Mauna Kea Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes


Sipdown 6/22 – Backlog
Cold brew.
Doesn’t taste of much – clean generic green tea.

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I don’t know what it is that I’ve done to this one, but I’m not getting much in the way of fruitiness anymore. Instead, I’m getting a primarily artichoke flavour (have I ever said how much I love artichokes…?), with a distinctive butteriness and a hint of black pepper. It’s stronger than I remember my initial cup being, with a much more savoury quality from the outset. I think I’ve started to brew it longer in slightly hotter water, so that might account for it, but I’ve alsohad a cold _very_recently, so maybe my tastebuds just aren’t on par. Either way, I have to say that I really like it!

As it cools, I start to get a mild floral, and just a hint of the stone fruit flavour I commented on in my first note. It also becomes just a little drying. An interesting one, this! I’m down to my last cup’s worth, and I’ll surely miss it when it’s gone.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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From the Regional Group Buy. It also happens to be the first tea I’ve ever tried from Hawaii, and it’ll probably be the only one given that’s such a rare thing…

To taste, it’s pretty interesting. It’s light-flavoured and quite vegetal, with an asparagus/fresh garden pea/green bean kind of flavour. So far, so ordinary, but it’s also really fruity and that strikes me as more unusual. There’s a stone fruit flavour from the mid-sip (peach, or maybe nectarine) that adds a sweetness and a juciness, and they take this to a whole new level. They also counteract, to a certain extent, the mild drying sourness at the end of each sip. I know I’d find it more of an issue if it weren’t for the fruitiness, but as it is it’s no more than a mild distraction because the juicy fruitiness lingers well into the aftertaste.

I like this one. It’s pretty unique among the green teas I’ve tried.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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drank Sweet Roast Green Tea by Mauna Kea Tea
2962 tasting notes

This is a very green tea grown in the USA (Big Island, Hawaii). As the name suggests, this is a green tea with a light roastiness to it.

The green flavour is vegetal, astringent but not bitter or sour at all. It is kind of a tangy tingle on your tongue. The tannin level is good, but the water here makes it a bit difficult for me to taste the subtleties in the tea (because I’m not used to what the water itself tastes like.) The roast on it is perfect, and it brings out a light sweetness. It reminds me a bit of tobacco smoke and beach wood. Not nutty or bark, more like the faintest hint of woody stems. It is an ok tea but very green. I recommend it for fans of green tea. If you don’t like vegetal teas, you probably will not enjoy this one as much as green tea fans.

Note, this is a bagged tea but is high quality. It is loose leaf tea put into baggies. You could cut open the teabag if you preferred.

Flavors: Astringent, Green, Green Wood, Roasted, Sweet, Tea, Toasted, Vegetal, Wood

140 °F / 60 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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My second ta from Hawaii and I have to say that nothing set it apart other than being a novelty since it came from Hawaii:

Wish I had more to say, but it’s pretty typical for what you would expect from a higher end green tea that pleases you but doesn’t illicit a response that must be voiced to others.

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Sipdown (230)!

I feel like this gif kind of perfectly sums up the hot mug I’m drinking right now, so I think I’m just gonna leave you with that…

Flavors: Artichoke, Asparagus, Butter, Creamy, Floral, Garden Peas, Spinach, Vegetal


Hahaha! I need a tea like that right now! :)

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Iced tea, with honey and sliced up Meyer Lemon.

This is so drastically different tasting as an iced tea; it still has that sort of artichoke-y taste to it, but mostly is a very delicate kind of grassy flavour with some underlying sweetness from the honey and a bit of brightness and acidity in the top note from the added in Meyer Lemon. That lemon taste gets stronger too the longer it sits in the cup until it winds up being around 60/40 compared to the green tea itself. For that reason, I’d recommend drinking quickly so that the lemon doesn’t overtake the green tea because when it features more as a short burst in the top note the pairing is REALLY lovely and hella refreshing.

