Mauna Kea Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

Mm, Sweet Roast Green. If Pokemon were iced tea, this would be a legendary. There was a huge batch for a party this week, and it was GONE before I could get a refill.

The leaves are fragmented, not a quality defect but a result of roasting. And what delicious roasting it is, producing a sweet-tart, and slightly toasty green tea with hints of pineapple and seaweed. The tartness is in the flavor and in the texture, with a strong, pleasant tingle especially when brewed hot (then cooled, if making iced tea). Absolutely no astringency or bitterness here, even when subjected to boiling temperatures in the way that I like to torture green tea sometimes (FOR SCIENCE).

And so easy to make too, it doesn’t take more than a short half minute to extract flavor from it, but it will take a beating too. Most interesting: that slight pineapple and marine character. Might be a consistent trait of the Hawaiian region. Go go US-grown tea!!

Flavors: Nutty, Pineapple, Seaweed, Sweet, warm grass, Tart

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76

thanks for this freebie in our swap, Marcel Duchamp! This one looks very odd because it looks like leaves you would find a tree, crumpled up. Not what a green tea actually looks like! I don’t think I’ve had a green tea like this before. I cooled the water for a half hour and went with a three minute steep: The flavor is very vegetal at first, but then as it cools (or you get to the bottom of the cup) it gets nuttier and sweeter. I was thinking of a buttery green today, so I guess I should have had sencha, but this is certainly not disappointing (except for maybe the non-buttery aspect). It looks different than a usual green tea but the taste is the same!

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70

Green and it’s fishy up in my nose. A slight bitterness. Sort of yellow. Mildly astringent.

I’m not sure what I think. It’s an odd mix of flavors.

I’ll need to continue a few tastes over time to decide what I really think of this one… So far I like it I think… Odd.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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85

I got this tea from Elyse at Tealet.com :)
The aroma was nice to me, sweet, roasty green aroma when dry and a scent similar to fresh cut grass when steeped.
The appearance was neat too, little green “fish-food” flakes of tea kinda like Yerba Mate.
The flavor of this one is roasty, quite smokey and slightly malty with green vegetal notes.
it reminds me of some japanese green tea i’ve had before.
The steeping time that i saw on steepster for this one is 205 degree for 2 minutes and the review above is result i got from that suggestion.
I also decided to try this with slightly cooler water and shorter steeps, i went at about 190 degrees for 30 to start, i liked it much better.
The flavor this time was nice and roasty and only slightly smokey with sweet vegetal notes, i think short steeps on this one is better for me :)
I really enjoyed it, Thank You Elyse!!!!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Snow storm outside so I thought I’d go through some of the tea I have stocked up for just such a situation.

Only started with this tea as I already had boiling water. Odd that directions wanted that, toasted flavor is almost all I taste, added a bit of honey to cut through, all I smell is grass/hay.

Not bad, just not my favorite.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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97

Backlog from yesterday – my birthday tea!

I woke up and my stomach was really upset for some reason. This always steers me toward green teas or mint teas, and I saw this first so into the infuser it went.

I still think the directions on this are really confusing – they say 5 grams to one quart, which is what – 1/2 tsp. to a cup? Still at boiling for two minutes. I can do the boiling water and the 2 minute steep time (hesitantly!) but anything less than 1 tsp. would surely be too weak for me.

I went with the 1 tsp. and yeah, I can’t imagine doing less leaf – as it was I got a light vegetal green but I think it would have been little more than tinted water if I’d followed that recommended amount. This was very soothing and there were some roasted undertones that did give it an oolong-ish character. I had this with honey in Hawaii, but yesterday it was just plain and it was more than drinkable.

It is unlike any tea I’ve had before – I don’t know if that’s because it was grown in such a unique climate or what, but I’m going to be sad when my small sample is gone. Guess I’ll just have to move there so I get it more frequently! :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
MissLena

Happy belated bday! Hope your stomach got feeling better!

Sil

neat!

Fjellrev

Happy happy birthday!

OMGsrsly

Happy birthday. :)

Sil

i’m such a noob…totally missed that it was your birthday! Happy belated!

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97

Bought this while on Mauna Kea for the summit tour on the Big Island. (How is my vacation over already?!)

Anyway, I was not about to pass up tea grown on the mountain I was currently standing on – I mean, how often does that happen? Once I got it back to our rental house, I realized the parameters were pretty atypical for a green – boiling water and two minutes. The leaves were pretty atypical for a green, too – there was no uniformity, some were as long as grass shavings, others as small as mint leaves.

As is typical for a vacation brew, I guesstimated at amounts and steeping times. This didn’t suffer from the lack of precision, though. It reminded me most of an oolong, probably since it was a dark roast, but there is a notable vegetal flavor too. Mostly I’m surprised that the leaves held up to boiling water without turning into an astringent mess.

I’m rating this high for now partly because of the nostalgia factor, but I have enough left to give it a try at home and judge it a little more carefully then. It was pretty fabulous to be able to get tea so close to its source – if only that could be a permanent thing (sigh).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

awesome!

