Some of the finest tea in the world is produced here in Hawaiʻi by Eliah Halpenny of Big Island Tea. The farm’s terroir is unmatched, sitting on a bed of 300 year old volcanic ash surrounded by an ʻohia forest and other native trees that have fed the soil and filled it with nutrients over centuries.
The farm is part of a living tropical cloud forest ecosystem. The tea plants bathe in cool morning mists on the slopes of Mauna Loa and are shaded from the afternoon sun by the surrounding native trees. Each plant is seed-grown promoting genetic diversity and agricultural sustainability. Natural cross-pollination takes place and no pesticides are used. This one-of-a-kind tea is plucked and processes entirely by hand.
You can smell ʻohia blossoms in the bouquet and taste ripe banana from the banana trees that have been composting and naturally fertilizing the soil. Sweet raisins and honey also accent the cup.
Aʻa Black sells for as much as $10 a gram in the distinguished Harrod’s of London and is served at esteemed establishments like Restaurant Senia, MW Restaurant and Eleven Madison.