China Yunnan Matai 'Old Tree' Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Black Pepper, Brown Toast, Camphor, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Eucalyptus, Honey, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Nutmeg, Orange, Pine, Plum, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Walnut, Wood
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 92 oz / 2719 ml

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From What-Cha

A black tea produced from a tea garden composed of old trees, which gives the tea a complex and thick taste which transitions from a dark berry quality to a gentle mouth coating cacao finish.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth and thick texture
- Complex taste which shifts from dark berries to cacao

Harvest: Spring 2016

Origin: Matai, Bangdong, Lincang, Yunnan, China
Farmer: Mrs. Pu Jin Jing
Sourced: Specialist Yunnan wholesaler based in France

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 95°C/203°F
- Use 2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

About What-Cha View company

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5 Tasting Notes

1031 tasting notes

Okay, I’m back. These last few days have wiped me out. I have had to put in a ton of work hours and getting everything ready to start school in the summer is driving me up the wall. In order to maintain both a level of energy conducive to being productive and my seemingly eroding sanity, I have been mowing down black tea samples like crazy. This was the first of the bunch that I finished and it definitely did a lot to push me into my current black tea kick. I found this to be a mellow, yet exceptionally rewarding, black tea.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse (I more or less flash rinse most black teas), I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in a 4 ounce gaiwan filled with 203 F water for 3 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 5 seconds, 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of honey, caramel, and molasses. After the rinse, I noted emerging aromas of malt, sweet potato, and roasted walnut. The first infusion then brought out hints of cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered dominant malty notes backed by milder impressions of molasses, cream, and sweet potato and some hints of spice on the swallow. Subsequent infusions brought out aromas of brown toast, cocoa, and herbs on the nose. Molasses, sweet potato, and cream notes were stronger in the mouth, and the spice impressions quickly became more prominent as the previously missing notes of roasted walnut, honey, and caramel belatedly emerged. New impressions of candied orange peel, leather, brown toast, camphor, cocoa, pine, eucalyptus, spruce, tobacco, plum, raisin, black pepper, and minerals also revealed themselves in the mouth. The final infusions presented subtler notes of minerals, brown toast, pine, malt, camphor, and eucalyptus balanced by delicate roasted walnut, black pepper, honey, and cocoa impressions.

Compared to most of the Yunnan black teas I have tried to this point, this one was noticeably lighter, smoother, and more delicate. I’m guessing that the age of my sample had something to do with that. It was one that I had bought either at the end of 2016 or the start of 2017 and forgot about entirely before organizing the sample hoard. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this tea. It had aged incredibly gracefully while in my keep, and should What-Cha ever restock it, I would very likely purchase it again.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Brown Toast, Camphor, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Eucalyptus, Honey, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Nutmeg, Orange, Pine, Plum, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Walnut, Wood

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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836 tasting notes

Caramel sweetness. I will try to infuse this for longer in the future.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 14 OZ / 400 ML

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1513 tasting notes

The first I tried this tea was a bust due to bad water. But now I have good water and some time to enjoy it.

The dry leaf smells like black tea, and not to be too obvious, but old wood. Wood from an old tree holding books. That part is not so obvious-my imagination cooked that up.

So 2 min with 190 F water, and pure malt layered by a woodsiness and chocolate hints. It’s dry overall, but sweet and smooth enough towards the end of the taste. It’s also got some fruitiness bordering between something like berry or cherry. Or the common weird fruity aftertaste from iced black tea. The same goes for steep two at 3 min, and three at 5 min.

This is definitely an old tree because it has that dry wood profile consistent with the aged black teas I’ve had (not to be confused with Pu-Erh), and the complexity comes more from the gradation of tastes upon drinking each cup over the cups in unison. As in it tastes pretty much the same in each cup with some variation, but most of that taste variation comes from the liquor moving down your tongue and throat.

I’d say it’s a stellar example of a black tea, but it is a black tea. Easily drinkable by anyone’s standards, it might disappoint people looking for something to Gong Fu with fewer leaves-although that’s totally possible with high gramage. I might add my notes gong fu, but for now, the short western is what I have because it is simple and easy.

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