on social media. Follow me on Instagram for a sneak peek.


I have tasted many teas, and my thirst hasn’t completely quenched yet! However, once in a while there are teas who halt you in your tracks and make you appreciate what you’ve selected to drink for the day.

In January, after spending Christmas in Madrid, a particular brand sparked my interest with its illustrations on the packaging. That brand is Or-Tea. Don’t know it yet? Head over to my Instagram and check out the pictures!

Intrigued where I could find this tea, I send a message to Or-tea on Instagram saying that I am highly interested and would like to know where I could buy the tea. I got in contact and discovered they have a European base in the Netherlands. Say what! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on and wouldn’t mind traveling to whichever city. As a fourth year student, nonetheless, I have free transport in the whole country and can go to whichever city during the week. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that as I got sent sachet samples of each different type of its tea.

Or-tea is one of the teas I’ve been drinking for the past months. Their illustrations are pretty feminist, striking, make you think, and shed light on the multitasking nature of women. The many facets of a woman are shown on each tea sachet, tea box, or tea tin.

The fun didn’t stop there! In March I attended the Amsterdam Coffee Festival and met them in person. I even got a bag full of favourite teas. Want to know what they were? Read the next post because this one got way too long 😉


Jadu Tea London

Have you seen it yet? Have you seen my Jadu Tea Collection? A few months ago it premiered on my Instagram and had since become a charming piece of decoration in my house.

In January, I got an incredible news by seeing Jadu Tea London as one of my followers. I could take a leap and run onto daisies…and those kinds of emotions. I was following Jadu tea since the beginning of 2016 and feeling bit of insecure of approaching them since I wasn’t quite actively blogging. However, they offered to send me samples, and I gladly accepted.

I chose for three teas:

The Rooibos Creme Brulee

My first thought when I smelled and tasted the Creme Brulee was: “Yoo, this is soooooo sweet” I discovered then and there that when I would like to drink something sweet, this would be it. Moving past the sweetness of this tea, it smelled and tasted like marshmallows with honey and cinnamon all in one. I never knew this mix can even be served as tea.

Mademoiselle Grey

Mademoiselle Grey, I think you may have made many crazy about you! Because I sure am. *No homo* As I untie the ribbons of this delicately packaged tea and impatiently rip apart the plastic, I encounter a citrusy bergamot smelling tea. Mademoiselle’s blend exists out of Sri Lankan Uva Black Tea as a base, with Lemon peels, Orange Peels, Lemon Grass and Red Cornflowers flavors.
The blend has both floral and fruity notes and tastes just the same. While the orange peels are floating in my cup, I taste a classic bergamot with orange peels *Guilty, I did eat them as a child. So I know exactly how they taste ;)* The aftertaste is just the same. When steeped a lot longer than adviced a strong Orange peel taste comes forth, it feels like my mouth is on fire as if I’ve eaten pepper yet slightly bitter. Who knew so much can happen while it being in your mouth. Darn Mademoiselle, so that is how you bring the boys to the yard 😜

Spa Afternoon


I mostly looked forward to this tea as I wanted to use it for my moments of serenity after writing chapters for my thesis. This blend is enriched with Spearmint, Chinese Ti Guan Yin oolong tea, Nettle, Dandelion, Burdock, and Milk thistle. Spa afternoon made me feel relaxed and ready to go to sleep. Whenever I feel sleepy, I just need a final push to sleep sometimes it’s rainy music, warm milk, or tea. I taste a strong spearmint flavor with a mellow milky oolong.

All in all, I really enjoy drinking Jadu Teas. They are magically created for each unique moment. As you might have guessed, my favorite is Mademoiselle Grey but I have grown to love the others as well.

6 Tips on How to Explore Your Passion for Tea

So… You are a newly tea lover and can’t wait to learn more about all things tea. But where do you start? This article will give you 6 pointers on which steps to take to help you learn more about tea.

Find stores nearby
Try to find tea stores near you. If you live in the Netherlands, chances are you might have encountered stores like Simon Levelt or Kaldi. Most tea stores have employees who know heaps about tea, its origin and can give answers to your thirst quenching questions.

Learn about it
The International Tea and Coffee Academy frequently offers workshops on tea and coffee. They’re often traveling to tea fields and have 10+ years of experience in teaching people all about tea. Not only that, but they also give workshops about several trends in tea like Chado – The Japanese Tea Ceremony,  Tasting famous teas from around the world, and more.

Visit festivals
Festivals, Festivals, how I love festivals. Last year the first ever tea festival took place at the Fabrique in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This year it’s back again on May 28, 2017, with a theme that has taken the tea world on a toll. I mean this type of tea is everywhere, with products made of it that just makes your mouth water and water.
Next, to the Dutch Tea Festival, you can also visit Amsterdam Coffee Festival where several workshops and the annual Dutch Tea Championships take place. Both festivals bring tea lovers together with each other but also with tea connoisseurs/sommeliers and tea shop owners who can tell you more about tea.

Go to tea tastings/workshops
Tea is a beverage that is so versatile that only reading about it isn’t enough. Taste it; smell it before and after the steep; experience different tastes; and flavors. Some tea stores and tea sommeliers offer tea tasting workshops and masterclasses.

