Hawaiian Islands Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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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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49

I’m having a bit of a hard time drinking this one right now. For some reason I was feeling fine and then I took the first sip and it felt like the back of my throat became very raw. T_T

Anyway, this is another tea that says natural flavoring in the ingredients and that drives me nuts because that doesn’t say much. Just go look up natural flavoring on Google and you’ll see what I mean. So to me this is mainly a Rooibos tea with a bit of added something. I’m assuming it’s coconut seeing as how that’s what this tea is called.

Regardless it’s a good Rooibos. There’s just not much to it.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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73

For a tea that tastes so good it sure has a funky pre-steeped smell. I felt that 2 mins of steeping is the right amount to get a good flavor without making it bitter. Its good with some honey too.

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87

Yum, I like this one sweetened and iced. Doing it myself, muuuuch cheaper than buying the bottles of it at the store.

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52

Bagged

Aroma when Dry: Bright, Sour Hibiscus, Lemon dominate
After water is first poured: delicate and tangy, fruity. All three notes noticed, lemon, Hibiscus and Honey. Slightly grassy note from the green tea base.
At end of steep: smooths out, sweetens slightly, then it mellows out so much it gets bland.
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: grassy

Staple? No, but may revisit, for use as medicinal.
Time of day preferred: Morning, Afternoon.
Taste:
first notes: Honey, then a hint of lemon. Hibiscus very faint.
As it cools? Lemon surfaces greatly.
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No.
Lingers? Slightly, with mild sour note.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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100

Like the other teas I’ve tried from this company, this one is a home run – the fruit flavor is nice but not overpowering, and it smells absolutely heavenly :-)

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

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100

Another review will likely be forthcoming when I’ve gotten over my cold and fully regained all my senses, but I did enjoy the 2 cups of this tea that I had tonight. Like its counterpart, Pineapple Waikiki, the fruit flavor wasn’t synthetic, and it wasn’t overpowering. It was just enough to add interest.

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

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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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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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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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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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