Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live on a tea farm? This is something I often dream about, and last month I actually had the pleasure of visiting one in person, right here in the United States!Mauna Kea Tea Farm is like a little slice of heaven on earth. On its gentle slopes in the small city of Honokaa on the Big Island in Hawaii, pure serenity can be found. This quaint tea farm prides itself on being certified organic, natural, and sustainable. There is a meticulous attention to practice that reveals itself in each cup of Mauna Kea Tea, one that’s subtle but disciplined.
With backgrounds in urban agriculture, environmental education, and forest ecology, it’s as if Taka and Kimberly Ino were destined to become tea farmers from the start. Most apparent is their deep respect for the practice of natural farming and the way of nature–a belief that “Nature takes care of everything.“Taka is a man of few words, but when he does speak there’s always a point. He asked me to only provide honest assessments of his teas, and only if I felt truly compelled to share them. So here goes…
I absolutely love Mauna Kea Tea’s Island Green. It’s ideal for cooking with (more to come on this!) as it has a sweet and toasty taste with hints of barley and grass. Another favorite is Mauna Kea Tea’s Coconut Green, which has a wonderfully tropical taste, ideal for pairing with spicy curry based recipes. If you’d like to taste for yourself, order the teas online, drop by Whole Foods in Honolulu, or even make plans to stop by the farm like I did. With a wealth of tea knowledge and a spirit of Zen, Kimberly and Taka will be waiting to share a cup with you there.
Mauna Kea Tea
46-3870 Old Mamalahoa Highway
Honokaa, Hawaii 96727