Drink Local: 8 Hawai‘i-Grown and Blended Teas We Love

Brew up a steaming cup of locally grown (and tasty!) black or green tea.


Local Tea

Clockwise from left: Mauna Kea Tea cacao tea, Oribe māmaki tea, Pono Infusions Kai, Maui Tea Farm Haleakalā Black tea, Big Island Tea A‘a Black. Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



They may not be steeped in history, but local tea companies taking root in Hawai‘i are creating comforting homegrown drinks and blends with essences of their unique terroir.


Tea farms here produce very limited harvests that are often presold months prior. So check your favorite company’s website early to reserve your batch. Another good place to browse is Tea Chest Hawai‘i, which sells Island brands including Big Island Tea, which does not have an online store.


We rounded up a mix of locally grown and locally blended tea for your table.


Teasme Haleakala Mauitea

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Haleakalā Black Tea, Maui Tea Farm

Andrea and Alex de Roode started with seedlings in Kula in 2013. In January, they expanded to a 14-acre farm. The couple’s 100% Maui-grown tea—harvested by hand from plants grown about 4,000 feet up the slopes of its namesake mountain—has notes of caramel, apricot and honey for a smooth, fruity sip.


Starting at $50 for 1 ounce, mauiteafarm.com, @mauiteafarm


SEE ALSO: Hawai‘i Coffee Geeks Are Jolting the World’s Coffee Scene


Teasme Gingertume Maunakea

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Ginger and Turmeric Green Tea, Mauna Kea Tea

Taka and Kimberly Ino and their 6-, 10- and 13-year-old children harvest their leaves from their family farm in Honokaʻa. They process it into premium loose leaf and powdered green tea as well as mixing in a variety of other ingredients including Hawaiʻi cacao and coconut. In this blend, Island-grown turmeric and ginger give their organically grown leaves an uplifting kick.


Starting at $10 for 1 ounce. maunakeatea.com, @maunakeatea


Teasme Black Aa

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



A‘a Black, Big Island Tea

Eliah Halpenny and husband Cam Muir were among the first of the newest batch of local tea farmers in 2001. Now, they continue to grow Camellia sinensis and native plants in a Mountain View forest where the ecological diversity and 400-year-old ash from Mauna Loa in the soil give their small-batch tea its complex flavors.


Available through Tea Chest Hawai‘i, $249.95 for six 5-gram bags on teachest.com. bigislandtea.com


Teasme Mamaki Oribe

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Māmaki Tea, Oribe

Technically this is a tisane since it is not made from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is processed into green, black and white tea. However, the hot drink from the endemic māmaki plant is said to be cleansing and invigorating. Tim Johnson’s Big Island-based company sources the leaves, as well as organic ginger, ‘ōlena and ingedients, from Waiholokui Gardens on the Big Island for his caffeine-free brew and other blends.


$10.99 for 1 ounce, oribetea.com, @oribetea


SEE ALSO: Can We Ever Eat All Local in Hawai‘i?


Teasme Cacao Maunakea

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Cacao Tea, Mauna Kea Tea

This mix from Mauna Kea Tea features roasted green tea twigs, local cacao nib powder and other spices. Chocolate lovers will appreciate the rich aroma, though the cacao flavor in the drink is not as powerful.


Starting at $10 for 1 ounce, maunakeatea.com, @maunakeatea


Teasme Kai Ponoinf

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Kai, Pono Infusions

Blended in Hawai‘i by Maui Tea Farm, this is a mix of organically sourced green and white tea, cornflower petals, lemon balm and nettle leaf.


$10 for 0.75 ounces, mauiteafarm.com


Teasme Coconutgrn Maunakea

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Coconut Green Tea, Mauna Kea Tea

This is Mauna Kea Tea’s best-selling blend for local customers, We can see why. The toasted coconut adds sweet nutty notes to their hand harvested green tea.


Starting at $10 for 1 ounce, maunakeatea.com, @maunakeatea


Teasme Greencold Oribe

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Cold Brew Iced Green Tea, Oribe

Big Island-grown green tea and organic sencha in this cold brew results in flavorful tea without bitterness.


$10.99 for 1 ounce, oribetea.com, @oribetea