Hawaiian Islands Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

100

I’ll probably have to write another review when I’ve gotten over this cold, and fully regained all my senses, but this tea is absolutely lovely. A wonderful departure from plain black teas, and a welcome diversion from said cold. I had 2 cups this evening, and it was wonderful – the fruit flavor wasn’t synthetic (as I’d feared it may be), and it was just enough to add interest without being overpowering.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more

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62

This was definitely an impulse buy at the grocery store, they had several different kinds of Hawaiian Island Teas and I chose this one. I decided to use two teabags in a large-ish mug. Eh, it isn’t terrible but not that great either. It tastes of mostly rooibos and I was hoping for something with more of a punchy flavor in terms of the coconut or the macadamia. I added some soymilk and some coconut extract to this and that did improve upon the flavor slightly but it still leaves something to be desired. Anyway I am also giving it a solid “meh”

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 45 sec
Will Work For Tea

Solid “meh” – lol

Scott B

What about adding Chocolate extract?

TeaBrat

I might have to try that next, it does need something

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DISCLAIMER: Very old tea. Do not rely on this review to judge this tea or company!

The third of the ancient teas. Dry, this one does have a bit of a fruity smell, different than the mango tea. Somewhat promising, but it’s unlikely to be any different than the first two :P

Steeped, there’s a definite fruity smell as well.

Argh, I let this one cool too much, and all I can taste is cardboardy, astringent black tea. I think there was potential at a warmer temperature, but it’s too late now. I really don’t want this cup. Into the sink you go…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 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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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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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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55

My dad got this for me. It just wasn’t for me. It has a mild strength of guava. It has a cold medicine feel to it, does ginseng have that effect? I have had ginseng tea, but don’t remember that feeling. It reminds me how Coldeeze feels in your mouth, but not as extreme. It’s something that made me not like the tea. The tea itself was just mediocre. I am donating the rest to a friend who has a cold, I hope she enjoys it. I really was looking forward to the guava flavor. First guava flavored tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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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52

I give this tea a ‘meh’. It’s not bad for a red rooibos-based tea but it’s not spectacularly good either. I can sorta taste the coconut and a creaminess that that might or might not the be the macadamia nut, but none of the flavours really shout out to me; they’re there but at a background level.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

In theory, this sounds wonderful - sorry it didn’t actually execute well. :)

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85

I got this at my local Japanese store. I was looking forward to passion fruit flavor. I LOVE anything passion fruit. It’s hard to find products that include it, since it’s so pricey here in the USA. It shouldn’t be though.

I made this into an iced tea. The passion fruit is in a perfect strength, and very real tasting. You can’t smell it, but it’s there. I might have to check out the other flavors they offer. The black tea in it is brisk and refreshing. No astringency.

I have some passion fruit puree in my freezer, I might have to make a fun drink with this tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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43

Had this again today and I forgot how old it is. Got a slightly cedar-ish note from it and then read my previous review and had to laugh because I said there was something “woody” in it. I think this is going in the trash along with the other 2 blends it came with.

Atacdad

I’ve toyed with ordering their teas, but have been put off by their only have fruit teas…I think this review will put the nail in their coffin, for me. I wonder why they don’t offer plain tea…and that makes me suspicious. I do order the coffee from their sister coffee business (Gold Lion Kona blend for the win!).

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80

I recently received this one from a friend that lives in Hawaii. This smells of glorious guava once opened! Intensely scented for a bagged tea!!! As for the taste – it was more ginseng at first! The it was half ginseng and half green tea tasting. The more it cooled I could finally get the guava notes! I prefer to wait on this one to cool a bit so I can get that guava flavor tied in! Once that happened I enjoyed this cup more!

SupremeMongoose

Interesting that you got so much more ginseng taste than I did – mine isn’t very strong at all! I wonder if I have an older batch? :)

Batrachoid

Wow, can you send anything from this company? Their teas sound like they were made for my mother. XD I’ll have to bug the international grocery to carry them.

SupremeMongoose

Batrachoid – you can buy tea directly from the company online: http://www.hawaiianislandstea.com/GuavaGinsengTea/tabid/210/Default.aspx

Batrachoid

Mahalo. =) Ooh, they’re still applying their holiday discount. Mahalo again!

