My name is Jee Choe and I’m a certified Tea Sommelier and self-proclaimed iced tea master.

Welcome to my blog, Oh, How Civilized!

This tea blog started back in 2012 when I wanted to document my afternoon tea experiences. Growing up in NY, I was able to go for afternoon tea in fancy hotels and I absolutely loved everything about it.

(I was quoted in the NY Times about afternoon tea!)

Over time, after going to so many afternoon teas, I started noticing the difference in the quality of the tea.

This interest in tea grew and I wanted a more structured way to learn about it. That’s when I studied to became certified as a Tea Sommelier.

I learned how to identify different teas by sight and taste and know the proper steps in brewing the perfect pot of tea.

Tea shouldn’t be intimidating and my goal is make tea easy and delicious.

Each tea recipe is tested multiple times until I’m completely satisfied. As a perfectionist, that can mean weeks of testing, like in the case of my chai latte recipe.

About Me

I was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I’m one of those New Yorkers that can’t imagine living anywhere else.

My background is in design and I have a masters in Design Management. I worked extensively in publishing, mostly for sites like People.com and InStyle.com.

I left my full-time corporate job and started freelancing a few years ago and I loved the flexible work schedule. It was during this time that I started Oh, How Civilized.

The first few posts were mostly afternoon tea reviews (I’ve gone to almost all the ones in NYC multiple times) but once I got certified as a Tea Sommelier, I expanded to share tea recipes and my tea expertise.

I’ve had so many wonderful tea experiences over the years. I went on a tea trip to South Korea, had multiple epic tea tastings that lasted hours, and countless afternoon teas around the world. (Loved the ones I went to in Florence and Paris.)

The joy of tea is in the ritual. It’s my everyday luxury.

Three Fun Facts:

  1. The name, Oh, How Civilized came from me uttering those exact words (in a terrible British accent) every time I had afternoon tea.
  2. I drink as much coffee as I do tea.
  3. I make and drink smoothies all year round. It’s my shortcut to eating more fruits and vegetables.

Popular Recipes

Where to Find Me

You can find me on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

I would love to hear from you! If you have questions or just want to say hello, send me an email: [email protected].