Mattcha’s mystery tea C
Blind sampling is very important for calibrating your own tasting ability, but it can be tricky. I enjoy it because it frees me of expectations concerning the tea, but I have to avoid my natural tendency to guess what the tea is, as this can lead to major confirmation bias.
The dry leaf has a minty, midaged, slightly smoky and sweet aroma. The dry material is messy, quite dry/brittle, and appears to be from the mid-2000s, perhaps 2006 or 7.
- crystal clear liquor, slightly smoky, rustic. Has a bit of similarity with YQH taste, but more similar to the Shunshixing Yiwu 2002 which I reviewed earlier.
- Thick, concentrated mintiness, clean dry storage. Bright orange liquor, crystal clear throughout. Elegant taste, yiwu-ish, but without any plumminess.
- Lots of heating, gentle clear energy and leading to plenty of frisson and skin cooling. Not extremely sweet, but has some sweetness, woodiness, and some herbals.
- Not very bitter, and low astringency. Good flavour and reliable cooling effect. Well stored.
- Very good empty cup aroma, pungent honey, restrained but very nice.
This tea strikes me as a proper mid-aged puerh with dry storage and decent quality material. Well-processed, with a concentrated and enjoyable taste, and reliable energy, giving heating and quite a lot of skin frisson. No fireworks, not a lot of bitterness, not much astringency, but plenty of flavour. Balanced and enjoyable mid-aged tea, and a good example to use as a standard reference.