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80

Last cup of this. Hopefully I’ll see it at another craft fair or some thing. It’s a nice green tea with warm, toasty flavor. :)

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My mom bought some of this for me :) I followed the brewing on the package and got a light, sweet green tea. It’s good, refreshing and the taste is not too strong. It has a natural sweetness to it that’s light so it seems like it would taste good iced as well. I didn’t get any bitterness or unpleasant aftertaste, nice warmth on a cold night.

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83

I think it was Azz who sent me this one, so sorry, if someone else did! Eeeek!

This is really nice and smooth and roasted and sweet. That about sums it up, really! I’m really impressed with this flavor, tho, it doesn’t look all that interesting but it IS super flavorful and unique!

A nice slurping or Gulping tea!

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13

I am going through all the steepster select items that have never been tried. I think I am in the minority but I really did not like this. It reminded me of bad seaweed and I LOVE seaweed salad…but this was just not my cup. I posted it on the swap discussion.

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67

There is definitely a roasted flavor to it. One of the most unique green teas I have tried. I am going to have to make another cup and see how it goes. I am also thinking of increasing the steep time to 3 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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84

This is really delicious! Last time I think I suggested that it tasted rather like a genmaicha; this time I feel like it was much sweeter and more nuanced. Wish I could remember exactly what I thought of it, but I was definitely quite impressed!

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

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84

Yay, trying out another sample from Missy & Dylan tonight! Thanks guys! Have definitely been missing you on Steepster…. :(

Sweet and genmaicha-like are the associations I’m getting from the steeped cup, which isn’t surprising given that the flavour is roasty and sweet like genmaicha, although short on toasted rice flavour. This is definitely a different take on green tea, in my mind, being so far from the vegetal teas I’m more used to, but it’s nice and calming. I’d probably choose to drink a genmaicha of some variety over this one though if I was looking for a quieting tea, as there’s considerably less caffeine in them (or at least there is in the tea I have, which I swear is 80% rice!)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

My granddaughters like this with sugar. Reminds them of the salty, sweet rice cookies from the Asian foods store close by. So good! Love the toasty taste.

Dylan Oxford

Looks like things are picking up again, so you’ll probably be seeing us around! Hope you’ve been well, and glad you enjoyed the sample :)

Missy

This is a green I love. It’s not finicky at all and it has a wholesome goodness to it that makes me feel hugged by my grandma.

Kittenna

Not finicky (I agree, unlike teas that go bitter if you steep them 2 seconds too long or at the wrong temp), but I somehow managed to ruin the next two infusions of it by not using enough water/steeping it for WAY too long. Sigh. I still have more to try later though!

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79

This is a pretty awesome green tea. It really reminds me of a sweeter gen mai cha. Gen mai cha made with Rice Krispies cereal. The roasted flavor has carmel like qualities. The green tea is smooth and almost malty. Smooth operator, lalala. I have now named it rice krisy tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

I’m excited to try this one :D

Missy

It’s my favorite green right now

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93

Wow! I like this a lot! I’ve tried Mauna Kea’s green and Oolong teas, but, I had not yet tried the sweet roast, and this is unlike any green tea I think I’ve tried. When I think of roasted tea, I immediately think of Houjicha, but this is not quite like Houjicha. This is more like a thin Matcha – not thick and creamy like Matcha but I taste more of a Matcha-like taste to it, but with a roasty-toasty quality to it too.

I like this a lot… and I think that this makes up for the other two less-than-exciting teas in the Steepster box this month. Excellent choice, Steepster!

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87

My Steepster Select box came today as well… man, I am just getting a ton of new tea to try!

In the bag, I wasn’t really sure what to think about this tea’s smell. It truly smelled like hay and fresh grass, and I was setting myself up for disappointment. I just can’t handle the teas that taste like I’m drinking hay. It’s just not right. I’m sure it’s healthy, but it’s not right.

Let me say that I was delightfully, pleasantly surprised by the flavor of this tea. The toasted-ness definitely brings out some malty, sweet notes from the green tea that makes it super enjoyable. It is truly transformed away from the green tea flavor into this sweet, nutty blend. I’d believe you if you told me this was some kind of toasted nut infusion, rather than a roasted green tea. Other than, you know, the green leaves that were obviously in the bag.

Almost as an afterthought, underneath all of that roasted goodness, you can begin to taste the green tea base. I’d be bluffing, at best, if I tried to say I could figure out what kind of green tea flavor it was, but I know that it doesn’t taste that much different than the aftertaste I get from my genmaicha.

Now, I’ve never had a houjicha before, having only recently learned what it was. I’m really curious how ‘different’ this may taste from those roasted green teas. Am I truly tasting something unique and remarkable from Mauna Kea, and therefore it deserves me paying $10/oz for more? From my current level of inexperience, it’s really hard to say. But this will definitely kick around in the back of my mind as I try other teas.

On that note, anyone have a houjicha they would recommend?

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Missy

Too many puppies….

TeaBrat

I like the houjicha from Den’s tea

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