Another incredible offering from Verdant. I have rinsed the leaves and the first steeping was quick. Maybe a minute or less. I am getting a Redwood forest taste if such a thing exists. It is smooth and luscious. I think I am getting a numbing sensation in my mouth. I am moaning with each sip. My opinion so far is to buy the whole brick if possible. Is that camphor description I read about leading to the numbing? This tea is beautiful. It is making my body glow. I am only on the first steeping. Where will this tea take me? The second steep is stronger. When I was pouring it out of the dark brown Yixing I had to admire the beautiful color of the liquor. This cup is darker. Stronger. More aromatic. The numbing more intense. I think this is the tea that you would want if you could have no other. I am at a loss for words….
2006 Twin Elephants Tea Trail Commemorative Shu
Dry Leaf: Small black leaves and vibrant orange curled buds.
Aroma: Musty notes of a long-extinguished campfire, and the smells of hot chocolate and oatmeal with raisins.
Tea Color: The dark red-brown of rosewood, completely crystalline with tea oil swirling on the surface.
Taste through early steepings: Assertive and literally mouth watering spearmint and cedar notes which quickly evaporate off the palate leaving the sweetness of flaky pasty and dark mission figs. A few steepings in, a warmth builds up in the throat like the glow of red wine.
Taste in middle to late steepings: The dark fig sweetness develops into a deeply complex spice of ginger and ceylon cinnamon with hints of cracked peppercorn, while paradoxically becoming cooling on the tongue. The tip of the tongue is engaged by the subdued sweetness of raw sugar.
Steeped Leaf: Dark mahogany brown, with buds still tightly coiled.
Notes: This brick is an excellent investment. At a lower price point, this tea offers an incredibly intriguing and diverse set of flavors that could only grow with time.
UPDATE: This tea has sold out. Verdant Tea has just released a second generation Tea Trail shu pu’er pressed in 2004 by Willow Grove Workshop. There is a new listing on Steepster for it here: