2005 Twin Elephants Imperial Golden Buds Shu
Year: Picked 2005, Pressed 2007
Dry Leaf: Dark orange buds, curled with occasional spring leaves. Loose brick compression
Aroma: Mesquite and char-broiled mustiness with heavy brown sugar aroma and notes of semolina flour and fig laced with dark muscatel.
Tea Color: Thick burnt orange, with the down of the buds visible. Fine swirls of tea oil on the surface.
Taste through early steepings: Sweet caramelized citrus and plum sauce dominate as the tea first engages the palate. This quickly gives way to a blackberry hibiscus mild tartness on the sides of the tongue and the musty texture of burning cedar wood as a lingering aftertaste.
Taste in middle to late steepings: The intense thick and creamy quality of early steepings lifts like a fog to reveal an equally intriguing late flavor where the tingling coolness of pine dominates, with accents of black peppercorn. Very late in steeping (Infusions 15-20) give notes of orange peel candied in raw sugar, with muscatel grape lingering in the throat.
Steeped Leaf: Completely unbroken, dark purple curled buds and young leaves.