I purchased tea from this estate in Hawai`i a few years ago and it was the single best tea I’ve ever had, so I decided to buy it again. There must be something about those volcanic soils and ocean air. My second purchase proved me to be correct the first time around – it is still the best black tea. Ever. And this is just their standard black (review of the koko ki to come). I purchased it straight from the company via mail order, as it’s a little cheaper than buying from a tea seller middleman.
The dried leaves smell honey-sweet, and the tea is true to its name (“ono” means “delicious” in Hawaiian, and “mea” means “taste”). The strongest notes are honey and malt. On top of that are cocoa, caramel, and a little orange. I didn’t time my first brew, but it was not very long – a minute at most, and the liquid was a light amber. The next infusion was longer and I began to taste the tea’s potential to be robust. Then the caffeine took effect. This tea can pack a punch.
I don’t know why I waited several years to purchase this a second time. I guess because shipping is not cheap, but I may just buy in larger quantities in the future. I visit Hawai`i often, and I hope to visit this estate sometime.
This is my gold standard for black tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Orange