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Just finished up this session literally minutes ago,

It was my last tea of the night tonight and this week’s Gong Fu session. I also made a lovely pairing/meal of it as well! I made another baked brie, but this time with a quince compote topping baked onto it and butternut squash maple crackers!

Here’s a picture of everything after the first few bites/first infusion:

You can also see my Kyusu in the picture as well! This was my first time using it, so my notes from this session not only encompass the tea and food pairing, but the teaware as well. Of course, as always, this is “stream of consciousness” style.

5 Sec.
- Some initial smokiness
- Vegetal: Spinach/artichoke
- Cheese is sweet, creamy and buttery
- Creates a nice overall “buttered artichoke heart” sort of thing
- And the quince is needed sweetness/fruitiness to contrast the savoryness/umami
- Crackers are nice but rather salty

7 Sec.
- It’s a little awkward since I’m left handed, but the kyusu pours really smoothly
- Vegetal notes getting stronger, a bit of asparagus now
- Some floral undertones?
- Don’t know if that’s from the quince…
- Or just exaggerated by the natural floral quality of the fruit

10 Sec.
- Really, really vegetal/umami
- Spinach, artichoke, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and a little smoke in the top notes
- Sweetness in the finish

12 Sec.
- Definitely underestimated how well this would pair together; but it all ties in so well
- Same as prior infusion but less sweet

15 Sec.
- Welp, the brie is officially finished…
- That just leaves some very vegetal green tea
- Now that I’m not eating the brie I get some nuttyness that I think was masked
- Also more asparagus

And that’s it folks; while I enjoyed the meal and tea immensely it was very filling and on top of that I’m not a huge green tea person so my green tea session never really go on too long anyway. I did really enjoy this green though! Also, it was really neat that it’s from Hawaii! While not my first Hawaiian tea I think this was my first Hawaiian green tea. If they’re all as smooth as this one, it’s something I’d definitely revisit or explore further…

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This piqued my interest solely on the fact it was from Hawaii. The leaf is very pretty, for it is a cross between gunpowder green and bi lou chun. The leaf is rough yet vibrant. The small dark emerald curls have a scent of fresh spinach leaves, roasted chestnuts, and almond. I warmed my kyusu and tossed some in. I steeped this away as the bag instructed me, and it yielded a clear jade soup. The flavor is a sweet rough grassy. I grab at some asparagus, roasted veggies, and a good base of sugar water. That is about as interesting as the tea became. This is a very easy drinker. The leaf is basic and plain. I feel this best depicts the “starbucks” of tea. A tea that is smooth, sweetish, and plain, so as to suit the masses tastes.

Flavors: Asparagus, Chestnut, Grass, Green, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Spinach, Vegetables

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This one kind of fell flat for me the several times I’ve had it.

It wants to be one of those strong green Chinese teas, flavor wise, but instead of blooming at the back of the mouth, it sort of falls flat and sour. There’s a hint of bitterness, but no astringency, which is nice. But that sourness…where is it coming from? Instead of being grassy, it’s almost cucumbery, which makes it feel like it’s lacking depth, or strength or something.

It might be for someone, but not really for me.

…and yes, I did brew it at 195.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This tea is hand grown, harvested, and roasted on a family farm on the Big Island in Hawaii, US. It’s organic too. I find the tea to be very soothing and relaxing. It reminds me of my visit to Mauna Kea tea every time I have a cup. It’s fruity, sweet, and floral. I don’t recommend more than 3 minutes on the first brew, even 3.5 minutes is too much.

Flavors: Flowers

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I ruined this tea with people…

Used 175f without knowing it was suppose to be 195f because that sounds so odd to me. I drink Japanese greens so I’m not use to killing the leaf.

Brewed it on my own at 195f and found a thicker texture and stronger taste. It’s odd that it requires 195f, but if you do it this way it’s more like a thick baozhong oolong than a green tea. Going to open another bag and mess around with it because this group buy flopped which means experiments : )

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I also got this through the regional group buy. This is a very nice green tea. It has a light tasting natural sweetness to it. It had very little umami taste and something of a vegetal taste. It was overall very good. As it was naturally sweet I wasn’t tempted to add sugar to it. I would also note that this was a very light colored green tea.

