A lot has happened in the last week at Tomte.
Our first two teas from Hawaii have arrived! Hawaii is not known as a traditional place for growing tea, but after a decade of experimentation they are now producing some of the best artisanal teas in the world. It’s hard to get hold of though, with some Hawaiian micro-lot tea farms growing as little as 20kg a year.
Hawaiian-Grown Forest White tea is produced by husband and wife team Chiu Leong and Eva Lee. It is grown at an elevation of 4,000 feet, in the rainforest of Kilauea Volcano under a canopy of native Ohia trees and Hapu’u ferns- a truly beautiful landscape. The flavour of the brew is deeply satisfying, comforting and delightfully floral through multiple infusions. For me, the floral quality starts delicately and develops as I pause and sip – and shows itself even more as I steep these leaves for a second and third time. Harvested and processed all by hand, it is an amazing Hawaiian tea!
I’m also excited to introduce Sydney to Mike Riley’s Hawaiian-Grown Oolong Tea. Mike Riley’s tea farm is nestled at the foot of a Hawaiian volcano (I know, right? How awesome is a farm nestled at the foot of a volcano!) In Hawaii, this oolong is called “Mauka Oolong”. Mauka meaning “to face towards the mountain”. The Mauka Oolong is grown at 3,600 feet above sea level near the active Kilauea Volcano’s summit at Mike Riley’s Volcano Tea Garden. Mike is considered the leading force in growing and developing oolong tea in Hawaii. He harvests and processes his leaves by hand – a fascinating method that involves hand-rolling the leaves in cloth and then pan-firing them. This is repeated over 25 times, resulting in a light-roast oolong.
Both Hawaiian teas have been produced in extremely small batches and for anyone who enjoys the delicacy and relaxing properties of white tea- or for those interested in the complex aroma and flavour profile of quality oolong- these are the teas to try now.
In other news, I was excited to have been asked by Agenda City Sydney and Agenda City Melbourne to contribute an article to their publication. Agenda asked me to share my top five Sydney and Melbourne tea experiences.
It was a lot of fun pulling these two articles together. It you haven’t seen them yet, follow here for Sydney (“The Five Best Places to Support Your Leaf Habit“) and Melbourne (“The Five Best Places to Support Your Leaf Habit“).
Finally, it was a nice surprise to see this blog post written about us by the guys over at perspective 20 (thanks James for forwarding this to me). Worth checking out here.
Have a great week everyone.