Yesterday, I attended a media event at Orchids at Halekulani Hotel where Tea Chest Hawaii spilled the tea about the new, rare tea grown on the slopes of Maui. Maui Tea Farm, owned by Alex and Andres de Roode, took us on a virtual journey of their farm and hear the story behind growing their special tea: Haleakala Tea. This tea is an exceptional rare offering that is processed entirely by hand with a flavor that offers accents of dried banana and honey.
We were able to sample the Haleakala Tea. This tea is the first to come out of a USDA grant administered by the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture to propagate tea around the state that Tea Chest Hawaii received five years ago. Grown by Maui Tea Farm, Haleakala tea is exceptionally rare, and with only a few pounds brought to market each month. It is considered one of the rarest teas in the world today.
Then we took part in a unique comparative cupping experience of 11 new teas carried by Halekulani Hotel which was led by Byron Goo, co-owner of Tea Chest Hawaii. Here, we had a first look at a new tea cocktail featuring, Kiawe, a robust black tea blend with deep smoky highlights.
The Pure Mamaki tea was my favorite which is a caffeine-free Hawaiian grown herbal tea reminiscent of pan-friend green tea with earthy flavor and nutty finish.
After the unveiling of the Haleakala Tea by Tea Chest Hawaii and Maui Tea Farm, we headed to Orchids restaurant where we experienced Orchid’s new afternoon tea menu. With an array of tea sandwiches, freshly baked currant scones, assorted afternoon tea pastries, and a pot of fine tea. There is no better way to enjoy an afternoon tea than with an elegant service, beautiful ocean view, open-air dining at Orchids!
Halekulani has a fine tea selection from Halekulani Orchid Blend, Kiawe, Pure Mamaki, Hau’oli, Cerise, Halekulani Earl Grey, Honey Oolong, Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls, Japanese Sencha, Eden Rose, and Jardin Rouge. Along with the Exclusive Haleakala Tea by Tea Chest Hawaii x Maui Tea Farm. I love that they have a case of their tea selections and guests are able to open it and smell the different teas.
We started off with the freshly baked currant scones and lemon poppy seed financiers which is served with double devonshire cream, lemon curd, and kula strawberry preserve. My favorite was the poppy seed financiers, it’s the perfect finger food with the right amount of sweetness in a single bite.
Then devoured array of tea sandwiches such as ham and watercress with grain mustard on poppy seed bread, cucumber with cream cheese and chives on caraway seed bread, chicken with horseradish on whole grain bread, smoked salmon with lemon cream on rye bread. The delicate sandwiches were delicious – my absolute favorite was the chicken with horseradish on whole grain bread.
Always saving the best for last, dessert! With offerings such as coconut bavarian with kaffir lime pearls, jasmine praline eclair, and dark chocolate almond toffee bar. For someone with a real sweet tooth, it is quite difficult to choose a favorite. If I really had to pick one, it would be the jasmine praline eclair.
Orchids restaurant revamped afternoon tea service will be available on Saturday, December 7th. For more information on the afternoon tea at Orchids, visit here.
Afternoon Tea Hours:
Veranda – 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Orchids – 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding Sundays and holidays)
Disclosure: Wanderlustyle was invited to the media event. All of our opinions are honest. Mahalo!