I brewed this three times in a 200ml kyusu with 6.9g leaf and 175 degree water. I steeped it for 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.

Flavors: Sweet, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 6 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
Liquid Proust

Got to use 195 like it says… Trust me


Didn’t notice that.

Liquid Proust

And neither did I… Weirdest thing in awhile… Green tea at 195


My variable temperature kettle doesn’t do 195. I will have to try 190 or 200.


I did 190. I liked how it came out.

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Acquired through the Regional Group Buy.

The directions say 195 degrees, but since I don’t have that setting on my kettle, I went with 190 and then lowered it to 185 in the middle of the session. Prepared semi-Western, semi-gongfu method, with a glass tea pot. Steeping times: 2, 3, 4, 6.

I don’t know when the tea was processed, but the dry leaf aroma smells very fresh and interesting. It’s both savory and sweet, with notes of buttered boiled beans, peaches, and sea salt. I let the leaf sit in the pre-heated pot for a bit and smelled a more vegetal aroma, which reminded me of Lu Shan Yun Wu. The wet leaf aroma – still savory – is also sweet, this time in a high mountain oolong way.

Overall, the liquor is light green, clean, and full-bodied, having a bright and crisp personality. The texture is creamy. Infusions one through three taste like the wet leaf aroma – savory with the sweetness of a Taiwanese. Wenshan Baozhong specifically comes to mind. The last sips leave me with a dry mouth, but a long-lasting nectarine aftertaste. A minty note makes an appearance in the aftertaste after I finish the third infusion.

I then took a longer break that lasted a couple hours. The fourth infusion tasted completely different – sweet and grassy like a young sheng.

This kind of green tea doesn’t suit my tastes. I prefer the sweeter varieties over the savory. And after having tried a few Wenshan Baozhongs, I concluded that while I can stomach them and do like how they taste, I don’t particularly go out of my way to experience them over and over. Regardless of these thoughts, I do think that this green tea is good quality. But it has flavors that someone else would appreciate more.

3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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From the LP Group buy, and one of the main reasons why I readily got some.

This was one of my favorite teas of the selection. It is very green, very crisp, and pretty refreshing. The taste was closer to something like a Baozhong to me personally since it did have some vague tropical profiles along with some hints of florals. Overall, the tea is light with a savory thick body. Sticky rice does come to mind in part. I’ll add more notes soon since I can’t remember more specifics at the moment. Know that I greatly enjoy it.

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This tea is from Hawaii!! By way of LP’s Regional Group Buy (Thanks LP!!!!), which is really awesome by the way.

So I’m not sure what the problem is, but I was drinking this tea today and it was trying to fool me into thinking that green teas are my favorite. Normally I prefer darker teas (blacks, pu-erhs, chais, roasted oolongs) and even when I do drink greens I prefer the sweet floral notes that go well with honey, but this tea’s vegetal, savory notes are making me super happy today for some reason instead of, well, the opposite. I guess it’s just a really good tea? Or else I’m just starting to enjoy the savory flavors in green tea, in which case I’m going to need a lot more green teas than I have, lol.

The leaves are great for at least three steepings (so far). The only thing I’ve noticed that detracted from the experience is a teeny bit of bitterness, which may be the result of my imprecise steeping temperature (I’ve just been boiling the water and then letting it rest for a couple of minutes before steeping. I really need to start using a candy thermometer or something).

3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Extremely sweet with nutty tones. Hints of matcha vegetal astringency coming through.

Flavors: Nutty, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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Mm, Sweet Roast Green. If Pokemon were iced tea, this would be a legendary. There was a huge batch for a party this week, and it was GONE before I could get a refill.

