Hawaiian Islands Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

62

Pass the Stash TTB #1

First tea from the Pass the Stash TTB. It’s kind of meh for me. I’ve definitely had worse rooibos teas, but this isn’t really anything special to write home about. I don’t get much coconut, and just a very faint hint of macadamia. It’s drinkable, but that’s pretty much it.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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76

1 tea bag used
Malty. Note of beer. Mango flavour is subtle. Black tea is slightly brisk.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 13 OZ / 375 ML

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I was in Hawaii and spotted this box at a market. It is a rooibos, but I’m not really tasting the rooibos which is fine by me. I added a little sugar. I get a very distinct macadamia nut flavor and a creaminess like young coconut. The two flavors pair well into an almost chocolate like flavor, but it isn’t a very exciting decaf option… at least at the moment. As the cup cools I get a bit of the rooibos dry mouth feeling. I wonder if my opinion will change if I drink this when I’m in a better mood.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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75

11/28
This was the other bagged tea i grabbed to make my life easier while i finished up testing. this is pretty tasty for a bagged tea, but i have to say – annoying that i had to cut the bag open to get at the tea bag lol no easy rip line or anything.. so i was worried i’d cut the tea bag. this one’s pretty mango-y and not at all bitter. thanks for this one omgsrsly

FInal, Final Count: 158 lol

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78

Shadowfall sent me a bag of this as a free sample with my purchases from her stash sale. I don’t drink many bagged teas, but the convenience is a welcome change. :P When I opened the packet, I was immediately hit by a lovely juicy scent. It’s definitely a combination of mango and peach, maybe with some tart apricot in there. Smells amazing! I steeped for 3 minutes, which was the maximum recommended by the package.

I’m actually finding this quite enjoyable. The flavor is certainly not true-to-life or anything, but it’s pleasant enough and the level of flavor is good. The base tea is fairly strong, and it’s a bit woody and malty. I did add some sugar to mine, so I can’t really comment on bitterness, but mine certainly doesn’t have any. A tad bit drying, but nothing terrible. Overall, I like this a lot given the convenience!

Flavors: Apricot, Mango, Peach

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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From Another TTB Round 2

The box arrived! EEEiiii! This is my first TTB so I’m excited. The box actually isn’t as overwhelming as I though it would be so YAY!

I grabbed this one first out of the box because I’ve been wanting to try some Hawaiian teas but hadn’t the chance yet. Plus it’s one of the few tea bags in here and I wanted something easy.

They aren’t kidding when they say Pineapple! Even dry the tea bag was delightfully pineapple-y. I love pineapple, I could eat it all day if only my tongue didn’t go numb.

The black tea base is OK, it’s not overwhelming, but I wouldn’t call it amazing either. Overall it’s not offensive, but I think I would have found a green tea base more interesting. The smell of the brewed liquor is not as sweet of a pineapple as when it’s dry. The dry smell was more like crytallized pineapple versus the brewed smell which is more like pineapple juice. Mostly this tea is awesome because of the smell, but that is pretty fleeting as the tea cools.

Surprisingly enough I’m getting that ‘back of the tongue, numb feeling’ I get from eating fresh pineapple. Haha, talk about getting the entire experience!
Would I buy? Maybe. I’m sad that this is the only teabag of this tea in the box, so those behind me won’t get to try it, but I might have taken it all for myself anyway, so there’s that.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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70

This came my way via the last traveling teabox I believe. I wasn’t expecting too much given that it was just a regular teabag filled with what looked like tea dust, but honestly it’s not bad. Luckily I paid attention to the directions on the packet and only steeped it for 2 minutes as the results were surprisingly flavourful without being astringent. I can really taste the mango too and it actually tastes like the fruit rather than Random Tropical Fruit Flavour™.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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My parents got this for me when they went to Hawaii in the fall. I, umm, just started unpacking my Christmas presents and voila! More tea…

This smells soooo good dry. I do find that the mango scent fades a lot once steeped. I’m preferring it with some almond milk, rather than plain. This way, it’s a decent, creamy, fruity black tea. I think it’d make a really good milky iced tea, actually. Maybe I’ll try that.

