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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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most. Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes. I might have attention issues. One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.

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Sonoma County, California, USA

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