The leaves are fragmented, not a quality defect but a result of roasting. And what delicious roasting it is, producing a sweet-tart, and slightly toasty green tea with hints of pineapple and seaweed. The tartness is in the flavor and in the texture, with a strong, pleasant tingle especially when brewed hot (then cooled, if making iced tea). Absolutely no astringency or bitterness here, even when subjected to boiling temperatures in the way that I like to torture green tea sometimes (FOR SCIENCE).

And so easy to make too, it doesn’t take more than a short half minute to extract flavor from it, but it will take a beating too. Most interesting: that slight pineapple and marine character. Might be a consistent trait of the Hawaiian region. Go go US-grown tea!!

Flavors: Nutty, Pineapple, Seaweed, Sweet, Warm Grass, Tart


I have yet to try Hawaiian tea and I really want to try it pretty badly. That will go on my wish list right away! Love your review.

If tea reviewers were Pokemon you’d be a mythical.

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thanks for this freebie in our swap, Marcel Duchamp! This one looks very odd because it looks like leaves you would find a tree, crumpled up. Not what a green tea actually looks like! I don’t think I’ve had a green tea like this before. I cooled the water for a half hour and went with a three minute steep: The flavor is very vegetal at first, but then as it cools (or you get to the bottom of the cup) it gets nuttier and sweeter. I was thinking of a buttery green today, so I guess I should have had sencha, but this is certainly not disappointing (except for maybe the non-buttery aspect). It looks different than a usual green tea but the taste is the same!

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Green and it’s fishy up in my nose. A slight bitterness. Sort of yellow. Mildly astringent.

I’m not sure what I think. It’s an odd mix of flavors.

I’ll need to continue a few tastes over time to decide what I really think of this one… So far I like it I think… Odd.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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I got this tea from Elyse at :)
The aroma was nice to me, sweet, roasty green aroma when dry and a scent similar to fresh cut grass when steeped.
The appearance was neat too, little green “fish-food” flakes of tea kinda like Yerba Mate.
The flavor of this one is roasty, quite smokey and slightly malty with green vegetal notes.
it reminds me of some japanese green tea i’ve had before.
The steeping time that i saw on steepster for this one is 205 degree for 2 minutes and the review above is result i got from that suggestion.
I also decided to try this with slightly cooler water and shorter steeps, i went at about 190 degrees for 30 to start, i liked it much better.
The flavor this time was nice and roasty and only slightly smokey with sweet vegetal notes, i think short steeps on this one is better for me :)
I really enjoyed it, Thank You Elyse!!!!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Snow storm outside so I thought I’d go through some of the tea I have stocked up for just such a situation.

Only started with this tea as I already had boiling water. Odd that directions wanted that, toasted flavor is almost all I taste, added a bit of honey to cut through, all I smell is grass/hay.

Not bad, just not my favorite.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Backlog from yesterday – my birthday tea!

I woke up and my stomach was really upset for some reason. This always steers me toward green teas or mint teas, and I saw this first so into the infuser it went.

I still think the directions on this are really confusing – they say 5 grams to one quart, which is what – 1/2 tsp. to a cup? Still at boiling for two minutes. I can do the boiling water and the 2 minute steep time (hesitantly!) but anything less than 1 tsp. would surely be too weak for me.

I went with the 1 tsp. and yeah, I can’t imagine doing less leaf – as it was I got a light vegetal green but I think it would have been little more than tinted water if I’d followed that recommended amount. This was very soothing and there were some roasted undertones that did give it an oolong-ish character. I had this with honey in Hawaii, but yesterday it was just plain and it was more than drinkable.

It is unlike any tea I’ve had before – I don’t know if that’s because it was grown in such a unique climate or what, but I’m going to be sad when my small sample is gone. Guess I’ll just have to move there so I get it more frequently! :)

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

Happy belated bday! Hope your stomach got feeling better!




Happy happy birthday!


Happy birthday. :)


i’m such a noob…totally missed that it was your birthday! Happy belated!

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