Explore Instagram
Instagram has a bustling community full of tea lovers who love to share pictures of their  #teatime, who are #teaaholics and #teaadicts to the bone, and just #lovetea.

Google it
No jokes here. When I first started to blog about tea. My first instinct was to learn, read, everything. Sometimes it’s hard to find out what information is reliable. However, by googling, you can whizz out the unnecessary, and mostly websites that are 2+ pages further are the ones you’ll need.

Hope I could help you in your journey about tea! If you’d like to drop a comment you can do so on Instagram, Facebook or click the plus button below!

See ya soon 



Last week Tuesday, I went to Bremen to visit my cousin for six days. I left sunny Amsterdam to go to rainy Bremen. In spite of the gloomy weather, I visited the church, Schnoor, and some other places in the city.

Bremen Cathedral
We visited the Bremen Cathedral dedicated to St. Peter. Whenever I visit a European city, I have to visit a church. The architecture, the painted windows it’s astonishing to see the differences in each church of each city or country.

Das Schnoorviertel
Schnoorviertel is the only section of the Old Town in Bremen that is still preserved and at the same time forms Bremen’s oldest district. It consists of about 100 small houses dating from the 15th, 16th, 18th, and 19th centuries and is located on the Weser. Schnoorviertel was named after the longest street running through the district. 
I was in awe of what I saw, and the only thing I said was: “O My God, this looks like a fairytale. It’s as if I’ve entered the world of Hansel, Grettle, and almost any fairytale character”.

That was my trip to Bremen. 

See ya Soon 🙂

Happy New Year

Hey there you,

Before the second working week of the year starts, I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year. I know you hardcore tea readers have been waiting for a message from Me&Marustan. Me too!

What has happened

I am in my fourth year! Woohoo. I’m a fourth-year International Communication Management student. If everything goes well, next year I won’t be a student anymore. I’ll be entering the job field like I own the place 😉

Before getting my Bachelor diploma I have to do several things. A research project for a thesis and minors: Trends and Themes, and a Communication Battle. Nothing I can’t handle of course 🙂

I’m doing research at the International Tea and Coffee Academy. My passion for tea has finally sent me in the right direction.
International tea and coffee Academy is a knowledge institute for those who want to learn more about tea and coffee. Individuals can follow courses and attend many masterclasses. They offer one year, even three years courses and at the end you graduate as Barista or Tea Sommelier. They are certified by the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association Europe) and SVH.

ITCA(International Tea and Coffee Academy) is there for people who’d like to know more about tea and coffee. They are storytellers to the root. Their founder, Richard Schukkink, often travels to coffee and tea fields to bring back stories and experiences to tell. ITCA’s storytelling doesn’t end there. Hop on their Blog and read about the world of tea and coffee.

When I started reviewing teas, it became more and more important for me to know about the people plucking the teas. I was curious about who they are,  and especially where the tea fields were. I think it’s important to know that and brings me closer to feeling as a human. Living in a well-off European country often feels like products are made by fairies or robots. They look perfect, are there and I don’t know who made it, where and how. It feels numbing and like a one-sided kind of love. *Which always sucks, one way or another*

See you when I see you….

Instagrammers 2.0

Hey Everybody,

Here I am again with a brand new tea Instagram accounts list you have to follow before 2016 ends.
Christmas holidays are fast approaching. If you’d like to relax your mind and look at all things tea, then here’s the list you’ve been waiting for! Nine tea Instagrammers I’m digging right now *was very tempted to write rn*

@Tea Thoughts
Calligraphy and tea, do they go well together? Looking @Teathoughts Instagram, they do! I super duper love her pictures and her Christmas theme.

Mixing hand drawn art by school children in Africa and Kenyan tea, the essence of Ajiri Tea. Check ‘m out here!

Schermafbeelding 2016-12-14 om 16.13.23.png
This Instagram account may seem like a regular store account promoting their products, but the Instagram stories are everything! Cafe Couture’s Instagram is run by @teacoach.Ken, Your Tea Dealer.

@Lab of tea
Lab of tea posts pictures about the tea drinks in a slightly different packaging. They are packaged in tubes, like the thin ones used in chemistry class. This is something I haven’t seen before, and I absolutely love it! Plus they use the same font I have on my Instagram. *Great minds think alike*

@Tea for three NYC
This Instagram is #sodarling! I love their picture quotes and herbal tea recipes! I’d totally recommend to check them out!

T2Tea is a UK based tea company. On their Instagram, they feature vibrant pictures as if it’s a fashion account. *insert heart eye emoji here*

@Tea ‘n Clothes
With almost 98 pictures, Tea and Clothes feature all places where one can take their tea. They don’t have lots of li kes nor followers, which is a pity!

Is an account every twentysomething should follow to make a girls night a tad more fun! Sisters from Sydney picture ingredients of tea infused cocktails in #flatlay style.

Another Instagram stories I absolutely dig is ChaiWalli’s. Only few tea accounts I follow, make use of Instagram Stories. I think they are missing out a lot as they are not fully reaching their potential. But Chaiwalli is!
Schermafbeelding 2016-12-14 om 16.05.08.png

See ya on the next post 🙂