Mattcha’s mystery teas D & E
After a few sessions alternating between D & E, I thought I could review these together.
Tea D, shown above, has a very familiar factory pressing style, which could be Dayi or Xiaguan. This is not very smoky, only a subtle smoke note, with a very clean woody aroma. The wash is also very clean, with no suds at all. Definitely mid-aged, perhaps a 2003-2007 range.
- Initially this is quite gentle and sweet, subtle taste, with some aged white tea aroma. Unusual thick floral taste, very subtle floral taste. Strange if this is a recipe cake like 7542 or 8653. I know that some 8653 are less smoky and more refined, perhaps this is one.
- Quiet but strong, slight cloudiness, orange-red liquor. Has some smokiness, but remarkably mild, could be a gushu special commission, has a lot of energy, heating, but very mild taste.
- Much more astringent now, and starting to be juicy and plummy, the gushu profile has gone, it just took a while to steep out. More flavour, heating, strong.
- Very nice pungent empty cup aroma, oily, savoury, woody thickness.
This one was quite unusual to me, it has aspects of a strong factory blend like a 7542, but it also has some steeps which are more calm and subtle. It was exceptionally comfortable, I enjoyed it a lot.
Now for tea E, in all its rustic glory, shown above. Bold and messy, this starts with an old school food smoke dry aroma, with plenty of dark camphor and roasted aroma in the wet leaf. Ringing smoke, like the simao fangcha bricks or some of the xiaguan tuos. But this doesn’t appear to be a normal factory production.
- Cloudy and sudsy wash, with tons of particulate and char. This is a rough and bold tea
- Lots of tibetan incense resinous woodiness. Nice incense profile. Cleans up quickly and is very clear. Noticeable amount of char particles.
- Concentrated old school strength, clean aftertaste. Not super sweet but there is some sweetness.
- High bitterness, relatively low astringency. Lots of lingering bitterness and some dark sweetness. Smoky dark profile, huge leaves.
This is an old-school strong and rough sheng with enough age to make it start to be enjoyable. Still has a lot of green structure and quite a lot of bitterness, it has a beautiful incense profile and a concentrated complex taste, with a bit of sweetness. This reminds me of a younger version of the malaysian-stored rustic zhongcha from TWL, and is not the kind of tea one often finds. I’d be interested to know what style of processing this is, maybe an old fashioned bulang style? Very nice material as well. No sign of off tastes and very clean, concentrated sheng profile. Storage is also very dry, no sign of humid storage notes. This is one that would appeal to the old school, definitely.