(2 bags, 16 oz)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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44

Perhaps I got a bland bag or I didn’t steep it long enough; whatever the case, I am not tasting much strawberry or lychee. This is disappointing because I really love both of those flavors. The black tea that they use is quite good though.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75

This is one of those bagged teas, if you are used to great loose black teas, tastes kinda meh. However, after a couple runs and fussing with temperature and times, I found at the 200F and 3 minute mark gets a decent cup. About 10oz for a bag. I oversteeped the first couple and the blend is kinda bitter and weird tasting with not much pineapple.

The black base is a little uninspiring, but the pineapple is quite nice. It’s very pineapple tasting with a bit of a candied brown sugar taste. Actually, it’s not bad.

Ugg, I miss Hawaii. Wish I could move there!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil

mmmmmmmm pineapple…

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21

I got this as a bonus in a swap from CK longer ago than I care to admit, but I’m never terribly quick at getting to my bagged offerings. (I’m trying! I promise!)

I don’t really care for this though. The hibiscus adds a bitter/sour note that I can’t shake and the honey has a strange plastic/wax flavored aftertaste. It reminds me a bit of the flavor of wax lips. Which is sad, because I like it initially and then it gets blah.

This won’t be a revisit for me, as I just barely managed to get my cup down this time.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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57

I got this as a bonus in a swap with CK quite a while ago. I’m already pretty caffeinated, so I wanted something light this afternoon!

I generally like hibiscus…this tea is somewhat bitter though, and I’m not getting any honey flavor. There is a weird artificial element going on here, too. Meh, not very good, sorry! :)

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73

Trying this again. Hopefully the review sticks to the right tea this time. :)

This most definitely tastes of “exotic tropical fruit.” It’s lightly sweet and smells very good. The tea base is pretty light. It’s okay hot but cold it’s really good. Continues the preference I seem to have for fruit teas only when cold.

Thanks, CK, for the chance to try this!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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63

I’m not a huge fan of mango but it’s been slowing growing on me. It’s a perfect balance of black tea and mango pieces. Makes me want to sit on Poipu beach and sip this tea iced. Oh it’s also good with some honey.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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70

The problem with ginseng is that it is an overpowering flavor no matter what else you use it with. I do enjoy this tea but I wish that the guava would be more flavorful. Also if you haven’t yet, try this tea with honey. It brings out some of the guava flavor. Truly though the best part of the tea is the smell. Hawai’i in my nose.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Encouraged by being pleasantly surprised by the Mango Maui, I decided to continue trying out these teas that my sister purchased for me during her honeymoon. :)

Apparently wherever they source the flavoring for the Mango Maui are used again for this one. The scent of the teabag was exactly the same except with a bit of a tartness to it, despite the different fruit. Part of me is worrying about the sudden intake of chemicals, but a cup here and there can’t hurt too much.

As it turns out, it’s not just the smell that tastes pretty much the same, but the taste does too. =/ Which is kinda disappointing. When you have assorted flavors in a box, you kinda expect them to taste different. That said, the tea is surprisingly good to begin with, so it’s not a total loss. The main difference between this and the Mango Maui is that it’s less sweet tasting, which tickles the temptation to add a bit of sugar to remedy this.

Anyway, I can’t see myself purchasing these teas for myself (assuming it’s available outside of Hawaii) but it’s perfectly unoffensive, especially since it was a gift. :) I’ll still be keeping one teabag of each flavor in the box as a memento.

Only one more flavor to try from the box. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Finally broke open the box. I was hoarding it for about six months, because it was a gift from my sister, who bought it for me during her honeymoon in Hawaii. So in other words, regardless of how this actually tastes, it’s automatically special. Hence the hoarding.

But she seems upset everytime she sees the still-sealed box, so I rationalized that I could just drink most of it, and leave one teabag of each flavor, (The box came with this, Pineapple Waikiki and Passion Fruit Na Poli, six bags of each) and still hold onto this precious memento.

Anyway, the smell of the bag worries me. It’s very potent and fruity, but in the way that threatens to taste very fake. Sure enough, it doesn’t actually contain any mango in it, it’s all “natural and artifical flavoring.” Which isn’t terribly surprising for a teabag. But still, this is my precious tea, so I’m hopeful it’ll taste reasonably good.

