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Talking Tea

Conversations about tea and tea culture

Jun 30, 2016

Since we launched Talking Tea in 2014, one of our main areas of focus has been the continuing growth of tea enthusiasm in North America. We've chatted with tea sellers, educators and writers, but we haven't had the chance to talk with anyone actually farming tea in the US or Canada. Until now.

Today on Talking Tea we welcome Eliah Halpeny and Cam Muir of Big Island Tea, a pioneering tea farm and producer on the (you guessed it) big island of Hawaii. Eliah and Cam have created an ecologically complex forest environment for growing tea on the fertile slopes of Mauna Loa volcano. They chat with us about how they came to tea production, their model of sustainable tea farming in a self-replenishing forest and how that model impacts the flavor, aroma and quality of their teas. We also chat about Hawaii's budding tea industry and about how the artistry and science Cam and Eliah bring to their work go into creating what Cam calls a "symphony of flavors" in their teas. And from our perspective, that symphony is a masterpiece.


More about Big Island Tea, including retailers and restaurants carrying its teas, can be found at its website, Additional images are on its Instagram feed. For info about private purchases of Big Island teas, contact Eliah at


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Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken. 


This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" ( by mpgiiiBEATS ( available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license ( Adapted from original.


Image of the Big Island Tea farm courtesy of Big Island Tea.






almost eight years ago

Just listened to this one and it's so interesting to hear about brand new things happening in an industry so focused on tradition. It was also a great bit to hear that they're able to use the media attention on tea to give more time to quality rather than just novelty or quantity. I look forward to watching what continues to develop in Hawaii and I'll have to see if I can't pick up some of Big Island's offerings to try for myself