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Harvest 7 - August 9, 2010
The goal this time was a fully-oxidized tea. The result is best described as a dark oolong. This is a good example of a full-bodied, smooth Hawaiian tea.
Harvest 6 - May 21, 2010
The plants have been growing so vigorously this spring, that we did another harvest, and produced both Japanese and Chinese-style green teas. The Chinese came out best, so we made some available for sale. The first infusion has the scent and color of a light oolong, but tastes like a grassy green tea, smooth. Second infusions, the scent gets more complex, taste gets stronger and sharper.
Harvest 5 - May 1, 2010
The wet weather finally ended, bringing us a bright sunny May. Three pickers gathered a good amount of leaf in the early morning, which got a very strong sun wither on a hot day. I steamed the leaves in our shiny new stainless-steel steamer tray, and rolled it to produce a light oolong. This is the first pouchong style tea that we've made since our first harvest. The initial flavor is sunny and a little floral with a full body, second steeping brings out some honey-like sweetness. Tannins emerge eventually, which is a little surprising for a Hawai'i tea, perhaps as a result of the strong sun-wither.
Harvest 4 - February 22, 2010
It's been a very cold wet winter. There was only one long break from the rain, from Dec. 20 to Jan. 11, and even then it got very cold each night. Fortunately, the tea loves the rain. With a surprising amount of new growth, it was time to do a modest-sized winter tea harvest. Three hours picking, and the sun cooperated to give most of a day of sun-wither. The tea was heated gently, very briefly in the wok. Result is just over 300g of medium oolong. It's less floral than December's green tea, but full-bodied with a gentle sweetness that is fruity rather than flowery. Deb describes the tea liquor as very lush with a velvety mouthfeel.
Harvest 3 - November 30, 2009
It'd been raining for nearly two weeks, but finally it was a sunny morning, so wwoofer Jacoby and I set out to harvest. Two people, three hours - we were having fun and chatting among the hedges. By mid-day we had a good amount of tea, but the weather became partly overcast. I gave the tea as much withering as possible, but by the end of the day it hadn't received quite enough sun. At night, sorting, to pick out a few leaves that didn't wither, keeping only the good supple ones. Some heating in the wok, as the goal this time is a green tea. We all took turns rolling and resting. Finally, after midnight, into the final drying stage. Result in the morning: 350g of delicate, floral light green tea. Sold out on December 12.
Harvest 2 - September 15, 2009
Good weather, got an early start on picking at 8am. There is heavy dew on the leaves. Plenty of sun, good withering. Brought it in at the end of the day for some rolling and resting. No heat, as the goal this time is fully-oxidized. Rested overnight, more heavy rolling in the morning. Result is 300g of black tea. Smooth, complex, and stands up to multiple steeping. Blog: Second tea harvest, New tea farm site Sold out on October 27.
"I bought and tried the second harvest tea. It is indeed a little sweet, very mild and not at all harsh. It almost has a little citrusy or flowery flavor that I can’t quite identify. It feels very Hawaiian — like strong rocks made lush with a soft island breeze. This is not a wake-up-kick-you-in-the-butt black tea. It’s a gentle reminder to sit back and savor what you’re drinking tea. Thanks for it." - Karen Kingley via facebook
Harvest 1 - July 1, 2009
Perfect sunny weather. I (Ben) did all the picking, around two hours. Full withering. In the late afternoon, began with gentle tossing and sorting, some gentle heating in the wok, then rolling and resting in stages. Result is 160g dry tea. Was aiming for an oolong, but the heating must have been more than I thought, because it tastes more like a green tea, or very light oolong. Blog post: First tea