You may have heard of the wonders of Kona Coffee because the coffee plants are grown in the particular soil of Hawaii. Just imagine the same characteristics of the Hawaiian soil imparted to the tea leaf. Tea Hawaii & Company (THC) calls their teas Hawaii-grown because the tea plant is not native to Hawaii, so they don't consider it Hawaiian tea. But the tea grown in the Hawaiian soil blends the origins of tea with what Hawaii has to offer in a most delectable way. ---Oh, and they're not kidding
when they say you can infuse the same leaves up to 4 times
of their teas, not merely the oolong! We were skeptical, but we tried it on each tea, and it worked. No loss of flavor quality even by the 4th steeping!
THC, itself, is located at the summit of Kilauea Volcano in a town called Volcano Village on Hawaii Island. Tea is a non-invasive crop, so THC has found it safe to plant tea in a temperate rain forest under a canopy of endemic plant species, thus providing America's first shade grown tea. THC also processes and showcases Single Estate Teas from a collection of Hawaii tea growers statewide, tea grown at elevations from 900 to 4000 feet. Each tea is harvested and processed by hand, and given the widespread sources of these teas, each one demonstrates unique characteristics of Hawaii's terrior.
Hawaii has developed a tea industry, created a sustainable domestic specialty crop for global distribution via collaborations over the past twelve years including assistance from researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), and support from Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture, Hawaii County Office of Research and Development and the Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council and NRCS. They have worked closely with and learned from Japanese tea growers, as the nearest Origin, and will no doubt continue to consult with other Origins to learn all they can to keep the unique Hawaii-grown tea crop growing strong.