2021 Mattcha blind tasting: Alpha

// Published August 23, 2021 by mgualt

For a bit of fun at the end of the dreary summer of 2021, Matt and I decided to exchange blind samplers and blog about them. Check out his posts, he is tasting a lot faster than I am! I’m always interested to taste a collector’s teas and storage, especially when they have a preference for concentrated and substantial puerh.

  1. The dry leaf has a slightly sharp funky note which is very similar to the storage note from some Wistaria teas (especially Qingteng and Nannuo). It has very hard compression and a resinous pungency, and the leaves are quite chopped. Could be one of the less-smoky Xiaguan productions from early 2000s.
  2. The first rinse has a small amount of that funky note, which I have described previously as fishy, but this could be a terroir aspect or something from a certain type of wetter Taiwan storage.
  3. Super chopped leaves, definitely looks and feels like Xiaguan. But it’s not the 8653 style rough smoky blend, it has somewhat of a gushu style in a way, not a normal factory production.
  4. Very thick mouthfeel, menghai character, reminds me of some Mengsong and Nannuo tea I’ve had. Very interesting profile, with lots of what seems like sweetness/huigan but is not really sugary sweet.
  5. There is some kind of metallic or brassy note to the tea, which I associate with early spring pickings with lots of tips, but which also may be a Nannuo characteristic, don’t know. Big and bold flavour, lots of heat and energy.
  6. I am getting a profound downer effect from this tea, which I also associate with my favourite Xiaguan teas (not tuos!)

This is a very interesting and engaging tea, and seems like a high quality Xiaguan production, but not a smoky one. Perhaps like 2001 Xiaguan “King of Cake”, but a younger version? This has some aged taste but still has a lot of dark green strength and acidity. Strong heating, downer effect, and with a nice menthol cooling in the throat. Very tightly rolled and twisted and a very concentrated taste. Nice one, Matt! Very good tea.

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