Mamaki of Hawaii’s anchor farm is on the historic Wood Valley Plantation just outside of Pahala. It was featured in Tea Chest’s mamaki video. With a current 15 acres of hybrid mamaki, the company is by far the largest grower of the tea. The farm is also special because the plants are irrigated with pristine (no chlorine or fluoride) water from a volcanic cave. Although irrigation is rarely required as the plants usually receive moisture naturally from rainfall and, as a bonus, the leaves soak in nutrients from the frequent vog (the Hawaiian term for volcano-produced smog) thanks to the nearby volcano.
It seems to be perfect timing for mamaki tea. The Expo website estimates that the United States tea industry will exceed $8 billion in 2014 and will continue to rapidly expand. Specialty and premium teas are driving the market with nearly 60% of market share. There were over 4000 attendees at the Expo and more than 260 tea producers and suppliers from over 50 countries.