Faculty – Eva Lee

eva_lee_200hEva Lee , ITMA Honorary Certified Tea Master, is a pioneer in Hawaii grown tea and an advocate of Hawaii’s first generation tea culture. In 2012, the Puna Soil and Water Conservation District named her the “Puna SWCD Outstanding Farmer Cooperator of the Year.” She is the co-founder of Tea Hawaii & Company producing green, white, oolong, and black teas of exceptional quality with remarkable aroma and taste. Eva works with a collective of tea growers in all aspects of production involving propagation, harvesting, estate management, and processing. She has written numerous articles on Hawaii grown tea, such as “Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforestry.” Her collaborations in tea research have included Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, USDA Pacific Basin Agriculture Research Center, and the Hawaii County Office of Research & Development. These collaborations have enabled Hawaii to create a sustainable domestic specialty crop for global distribution.

Eva, along with her husband, created a tea estate within the temperate rain-forest on the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano. Both are involved daily in every aspect of the farm production of Hawaii grown fine tea from nursery propagating to marketing home grown tea. They advocate tea agriculture to help build an industry unique to Hawaii. In the belief that Hawaii has a significant role in furthering the tea culture, collaboration with fellow growers, institutions, and researchers has enabled Tea Hawaii & Company to express a new furtherance in world tea.

Eva converted a native forest with kahili ginger and waiawi noxious weeds to a highly productive 4.7 acre tea plant farm and native forest. The conservation practices she implemented are access control fence, forest slash treatment, tree/shrub establishment, and forest stand improvement. Access control fence consist of installing a woven wire fence to exclude feral pigs to protect the native forest. Forest slash treatment and forest Stand Improvement consists of mechanically removing kahili ginger and waiawi to improve the forest. Tree/shrub establishment consist of planting native trees and shrubs that are from the area to improve diversity of the forest.

With an extensive professional background in the arts, Eva infused a traditional yet contemporary approach in the servicing of Hawaii grown tea. This foundation based with artistic integrity creates business practices that form strong relations in the global tea market. For more information on Tea Hawaii & Company, visit www.teahawaii.com.