Teas You Will Love for Oolong Time

It’s International Tea Day on December 15, and in case you don’t have a budget for a civilized afternoon tea service on some luxurious veranda in Waikiki, we have a few accessible tea spots to consider.  These casual cafes may be more of a takeaway format, but they still craft some exquisite tea-based beverages that will have you going back.


Daily Whisk Matcha

This charming, locally-owned matcha and coffee shop sits next door to a trendy women’s boutique in Kaimuki called Ten Tomorrow.

The breezy space is inviting as a perfect reprieve from an afternoon of shopping.  Consider the Hot Matcha Tea Latte, a creamy concoction that blends quality green tea, milk, and foam that enhances the 100% organic matcha flavor.  If you are seeking something refreshing for a humid day, then consider the Matcha Lilikoi Soda, which adds some housemade lilikoi, or passionfruit, syrup to the signature green tea, forging a balance between sweet and tart in this effervescent, island-inspired beverage.

Daily Whisk Matcha >> Get a special offer!
Location: 1114 11th Ave.
Hours: 8am – 4pm Daily
Phone : (808) 490 – 3436


Tiger Sugar

The tea shop hailing from Taichung, Taiwan, developed a reputation for being a cult brand of boba bubble teas worldwide.  The drinks are easily recognizable because of the tiger stripes made with hand-poured syrups that infuse flavors into the various drinks.

Now with a location in Ala Moana Center, Tiger Sugar’s signature Black Sugar Boba + Pearl Milk with Cream Mousse is much more accessible.  Patrons cannot get enough of the drink that beautifully marries tea and milk with syrup and tapioca pearls that are produced through a proprietary 8-hour cooking method.  This drink will have you back on the prowl for more.

Tiger Sugar >> Get a special offer!

Ala Moana Location: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. #2308, Ala Moana Center Level 2
Hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon – Thur), 10am – 9pm (Fri – Sat), 10am – 8pm (Sun)
Phone (Ala Moana): (808) 807 – 9287

Nuuanu Location: 1365 Nuuanu Ave.
Hours: 11am – 9:30pm daily
Phone (Nuuanu): (808) 376 – 0648


Tea Spot

This specialty milk tea and fruit tea cafe in Aiea features a wide variety of beverages with sweet azuki beans, creamy pudding, fruit jellies, and fruit popping boba to accent.

While all the diverse fruity drinks are amazing–even the fresh milk with fruit infusions and fruit smoothies, one to consider is the Passion Lemon Tea.  This concoction fragrances a lemon tea with passionfruit and can be customized with the amount of ice, level of added sweetness, and even the toppings, which include tempting options such as rainbow jelly, lychee popping boba, strawberry cap, cheese cap, and more.  When thirsty, these drinks truly hit the spot.

Tea Spot >> Get a special offer!
Location: 98-020 Kamehameha Hwy. 104, Waimalu Shopping Center
Hours: 10am – 8pm (Sun – Thur), 10am – 9pm (Fri & Sat)
Phone : (808) 888 – 0366


Rabbit Rabbit Tea

The cafe within walking distance to the University of Hawaii may have its concept borrowed from the popular boba shops in Taiwan, but the owner who grew up in Hawaii wanted to establish a more unique experience.  Taking the modern tea house but infusing it with a healthy dose of aloha, Rabbit Rabbit Tea extends several wonderfully creative beverages worthy of attention.  Premium pure teas including Assam Black, English Earl Grey, Jade Green, Mountain Sprout, Golden Jinxuan Oolong, and more are available as is, but are also incorporated into milk teas and fresh fruit teas.  One of the most alluring choices is a Japanese Buckwheat Milk Tea that has almost a chocolatey malted flavor, not found elsewhere.  Another popular choice is the Queen of Hearts Mojito which takes tea and adds sliced fruits, such as oranges.  Then, there is the Brown Sugar Boba with fresh milk that is a staple at many tea spots.  However, the boba balls here are made fresh and are supple gelatinous balls that are tempered in sweetness.  So bounce on over and grab a few drinks for you and your honeybunny.  

Rabbit Rabbit Tea
2700 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 
Phone:  (808) 492-1870
Business hour:  Sun-Thu, 11:00am – 7:00pm; Fri & Sat, 11:00am – 8:00pm


It’s Tea

This family-owned tea shop has a few locations–one in Downtown Honolulu, and one in the Kaka’ako area, near Whole Foods Market Queen.  In addition to intriguing combinations such as peach oolong, strawberry green tea, raspberry lychee, and winter melon lemon teas, there are the unadulterated classics, milk teas including Thai milk or taro milk teas, and even blended fruit drinks.  However, It’s Tea prides itself on its Okinawa Black Sugar Series, a roster of teas that incorporate Okinawa black sugar, which is purportedly darker, saltier, and healthier than white sugar.    This series of non-caffeinated teas features viscous syrup combined with fresh milk, taro milk, or matcha milk with tapioca or pudding.  Tempered in sweetness, the drinks feature a rich flavor that is addicting.  The drinks come in an eco-friendly blue cup so the contents may not be as visible, but when the drink tastes this good, does it really matter?

It’s Tea
435 Kamake’e Street, #102, Honolulu, HI
Phone:  (808) 469-9159
Business hours:  Tue-Sat, 11:00am – 6:30pm; Sun, 11:00am – 5:00pm (closed Mon)


These tea spots are sure to please with their lush, creamy or fruity flavors.  Whether you decide to sit inside one of the cafes and chat with some friends or take them to go, you will be able to enjoy them without the worry about violating the pinky-cradling rules of etiquette forth by Emily Post.  

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