Visiting Mauna Kea Tea
Rob and I, along with our dear friend Sylvana, had the distinct pleasure to visit Mauna Kea Tea Gardens today. We thought of Chaz back in San Diego, who scheduled the visit to the farm today, but who, in the end, could not make the trip. Nevertheless, here the rest of us were on the old Mamalahoa highway, in the heavy rain, driving up to Ahualoa under the towering Eucalyptus trees. I was transported back to the late 70′s when I first discovered this very special area of the Big Island. Driving the winding road past the same old plantation homes, it was as if nothing had changed. Of course, Mauna Kea Tea was not here back then but today, it seemed as if it always was.
We were greeted in the parking area by Kimberly who escorted us around to the back of the house where we could see their tea plantings nestled under majestic native Ohia trees. A romantically beautiful sight! The rain only enhanced the magical ambiance of the view.
At the back of the house was the Tea Room where their tea is sampled and packaged. We were invited in where we chatted and sampled various Mauna Kea Teas.
Taka and Kimberly were gracious and generous with their time and sharing of their teas, but the highlight of the experience was witnessing their 6-year-old son, Koji, prepare and serve us a cup of Mauna Kea Tea. Who would not be charmed by this graceful and skilled little “tea master”. With only a slight and gentle prompting from his dad, reminding Koji to watch the lid, Koji performed with grace and pleasure. “He loses focus” said Taka, in a soft voice. I didn’t notice any loss of focus and the tea was prepared to perfection. I couldn’t help but think how good it was for Koji is to have this tea in his life and how fortunate for Kimberly and Taka to have him in theirs.
The teas that we sampled were very fine and we salute Taka and Kimberly for their excellence. It was wonderful to have tea with these folks.
Aloha and Mahalo.