TeaEqualsBliss

I only had one bag of each via a swap or I would gladly send you some if I had it that is! :)

SupremeMongoose

Glad to help! I need to order some more myself :D

Atacdad

completely off topic, but I owe SupremeMongoose for posting that link…they had links to Lion Coffee, which my wife and I fell in love with YEARS ago, but I always thought it was local to the islands only. I hadn’t looked for it in several years, but there it was! cool, very cool! ;-)

SupremeMongoose

Yay! The Internet is amazing ;)

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92

I received this from a friend…straight from the islands! This is highly fragrant! VERY juicy and fresh aroma-wise! YUM!

This is a fine flavored black! The Mango is delightful! But you can still tell it’s a black tea. The aroma and flavor from this bagged fellow really amazes me! Very tasty!

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89

I purchased this tea during a trip to Hawaii – I love all things guava! This tea is quite good, but it really needs a sweetener to bring out the flavor – I find a little bit of honey does the trick nicely.

The green tea is mellow, and the flavors of the guava and ginseng aren’t overpowering. I steep it for 5 minutes (the directions advise 3-5 minutes) – usually I wouldn’t steep green tea for so long, but this one seems to need it or it doesn’t come out well.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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31

Licorice is the first thing that came to mind as the hot water hit the tea bag. I almost dumped it but thought it can’t really taste like licorice. Well, I was right but I’m not sure what this tastes like. It certainly isn’t pineapple. I think it’s trying to be fruity but it fails. It does smell a tiny bit like pineapple after I removed the tea bag but that does not carry over into the taste. Adding some Sugar in the Raw to see if that helps it any. Nope. Somehow that removes what little flavor it had.

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62

Okay, I’m drinking this as I write about it so I can hopefully do a better job this time. I don’t get any coconut OR macadamia flavour from this, and no sweetness at all. There’s a definite taste to it, but I guess I can’t recognize what that is, so I can’t put a name on it. I brewed this pretty strong this go ‘round and it didn’t get bitter, but it made that taste even “louder” so to speak. I guess one word to describe this tea is weird. I can’t really describe it and I don’t really love it, but it’s different.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec

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63

I only had 1 bag of this, which my non-tea-drinking mom got in the mail free with some Hawaiian black sand. I drank it yesterday, but it left an impression. I can still write about it.

I didn’t let the water get hot enough, so I let it steep longer than the recommended 1-3 minutes. I’m weird. Anyway, it was sweet. I thought I could taste the macadamia, but I’m really not sure what all was in it. It wasn’t coconutty, which was nice for me. It was hard to describe, but it was definitely sweet. For all I know, it could have had rooibos in it. There was something in there that wasn’t sweet (wasn’t bitter), but I couldn’t place it. It was definitely more than coconut (if it actually had that) and macadamia! I wasn’t sure when I was drinking it whether or not I thought I tasted fruit in there. It wasn’t floral. It confused me quite a bit. I probably won’t be looking for it to buy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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62

I forgot to review this as I was drinking it today (and I guess I didn’t review it the last time I drank it either), so I can’t go too in-depth, but there isn’t really much coconut flavour in this. It also says it’s an herbal tea but it contains black tea so I think their definition of herbal is a little funky.

I enjoy this tea just because it’s different, but I’m not sure I’ll be too sad when I use it all up. I stuck some in the Traveling Tea Box, so I’m anxious to hear what other people think!

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82

Hawaiian Islands Tea impresses me again with this smooth, creamy black tea with a yummy vanilla flavor that’s not too overpowering. I added milk to my cup, which goes very well, in my opinion, with vanilla/black teas. Next time I think I’ll try it without milk to get an even better taste of the flavour of this tea.

Fabulous comfort tea!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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83

Hot days in Boston recently; iced tea season is back in full force! My first pitchers of iced tea this year have been made with Mango Maui, which is light and refreshing for a black tea. I LOVE it. I’m often torn between black tea and fruity flavours, and I love when both meet in a perfectly balanced tea. I’m generally impressed with all of the teas I’ve tried from Hawaiian Islands Tea Company, but Mango Maui has been a constant staple in my cupboard.

And like I said last year, it’s HAPPY. :)

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43

My sister got this for me years ago (when she lived in Hawaii). It came in a pack with two other tropical teas, and I keep forgetting to drink them. The reason for that would be that they’re pretty forgettable. Unfortunately, this “pineapple” blend isn’t fruity at all. At most, I get a slightly woody note out of this tea, and otherwise it’s just a slightly funky-tasting black tea. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’ve had it for so long, but I remember being terribly disappointed after first trying it as well.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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75

Iced and mixed with lemonade

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75

Had it iced for a good after-lunch pick-me-up

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