Welcome to Oh, How Civilized

About Me

Hey! I’m Jee and welcome to my blog. As you can guess, I really like tea. Afternoon tea, tea and food pairings, tea tastings… I think you get where this is going.

It all started with my obsession with afternoon tea. I grew up in New York and would go for afternoon tea with friends at fancy hotels. I loved everything about it and I was hooked.

(Check out my quote in a NY Time article about afternoon tea!)

Like any addict, I couldn’t stop after the first. I went often enough, trying out different hotels, that people would ask me for recommendations. The name, “Oh, How Civilized” came from me uttering those exact words (in a terrible, terrible British accent) after each and every time I went for tea.

Through drinking a crapload of tea, I became a bit of a tea snob. I’m big on learning the basics through foundation courses so once I knew I wanted to learn more about tea, I became a student at ITEI, a tea school in Canada where I got certified as a Tea Sommelier.

About Oh, How Civilized

I started the blog in 2012 around the time I started freelancing. I’m a digital design freelancer and worked many years in publishing for brands like People, InStyle, Real Simple, and Time specializing in Art Direction and UX (User Experience) design. 

After my last job as Creative Director, I decided to take the big jump to freelance. It was tough at first getting clients and I had a lot of free time on my hands so I decided I needed a little project to keep me busy and lo and behold, Oh, How Civilized was born.

Some popular posts:
Complete List of Afternoon Tea in New York City
How to Eat a Scone Properly
Matchamisu (a matcha tiramisu recipe)
How to Make the Best Iced Tea (Cold Brew it!)
15 Delicious Tea Sandwiches Perfect for Tea Parties

The blog first started out on Squarespace since I knew I could get it up and running in less than a day. I customized it a bit, went through a couple of redesigns, wrote a lot of posts, and after three years, decided to move it to WordPress where I would be able to get complete control and customize as much as I wanted.

At first, my posts were eh. The photos weren’t great, the topics were all over the place, but over time, I got better at it. Looking back at older posts, I can see how much my photography has improved. Photos before and photos now. Right?!

I use a Sony RX1 (since 03/2014) to take all my photos. Before that, I used a Canon T3i (similar) with the tried-and-true 50mm 1.8 lens. Before that, a Sony RX100 (10/2013 – 03/2014). Tip: When purchasing your first DSLR, get a used camera since after you learn how to use it on manual, you’ll most likely want to upgrade.

In December 2018, I hit a huge milestone when I got to 100,000 monthly pageviews! Here’s how I did it: How I Got My Food Blog to 100K Monthly Pageviews

If you’re a blogger, you may be interested in taking a look at my Pinterest templates that have helped me get from 100K to 200K monthly pageviews!

Free Tea Cheat Sheets

Join my free email list to get quick tea guides!

Special Thanks to…

Queenie Fok is my baking guru. We collaborate to create tea-based recipes. She develops and makes recipes, I eat the finished products.

A big thanks to contributing copyeditor Michele Perez, who catches and corrects all my grammar and spelling mistakes so things I write make sense.

Where to Find Me

You can find me between posts on Instagram, Facebook, 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]