Esteemed Tea CollectiveEdit Company
Popular Teas from Esteemed Tea CollectiveSee All 5 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
One of my goals this year is to do a gong fu session at least once a month (this is rather lofty for me!) and here I am at the end of February and I haven’t done one yet. But I had this tea for the first time (western) this month and noted then I should probably try it gong fu, so here we are. (I also have a batch cold brewing in the fridge…I wasn’t happy with the color this morning so I’m letting that stew a bit longer.)
180ml (mini pot) | 8g | 205F | Rinse/20s/25s/30s/35s/40s/45s
The rinse liquid had a strong aroma of slightly sour honeyed fruits, while the wet leaf gave me strong vibes of spice coated nuts and wet autumn leaves. The first steep smelled of warm cinnamon apple compote. The flavor on the tongue had notes of spices and honey, but the apple fruit note was more subdued than in the aroma, with a stronger floral note coming forward instead… it made me think of apple or cherry blossoms. The backdrop was warm malt and baked bread, with a bit of a nutty flavor in the aftertaste. As the cup cooled, the flavor tasted a lot like honeyed dates with a sort of sharp, wine/alcohol sort of taste left in the back of my throat. By the third steep, the strong florality started to subside and the malt/bread became a bit stronger, with some fruit and flower blossom still present. The fruitiness leaned mostly on apple, dates, and a little plum, with some mild sweet cherry at the end of the sip. Late infusions smelled like pure, wildflower honey. Went through six steeps, and the flavor was starting to feel muted by that point. I’m wondering if the leaves weren’t so old if it may have had slightly more staying power.
Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Bread, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Cinnamon, Dates, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Nutty, Plum, Smooth
I purchased this at a booth at the PDX Tea Fest in 2019, and haven’t touched the cardboard tube “tin” since bringing it home (I deemed it a “fancy expensive tea” and somehow I just never drink “fancy expensive teas”). But this is the only Taiwanese oolong I have left in my stash, other than some Lupicia ones that I bought last year for my birthday and are still sealed. This one is older than those, so I’d rather break the seal on this one… so this is my “Taiwanese tea” for the February sipdown prompt!
I (vaguely) remember really enjoying the sample of this tea at their booth. I’ve brewed this cup like a heathen (aka “western”, when I know that “fancy expensive tea” should be brewed gong fu…) and my teacup smells incredibly malty… an Assam-esque malt/baked bread aroma, with an underlying fruitiness that smells of cherry compote and orange zest with honey.
The flavor is tasty… not as good as I remember drinking that fresh sample, but there is still some nice flavor despite its age. It is indeed very malty/bready (tending to the rye side), but is extremely smooth. About midsip and into the finish there is a strong honeyed fruits flavor, tasting a little like apple, cherry, plum, and orange, depending on the sip. There is a touch of florality that occassionally pops at the end of the sip, too, but paired with the fruitiness I get more of a “blossom” taste from it than a distinct “flower” taste.
It’s very satisfying. Perhaps there would be more nuance if I could bother to take the time for gong fu, but this is a nice cuppa, and I feel my early morning eyes starting to waken up from the liquified energy.
Flavors: Apple, Bread, Cherry, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Plum, Rye, Smooth
I’ve got several that fit your “fancy expensive” category that I recently dubbed “what are you waiting for, silly?”
I know! It’s akin to that grandma that has super fancy china locked away in a cupboard for “special occassions,” but no occassion is ever “special” enough to use it!
Simply design, but not so simply tea! Looks good indeed, though maybe not truly fancy expensive tea. Hopefully gongfu brewing will bring another dimmensions for this cup.
Oof! Taiwanese black teas don’t usually cost that much. I’m the same way with “fancy expensive tea,” though I’m trying not to hoard it.
It was definitely overpriced. But when you are at a physical tea festival, drinking the samples, and not sitting in front of a computer with 20 tabs open to compare teas and prices, it is very easy to get had like that. It’s good, but I certainly wouldn’t reorder it at that price point!
LOL, I get caught up in the moment sometimes as well. :) I hope you enjoy the rest of your tea and can steep some of it gongfu.
I’ve been almost exclusively drinking cold brews right now, as our weather here turned from rainy/mildly pleasant to Satan’s butt-crack hot overnight. But I woke up this morning with that froggy throat from breathing with your mouth open all night, and wanted something warm to moisten it back up.
Still have this single sachet teabag from the goodie bag at the San Francisco International Tea Fest 2018! I steeped my teabag for 3 minutes in 350ml of 205F water. Tea is a pretty goldenrod color and has the aroma I associate with “Chinese restaurant oolong”. Sort of a floral-forward wildflower honey aroma, orange blossom, and roasted nuts. Those flavors carry over very well to the sip. Sweet and smooth honey-roasted nuts and a floral/fruity orange blossom. A slight minerality in the aftertaste.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Mineral, Nutty, Orange Blossom, Roasted Nuts, Smooth
Another sample from the San Francisco Tea Festival.
It smells a little vegetal. It tastes vegetal too, and it’s very mild overall. There’s a hint of sweetness and a note that is a little like pine. It’s pretty good, maybe a bit too mild.
Flavors: Pine, Sweet, Vegetal
My friend got this at the SF Tea Festival. It said something about walnuts, but I am unclear whether that’s an ingredient or one of the flavor notes. She’s allergic and wasn’t going to take any chances.
Oh wow, I taste a honey note and something nutty. There’s a slight vegetal note too. I find it a little odd that this says it’s an oolong tea on a cache of their website (site is down; I used Google cache), but the note with the bag says caffeine free. I wonder if the gaba in this will calm me down. I’m usually calm anyway. Anyway, it’s very tasty.
Flavors: Honey, Nutty, Vegetal
Esteemed Tea Collective, a Taiwanese oolong company I believe based in Los Angeles, was set up at the SF International Tea Fest. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to them it was near the end of the day on Sunday, so not only was I exhausted and don’t remember what I tried, but they were out of the two teas I wanted to purchase. Luckily, either this sample was included in the freebie bag or they handed it to me at their booth.
I brewed this sachet according to their parameters, with 8oz of 205F water and 3 steeps of 90/50/70s. Zooming in on the product labels on their website and doing simple math, each sachet contains 2g of leaves.
The roasting was very light and expertly applied, allowing the classic characteristics of high mountain oolongs to shine while simultaneously toning down floral and vegetal notes and bringing forward sweet nutty and cookie flavors. The resulting tea was so wonderfully fragrant and ridiculously smooth, thick, silky and oily in the mouth. All three steeps presented sweet nutty, cookie, white florals, osmanthus and crisp green bean flavors and some tartness and light minerality. It was so smooth I just enjoyed it, not bothering to take notes.
While I greatly enjoyed this tea, Esteemed Tea Collective only offers their collection in sachets so I won’t be likely to purchase. But for somebody looking for a refined oolong and ease of use, I’d suggest giving this new company a try.
One thing I do take issue with, though, is on their website they use a lot of buzz words in their ‘About’ section. They speak of transparency but offer no information about the farm/location, varietals or harvest season/month. Perhaps this information is available to wholesale buyers.
edit: I’ll contact them to find out where their batch information is available and update here