Surf, sand, and tea—Hawaii’s got it all. This year, add visiting a tea garden to your vacation to-do list, and take a trip to Hawaii’s Big Island Tea Forest. This tea garden is located at the northeast slope of Mauna Loa volcano on a 400-year old ash deposit within the Kilinoe Forest. This (extremely cool) location makes it perfect for growing tea and generating vacation envy among all your friends. There’s lots to explore at the Big Island Tea Forest. Here’s a primer:
The Kilinoe Forest (meaning “misty rain” in Hawaiian) is home to thousands of tea plants, native Hawaiian trees, and plants. The forest houses many inter-dependent creatures, including insects, geckoes, the endangered Hawaiian Hawk, Hawaain Goose, and Hawaiian Owl. Spouses Eliah Halpeny and Dr. Cam Muir established the forest in 200 and still run the operation today.
You can enjoy a 2-hour forest tour and tea tasting for $35/person.
You can also enroll in an 8-hour workshop on picking and processing green tea for $100/person.
Or if you’re interested in starting your own tea farm, you can employ Big Island’s consulting services for $600/day.
Big Island Tea grows single-batch, whole leaf green and black tea using agro-ecological farming methods. The tea is hand-picked and the final product incorporates only whole, finely twisted leaves.
‘A’a Black Tea
Described as “a rich and complex tea hand-processed in small batches with a finished leaf that resembles a little dragon. The leaves are finely twisted, unbroken, with an ebony color and silvery tips. The leaves have a rich rose fragrance with citrus, tart apple, and dried cherry notes. Some people taste raisins. The liquor is a clear, deep mahogany color. The light sparkles off the pubescence of the unbroken needles giving the appearance of champagne bubbles. On the palate, `A`a Black Tea has a complex harmony of flavors that are experienced in waves. Bright, Citrus, and apple, comforting mid-tones of dried cherry (or date and a little cookie dough), and warm baritones of butter and carmel are part of the experience that does not end with the cup. Take your time with this tea and experience the after-glow that sneaks up 30 minutes after your last sip. `A`a Black Tea is never bitter or astringent.”
Kilinoe Green Tea
Described as “a bright, wok fired, hand-processed, complex tea. The leaves are finely twisted with a uniform dark green color punctuated by the silvery tips. The leaves have a bright wildflower, citrus, summer-breeze-dried linen aroma, and the liquor is clear light green shimmering with the pubescence from the needles. On the palate, Kilinoe Green Tea has bright citrus, rich harmonies of flowers, breezy grass with a warm buttery foundation. Kilinoe Green Tea is never bitter or astringent.”
Where to Find Big Island Teas
-Harrods | London, England,
-11 Madison Park Restaurant | New York City
-The Sip Tea Lounge | Hungtinton NY,
-Savon du Bois | Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada
-The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel | Kohala Coast Hawai`i Island
-Bloomingdales | Honolulu, Hawaii
Email Eliah@BigIslandTea.com to purchase 25 g, 50g, and 100g bags of tea
Set your compass for Hawaii, and enjoy the Big Island Tea Garden!
Big Island Tea Garden
18-2465 N Glenwood Rd
Mountain View, HI 96771