In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Treehouse Teahouse offers locally sourced teas at virtual Made in Hawaii Festival

Try the Mauka Rose Oolong or the Kapakahi Kine Chai!

Sponsored by Central Pacific Bank Foundation and Mahi Pono

Treehouse Teahouse strives to use local ingredients in every cup of tea that it makes by partnering with local farmers across Hawaii. HI Now host Kainoa Carlson caught up with owner Brittnee Lau to learn more about the process. Her business is just one of many that you can find at this year’s virtual Made in Hawaii Festival.

“In the beginning, I just saw how the restaurant industry was so careful in selecting their coffees, but so willy-nilly in the way they select their tea,” Lau says.

With a new vision in mind, Lau began approaching restaurants and eateries she had worked at and started her own wholesaling business.

“I’ve also always loved tea and tea culture,” she says. “As the specialty tea market around the world evolved, it didn’t translate in Hawaii. Many people still don’t know Hawaii commercially farms True Tea, so I wanted to bring that to them.”

Some of Treehouse Teahouse’s most popular flavors are its Hawaii grown white teas, Mauka Rose Oolong, and its Kapakahi Kine Chai.

“Rather than just being ‘Hawaiian’ or ‘island inspired,’ our products are from here,” Lau says. “The tea is grown on our volcanic soils. The fruits, herbs, flowers, and vegetables that we use to scent or flavor with are mostly sourced here as well. We don’t use flavorings or dilute our teas with lower quality substitutes.”

Although Lau sells a product, she also tries to teach people how to get the most from her products.

“I think it’s equally important to know how to drink tea and what to drink it with,” she explains. ” All day people ask me general tea questions that don’t even pertain to my products, and I’ll always answer even if I don’t stand to make a sale from it. Eventually, when they’re ready to make the jump from tea bag to single origin loose leaf, they’ll know they can come to us.”

You can find products from Treehouse Teahouse online at the Made in Hawaii Festival from August 21-23. Shop online at MadeInHawaiiFestival.com.