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Tea Garden

Tea Travel

Book A Trip to Hawaii’s Big Island Tea Forest

May 25, 2017

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 Forest

Kilinoe Forest

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.

The Tea

‘A’a Black Tea

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.

Kilinoe Green Tea

‘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

Buy Online

Email 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

Tea Travel

Ten Cool Tea Parlors To Check Out

November 10, 2016

From sea to shining sea, there are some great places to grab tea.  From parlors you should hit up to relish in their history to parlors you should visit because they are simply stunning, here are 10 tea spots  to plug into your GPS:

1) Nom Wah Tea Parlor – New York City 

Smack dab in the middle of a street shaped like a boomerang, this tea parlor’s been pouring the good stuff since 1920. Back in the day, the street was known as “The Bloody Angle” for all the Chinese gang violence that plagued the street—its curvature made it perfect for sneak attacks. Nom Wah serves a plethora of teas to go with its famed dim sum. From oolong and Tie Guanyin to Long Jing and Chrysanthemum, Nom Wah serves teas that offer a variety of flavors and benefits, like boosted weight loss and antioxidants. Peek inside for a 360 degree view HERE.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

13 Doyers Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 962-6047

2) Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel – New York City

For the fanciest afternoon tea of your life, head to New York’s most famous hotel: The Plaza. Inside on the first floor, architect Thierry Despont did his best to bring Central Park indoors with the Palm Court. Palm trees, plants, marble, and a stained glass dome blend nature and luxury. Tea aficionados young and old will delight in the setting and menu. From scones and sandwiches to pastries and baked goods, there’s plenty that’s savory and sweet to go with your tea. For children who want to be like Eloise, there’s Tropical Garden or Vanilla Iced Tea, and for adults there’s a selection of teas and champagne. Children 16 and under can get Afternoon Tea for $50, while adults will need to shell out $110.

The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel

768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

3) American Tea Room – Los Angeles  

This Los Angeles tearoom features a wide array of iced and hot teas. The Cold Bar offers standouts like the Marrakesh Mojito (Marrakesh Green Tea with lime, mint, and syrup) and the Georgia Peach Sweet Tea. The Hot Bar features items such as the Himalayan Butter Tea (Nepalese Black, Oolong & Pu Er Tea Churned with Butter, Salt, Milk, and Honey) and the Okinawa Life Tea (Grand Jasmine Tea, Zingiber Tea, Turmeric, Ginger and Honey). There’s also a bevy of matcha options along with pastries, savory pies, truffles, and petit fours for hungry stomachs.

American Tea Room

909 S Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021

4) Samovar Tea Bar – San Francisco

Who said a tearoom has to be kitschy and cute? Samovar in San Franciso’s Mission district is sleek and minimalist. No doilies or knick-knacks here. They’ve got chai teas, tea lattes, herbal teas, iced teas, and more, like Oolong, white, turmeric, and Chocolate Pu-er. On-trend toasts and sweets are available to pair. If you’re looking for sit-down service, the minds behind Samovar run three tea lounges in San Francisco.

Samovar Tea Bar

The Mission
411 Valencia Street
San Francisco, 94103
(415) 553-6887

5) Ching Ching Cha – Washington, DC

Proprietor Ching Ching named this DC teahouse after himself. Every year, he travels to China, Taiwan, and Japan to bring back the best teas for his customers at this Georgetown tearoom. Ching Ching Cha features over 70 different kinds of tea along with traditional Chinese deserts, dumplings, and snacks. Everything is served in a traditional Chinese way—no shoes, no service. The environment is serene; a Washington City Paper reviewer even said that sipping tea here was like getting a full body massage, a sentiment that the Washington Post echoed in 1999 when it wrote Ching Ching Cha “has such an aura of peaceful beauty that you feel as if you were shedding the outside world along with your coat.” So for some inner peace and a tasty drink, head to Ching Ching Cha.

Ching Ching Cha

1063 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington DC 20007, USA

6) Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental – Las Vegas

Enjoy a pot of your favorite tea while gazing at the Eifel Tower from this skyscraping Vegas tea lounge. Adults can enjoy Afternoon Tea for $38, treating themselves to a selection of loose-leaf teas, salmon, chicken, crab, scones, and pastries. Children 12 and under can enjoy Children’s Afternoon Tea for $28, which includes kid-friendly PB&J, turkey and cheese, scones, a cupcake, and pastries. The Mandarin offers additional on-trend alcoholic teas, like the Royal Tea, which blends vodka with chilled Osmanthus Oolong tea and lemon, or the Tea-tini, which combines bourbon with cold Jasmine pearl tea, apple juice, and agave nectar.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

3752 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89158, USA
(702) 590 8888

7) High Garden – Nashville

Indoor branches and stools made from tree stumps put the garden in Music City’s High Garden. This East Nashville shop serves premium loose leaf teas from Japan, China, Taiwan, and India, as well as herbal infusions that promote energy, wellness, and relaxation. The Tea Flights special offers four teas served side-by-side for $10.

High Garden

935 Woodland St
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 919-4195

8) Abigail’s Tea Room – Boston           

When you hear “tea,” you think Boston. Home of the Boston Tea Party, Beantown has a proud history of tea drinkers (and throwers). Abigail’s Tea Room is part of the Boston Tea Party Museum. After actors bring the story of the Boston Tea Party to life, you can settle in to celebrate the drink that is partly responsible for our independence. Abigail’s serves up five historic teas in a bottomless Tea Tasting cup for $2.95; a Tea Platter for four is just $12 and includes a pot of Abigail’s Blend to pair with scones.

Abigail’s Tea Room

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
306 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210

9) Band of Bohemia – Chicago

This Chicago eatery bills itself as a “culinary brewhouse” and it’s known for its teas, which include black or green iced Tea and several premium blends, such as the Yame Kabusecha, described as a “Kabuse-style green tea from Hoshinumura Village” with notes of cucumber, untoasted nori, and sea salt. The Ruby 18 tea brings together Taiwanese and Indian Assam teas with notes of sassafras, menthol, and earth. Paintings by Chicago artist Elizabeth Webe decorate the space, giving it an artistic vibe.

Band of Bohemia

4710 N Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 271-4710

 10) Full English – Austin

England is known for its tea. But if you don’t have the dough to hop across the pond, you’ll love this Brit-owned and run café in Austin. It’s artsy and old school and there’s even legos to keep your hands busy in between sips of tea, of which they have plenty: leaf teas, bagged teas and tea lattes abound. Try the Zhi Egyptian Chamomile, the Tetley Masala, or the Full English London Fog Latte. High Tea is available by appointment 24 hours in advance for $15 and includes a selection of tea sandwiches, scones, and sweets. So put on your best British accent or red coat and get Full English.

Full English

2000 Southern Oaks Drive
Austin, TX 78745