Back to ye olde tealog today. Too much work makes tea scribbling go boom.
This tea requires a little background. Mamaki is a native Hawaiian flowering plant, and long ago, in a galaxy that we still call home, fresh mamaki leaves were combined with hot stones and spring water by ancient Hawaiians “to produce an herbal tea that was an effective treatment for general debility. Today, packages of dried mamaki leaves are commercially produced.” (Thanks, Wikipedia! We should always believe your publicly-editable information without question!) Of course, centuries later, hot stones and spring water would again be combined to produce spa treatments that cost about a bazillion dollars per year, and the ghosts of ancient Hawaiians would lament their lack of royalties.
Ah well. With my sarcasm I digress.
I discovered this organic mamaki tea last summer at Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, an organic coffee plantation located in the mist-soaked hills of the Big Island. I actually saw the plants from which this organic tea grew with my own two eyes, in fact, making this perhaps my most sentimentally unusual tea.
As for the taste, mamaki lies somewhere between an earthy-nutty green and a touch of delicate-sweet white, which makes sense for an herbal tea of this nature. (The company describes this tea as a “white tea without caffeine,” but it is in fact an herbal tea. Represent accurately, yo.) Without any ancient Hawaiian ghosts to guide me in preparation, I can only guess at steep time and water temperature. This is a full-leaf tea, too: there are literally entire leaves, albeit dried, filling the tin, which makes measurement a little more interesting. I went with green steeping recommendations today, since using hotter water in the past made this tea a little too flavorless for my taste. This time it fared better.
But, ah, does it cure debility? Alas, I have no scientific data on that claim, but I do feel empowered enough to compose my requisite tea-haiku(s):
Before there were drugs
from the doctor, some drank tea.
Grass skirt optional.
Poor mamaki leaves,
fallen from paradise to
a cynic’s teacup!