If you’re looking for afternoon tea in Honolulu, a nice choice would be The Veranda at The Kahala Hotel & Resort where we curated a new tea menu with signature and exclusive blends for the hotel’s afternoon tea service and Hoku’s, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. Recently, we shared a behind the scenes look with Dining Out's Restaurant Insider Anne Lee, and Host/Producer of Where Hawaii Eats of the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
“Capturing the heart of The Kahala Hotel in a cup was a fun project because I wanted to share their core values of community, ho’okipa (hospitality) and sustainability through tea,” said Byron Goo, Teamaker at Tea Chest Hawaii. “What makes The Kahala’s menu great is their teas are some of the finest in the world like their Silver Needles and First Flush Darjeeling and they offer unique Hawaii grown teas including Mamaki and a new tea from Maui.”
Previous guests at The Kahala have included royalty over the years such as Emperor Akihito of Japan, President Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana. Kamehameha I also landed on the beach fronting the hotel so it was befitting to serve an exclusive tea called Ali’i which in Hawaiian means royalty. The tea is grown on Maui which was Goo's way of honoring the hotel's Executive Chef, Jonathan Mizukami, who was born on the Valley Isle and has cooked in the esteemed Michelin-starred kitchens of The French Laundry in Napa and El Bulli in Spain.
Chef Mizukami revamped the the food menu to include fresh baked scones with house made preserves, finger sandwiches, pot de creme and eclairs in addition to other savories and sweets. And, don't forget champagne.
Three of The Kahala’s signature teas are available for purchase in beautiful gift tins at the hotel and Neiman Marcus Hawaii.
The hotel was known for its hukilau, a community gathering on the beach similar to a clambake. The festive events brought the community together to celebrate the bountiful provision of the ocean. In the Hukilau blend, black tea represents the land and blue cornflower signifies the ocean. The nine ingredients remind us of the many blessings that the ocean provides.
Sustainability is a core value at The Kahala. As the Japanese say, "Mottainai" — don't waste what is valuable. Cacao shells leftover from the process of making chocolate here in Hawaiʻi are given new purpose and bring a luxurious chocolate aroma to this black tea, perfectly complemented by tangy, sweet lilikoʻi (passionfruit).
Many come to The Kahala to get married and celebrate an anniversary. Fall in love with this "sweetheart" that marries bergamot, local grown lavender and roses on a backdrop of black tea. An elegant choice for afternoon tea and a bridal gift.
Try these teas, and other favorites we selected, at The Kahala. Their afternoon tea is an elegant and delightful way to unwind, enjoy the company of friends and talk story.