Hawaiian Grown Tea

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Doesn’t look like much now but one day this will be part of a beautiful working tea farm…Hawaiian Style!  Ulupalakua Ranch on the leeward side of Haleakala is planting tea at 4700′ above sea level.  What makes this project unique is that rows of tea is being planted between rows of native koa trees.  The koa will grow tall over time while the tea will be manicured to be an understory crop.  Leaves from the koa trees help with nitrogen fixation to maintain soil fertility for years to come.

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Why Hawaiian Natural Tea is Unique

Mango Peach

Hawaiian Natural Tea, aka HNT, captures the “east meets west” fusion of flavors and cultures that define Hawaii as the melting pot of the Pacific.  Mango Peach, Passionfruit Orange and Pineapple Strawberry are tropical and western flavor combinations that work extremely well together.  The propreitary tea blends of green, black and white teas are lower in caffeine and higher in antioxidants compared to traditional black tea blends.  They are also less astringent than green tea only blends.   These blends offer a cup of tea that is much smoother and a more enjoyable tea experience.

Tap Root

Tap Root

This keiki tea plant has a great chance to grow and thrive because of the healthy tap root that has formed. These plants will be tranferred to pots and sit in a shade house until ready to transfer to the field.

From Farm to Cup

From Farm to Cup

These 20,000 keiki tea plants are heading to farms around the state. Sponsored by the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture, this two year project sets out to start 20 new tea farms and double the number of acres in cultivation.  Big Island Tea oversees the project’s propagation.  Big Island Tea has been growing and making tea in Hawai’i for over ten years.  They were selected for the project because of their passion and expertise but also because they produce outstanding, world class tea.

Follow us on this journey, from farm to cup, for more ono-licious Hawaiian grown tea.

Hawaii Tea Club

The Hawaii Tea Club presents Oolalah! An Afternoon of Oolongs with special guest Thomas Shu, a noted tea purveyor who has received the distinction of Ambassador of Taiwan Tea by the Taiwan Tea Manufacturers’ Association.  This interactive workshop will focus on the basics and finer points of oolong.  Topics will include choosing the right tea for you, proper brewing techniques and accoutrements that make oolongs fun.

Mr. Shu will lead the group in a cupping of 6 new oolong teas that are scheduled for release later this year.  Here’s a preview:

Classic Jade Oolong

This naturally fragrant high mountain tea instantly captures the heart with its flavor and aroma.  After repeated oxidation and rolling, the lasting flavor is sealed in tightly curled leaves.

The vision of the Hawaii Tea Club is to be a community of tea enthusiasts who enjoy drinking tea, learning about it and sharing their experiences with others. This workshop is the club’s first event and will take place on Saturday, March 3rd at The Pineapple Room, Ala Moana Center, Macy’s 3rd floor, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  Admission is $20.00 which includes light refreshments.

To register, or for more information, please email HawaiiTeaClub@gmail.com .

Get information about upcoming events by following theHawaii Tea Club on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/HawaiiTeaClub.

Hawaii Regional Cuisine

Photo by Steve Minkowski

23 years ago, fine dining in Hawaii meant going out for steak and lobster.  Tea was by colors… green or black.  Roy’s Restaurant opened in the culinary boondocks of Hawaii Kai.  And a movement was started.  Professionally, it’s been a privilege to grow up in the era of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine.  I have learned from and been sharpened by some of the finest Chefs, Food & Beverage Directors, Sommeliers and food writers.  Collectivley, HRC changed the way we look at food that’s raised, farmed and foraged in the Islands.  The following is taken from a press release by the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

In August 1991, twelve of Hawaii’s most talented chefs from across the Islands gathered on Maui and pioneered a new culinary concept: “Hawaii Regional Cuisine.” The premise was to elevate the culinary experience in Hawaii by featuring the foods of Hawaii’s land and sea into each of the chef’s own distinctive styles of cooking, resulting in exciting, creative presentations and delectable dining experiences . Both collaboratively and individually, they put Hawaii on the international culinary map and inspired-and mentored-generations of talented chefs. The founders of the movement, which include Sam Choy, Roger Dikon, Mark Ellman, Amy Ferguson, Beverly Gannon, Jean-Marie Josselin, George Mavrothalassitis, Peter Merriman, Philippe Padovani, Gary Strehl, Alan Wong, and Roy Yamaguchi, ultimately contributed to a local and regional food movement that continues to gain traction throughout the world. (Hawaii Restaurant Association)