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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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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy. Message me if you want to try something :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng and shou puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, Laoshan green. I also appreciate Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Darjeeling and Nepali teas, bagged tea and herbal teas/tisanes. I take my teas without milks or sweeteners except sometimes chai and the rare London Fog or matcha latte. I generally steep a tea until it has no more to give.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings. Just nothing cloying especially banana, caramel, coconut, cinnamon or maple.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Won’t buy again.
59-1: Lacking several elements, has off flavors, lacks flavor, or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

Location

San Francisco, California, USA

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