Fresh from the World Tea Expo I attended a focused tasting of White & Oolong teas hosted by Jane Pettigrew. Hands down this is the best White Tea I have ever tasted. Selling at $300 a pound it is without a doubt a luxury tea. The Mauka Oolong was way up up there as well. Worth checking out this great farm!
Origin: Hawaii Island, Hawaii, USA, teahawaii.com
Forest-grown in the Tea Hawaii Tea Garden at 4000 ft elevation, near the active Kilauea Volcano’s summit. The tea plants flourish under a canopy of Ohia trees and Papuu ferns. The freshly-picked leaves are processed in Volcano Village. Because it was grown and processed in Hawaii, this white tea’s flavor profile is a singular experience. The leaves are long, loose and downy, and they brew into a rich, clear gold infusion. The flavor of the brew is deeply satisfying and delightfully floral through multiple steepings.
As a high-elevation tea and as a Hawaii-grown product, this oolong has an incredibly pure growing environment and a unique set of weather patterns as the basis for its terroir. The soil is fertile and acidic (precisely what tea plants need) and the water, air and soil are amongst the cleanest on Earth.
Eva Lee, teamaster of Tea Hawaii, belongs to a collective of local tea growers that has joined together to promote their products. Eva also processes an Hawaii-grown Makai Black tea with leaves from Hakalau Tea Garden and a Mauka Oolong from Volcano Tea Garden. She sees her role as helping growers bring their teas to fruition and customizing teas to suit the needs of tea vendors and drinkers. Now is the ideal time to taste Hawaii-grown tea and provide feedback to suppliers and growers in order to shape the future of Hawaii-grown tea.