What does “estate” tea mean, you ask? In short, it’s from a plantation’s seasonal yield without blending. Think of tea like wine – you’ve had an amazing Cab-Sav, right? The vintner chooses the grapes from different yields to produce the perfect bottle of wine – tea estates do the same thing, mixing the best of a season’s tea of the same style/region to produce a predictably amazing Assam or Nilgiri or the like. Now, if you’ve popped the cork on a lauded Merlot or Syrah, you know that it’s not only amazing, but being judged by the year’s yield of that single grape – single estate tea is in the same vein, as it’s offered as a single amazing crop of produced tea, unblended and offered “as is.” So vintage matters! Master Tea Blenders may be able to reproduce their key teas, but once an estate tea is gone, it’s gone the same way a 2011 Merlot is gone.