After taking the first couple sips, I must say I’m pleasantly surprised! It’s surprisingly not bitter for a bag — no additives, mind you — and I steeped to the maximum recommended time too. So far it doesn’t taste terribly fake, though since I made this with boiling water and no milk (milk and fruit? Blech!) so it’s still quite hot to taste it entirely, but so far it seems pleasantly sweet and fruity with a definite black tea taste. It’s definitely not real mango, but it tastes more authentic than any mango juice you can pick up at the supermarket.

Rating will come after I’ve finished the cup. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Haha, I think I may have received a similar set of the same teas. However…. mine’s probably close to 15 years old now. Flavour, not so great. I think I may have reviewed but not rated the teas.

Chizakura

Ha, yeah actually I read your tasting notes of them. When I was about to do one of my own, I was curious to see what other people had thought.

Not bad for bagged, but I couldn’t imagine myself buying a box for myself either. It’s more that they’re ‘special’ than anything. :)

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Hmm, not really getting a lot of pineapple here. Lots of the black tea, and behind that a bit of something fruity and woody. Kind of thin, but not unpleasant. My parents brought this back from Hawaii for me and on the box it suggests using a sweetener to enhance the fruit flavour. Trying that next time!
Edit: Lighter on the second steep— less of the black tea and wood, more of the fruit.

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I am very very picky about mango, which isn’t the tea’s fault. I thought I would give this tea a try. I think I dislike mango flavoring. The tea has a perfect balance of tea and flavoring. It is good iced. I just don’t like mango as the flavoring, I prefer mangoes only in Indian food where it’s mixed with something. Mmmm, mango pickle or mango lassi, that’s something I could eat right now.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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DISCLAIMER: If you are looking for reviews of this tea prior to purchase, do not read this one. My tea is so old as to be completely non-indicative of the actual tea. Hence the lack of rating, as well.

Ooook, so this is an OLDIE. I mean, it’s probably 10+ years old. And not stored well. I have low expectations (although got some nice fruity mangoey smells just now… perhaps it won’t be as bad as I think?) My mom brought these back for me from Hawaii forever ago, and I drank a few bags’ worth, but that’s it, and have kept them around until now out of guilt. Perhaps if there’s a bit of flavour left, I’ll finally use them up! I have two other flavours as well, Pineapple Waikiki, and Passionfruit Na Pali. The last time I recall trying one of these (a few months ago), I recall much cardboardy flavour… but there was likely oversteeping then too. fingers crossed

Ok. It smells a bit fruity in the cup now. Just a bit. Flavour-wise, I can definitely taste the black tea, and although somewhat astringent, I feel like it’s a touch malty as well, which is nice. Sadly though, this does not taste much like mango. And sure enough… there is a bit of a cardboardiness as well. No real surprise there.

It’s definitely drinkable, given that I brilliantly only steeped it for 3 and a half minutes, and without additions, even. I’d love to try a fresh batch of this (and the other) teas. I’m probably missing out, given TeaEqualsBliss ’ review & rating below.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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DISCLAIMER: This is very old tea. Please don’t judge this tea or company by this review. (No rating for this reason.)

Due to lack of a tea ball, I figured ‘why not try to use up some of these ancient teas’? So, round 2 of ancient tea. Round 3 coming shortly (well, you see, I also took home one of my mugs, so only have one…. what’s this one-tea-at-a-time thing?!)

This might be the least appetizing of the bunch. The teabag smells like… oldness. Haha. There are also more of this type than either of the others, because I guess I was more enamoured by passion fruit and mango (not too surprising).

The smell of the steeped tea has a bit of light fruitiness. I wouldn’t identify it as pineapple, but it’s definitely different than the mango tea. I’m also smelling some black tea maltiness. I think I do like the black tea base that was used for these blends.

Oh wow! There’s actually some pineapple flavour! At least initially. I was not expecting that. Like, we’re actually talking a flavour that I identify not as mere fruitiness, but pineapple. It is very subtle though, and mostly in the beginning of the sip, before the black tea moreso takes over. Given it’s age, I’m pretty impressed though. Another tea that I’d like to try a fresher version of. I think I might like it :) One more to go…

ETA: Blagh! I let this cool down, had a yogurt, and then finished it, and somehow it tasted like it had developed a fair bit more astringency. Ick. Oh well, it was nice when it was warm!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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