2021 Mattcha blind tasting: Epsilon and Summary
The last of Matt’s samples, epsilon, is a young tea, possibly only one or two years old, and is processed quite green. I’ve had it four times now and I suffered the consequences each time- this is a green, very slightly cloudy, oily, bitter, and astringent tea. Green and eggy, with a high pitched pungency, with not much sweetness. Very high astringency, quite concentrated, and giving a ton of strength, both heat and muscle-twitching buzz. This is the most macho tea that Matt has ever sent me!
I’m curious to find out what tea this is, the processing is quite rough and green, with a lot of broken leaves and char. This certainly fits the bill for a “bitter and awful” young sheng, and I would be interested to see what it’s like in 7 years. Here are some final shots, and then I will do a summary of the whole tasting.
2021 Mattcha blind tasting summary
Strong Wistaria-like storage note, could also be Nannuo material, lots of heat and energy, with a mix of aged taste and some dark green strength. Not normal factory production, hard compression and very chopped. Originally I thought this must be the 2001 Xiaguan king of cake, but since I know Matt sent me a sample of the “2001 MTF 7542” from Houde, by process of elimination it must be this tea. It’s a good tea, no question, and I would guess it to be some kind of special commission.
This seems to me to be a boutique gushu from Yiwu with quite nice material. Roasty, gamey, umami, with a nice pungent woody resin on the empty cup. Full mouthfeel, concentrated, can’t be more than 10 years old, strong uplift with frisson. It reminds me a bit of LBZ profile, dark, roasted hay, bitter. Reminds me a bit of dayi menghai peacock, maybe bulang peacock.
Bamboo lokcha, very dry storage, needs some humidity. Some char, tight compression, dark green, interesting wet leaf sweet spice aroma. Uplift, excitement. Slightly harsh, but very concentrated. I think this would eventually be very good with some heated humid storage.
Super TCM Liubao, mineral, ginseng, no geosmin. Low sweetness, strong astringency, spice aroma, super warming, heating, sweating. Consistent. Nice example of a very strong Liubao.
Very green and astringent young tea, I don’t recognize the profile, very strong with noticeable caffeine buzz and some heating. Extreme macho tea 🙂
I am grateful to Matt for sending me this sampler powerhouse — Clearly he has a taste for power, maybe he should run for office in the upcoming Canadian elections..? Now that I have gotten to know these teas, I would really like to find out their identities..!