If you are fortunate enough to savor a cup of Hawaiian Volcano Green Tea from its source—a ½ acre plot situated at the base of the world’s most active volcano—you will undoubtedly be awestruck by the tea’s namesake, jutting like a stony fist through an opaque veil of pregnant clouds.
Yet the garden, in its own quiet way, is equally breathtaking. This humble piece of land is but a clearing in the dense jungle, and here and there exotic Plumeria and wild ferns are interspersed among the rows of tea.
There is no one around for miles.
They say the jungle is sacred, and that the goddess Pele —when she isn’t drowning the island in liquid fire—sometimes walks this wild garden. Her presence is almost palpable. You can smell it, faintly, above the heady flowers and faintly briny breeze. You can hear it, like a soft harmony within the bird song. And you can taste it, as if the very spirit of the smoldering mountain has been distilled in the steaming liquid in your cup.
“The mere distant jets, sparkling up through an intervening gossamer veil of vapor, seemed miles away; and the further the curving ranks of fiery fountains receded, the more fairy-like and beautiful they appeared.”
– Mark Twain, describing Kilauea Volcano