Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: KTeas
Single-Estate tea: Mountain View – Farm CollectiveGrowing elevation: 2000′, Mountain View, Hawaii USA
East meets West in this refined, pan-fired green tea reminiscent of signature teas of China. Exotic in aroma, pure in flavor, steeped into a pale golden green infusion with a lingering fresh taste. Definitely encouraging in Hawaii’s quest of pioneering a tropical, pure Hawaii-grown tea.
I love this tea. Before I even taste it, I love it. Why? Well, it may sound corny, but I love it because of the name “Ola’s Garden.” My darling gramma – who was mother figure to me and probably the most positive role model I had in my youth – her name was Ola. I miss her terribly. And so this tea is very dear to me because of the name … it reduced me tears when I first read the name.
The leaves are very long and curly, deep green in color with hints of silver streaks. They have a strong “leafy green” scent to them, and they infuse to a very pale yellow-green color. So pale, in fact, that it almost looks like water with a hint of yellow-green tint!
But it certainly doesn’t taste like water. It is incredible. I am in agreement with the above description, it is indeed reminiscent of a Chinese green tea. The flavor is rich and vegetative. It is sweet, but it doesn’t come across as “fruity sweet” or “buttery sweet” like so many green teas do. Instead, this is more like a vegetable sweetness, with a flavor that falls somewhere in between grassy and steamed spinach. It is a very pure, clean taste … a characteristic that follows through to the crisp aftertaste.
As the tea cools slightly, more sweet tones emerge, it still isn’t what I’d categorize as buttery. It is more like a fruit-and-nut kind of sweetness, with the nutty tones presenting themselves strongest.
This tea produces many infusions – I infused it three times with no real loss in flavor. I am sure I could have gotten even more out of those leaves if I tried, but, after three pots of tea, I was ready to move on to something different.
KTeas has recently introduced a full line of Hawaiian-grown teas, including this one. I have been very impressed with the Hawaiian teas I’ve tasted in the past, and this one certainly ranks up there with one of the best ones I’ve tried. It is an incredibly good green tea – one that is sure to please green tea enthusiasts! It is soft, supple and really refreshing. It is even quite nice as an iced tea, although I find that the complexity is more apparent when it’s served hot.