2005 Twin Elephants Imperial Golden Buds Shu

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Nathaniel Gruber
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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9 Tasting Notes View all

  • RIP John Lennon. I have to admit I am in my infancy in the world of Pu’ers. One thing I can say is I know what I like. This I love. I did’nt have a lot to...” Read full tasting note
    chasmargate 294 tasting notes
  • “As I sip this amazing offering from a company I feel like I am friends with, I can’t help but be disturbed by the claims of certain people on the internet. Claims? Slander. I’m upset,...” Read full tasting note
    DaisyChubb 514 tasting notes
  • “I’m still trying to find my way in and around the world of pu-erh. I just had a 21 year old wild tree pu-erh so perhaps it isn’t a good time to try something else. There is some...” Read full tasting note
    amyoh2 2816 tasting notes
  • “Tommy The Toad was kind enough to send me some samples to introduce me to unflavored pu-erh, this being the first of them I decided to try. I can’t thank him enough for helping me branch out....” Read full tasting note
    Kwinter 172 tasting notes

From Verdant Tea

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.

About Verdant Tea View company

Company description not available.

9 Tasting Notes

294 tasting notes

RIP John Lennon. I have to admit I am in my infancy in the world of Pu’ers. One thing I can say is I know what I like. This I love. I did’nt have a lot to brew so I steeped it a bit longer than usual. There is an energy in my mouth like electricity. If you have read my posts the past few days I have tasted a few other Pu’ers. There is no comparison. Maybe they will compare in a few years. These Pu’ers are in their infancy. They are cute little girls. This is a beautiful woman….


nice analogy


John Lennon?

Charles Thomas Draper

He died December 8, 1980. My way of honoring his memory….


Lovely analogy!

Jim Marks

Heh. Age gap.

Charles Thomas Draper

@ Jim, I am laughing my you know the rest…..

Jim Marks

I have a pretty hefty age gap on my wife and then she’s in a graduate program primarily full of people quite a bit younger than her. Whenever we do social things with that crowd I’m constantly making cultural references that either fall completely flat or get a “oh yeah, my parents are into that” kind of thing.


Charles Thomas Draper

LOL. I am 47 BTW.


Pfff to you both, I’m 43


and yes I know who John Lennon was… ;-)

Charles Thomas Draper

Amy, to some of us who remember waking up on December 8, 1980 and listening to every radio station playing the Beatles and John Lennon and wondering why and ten finding out why and crying. When I was a baby my parents were huge Beatles fans and when I learned to use a record player for the first time I played " I saw her standing there " over and over. While driving in the car I was wondering where the music came from. When you are an infant these are things that stay with you forever. The Beatles changed the world. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE….


I’m more a Zeppelin fan myself…….

Charles Thomas Draper

I love Zep too. They did not change the world though….


I just prefer their music :))

Jim Marks

de gustibus not est disputadum.

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514 tasting notes

As I sip this amazing offering from a company I feel like I am friends with, I can’t help but be disturbed by the claims of certain people on the internet. Claims? Slander.

I’m upset, because I truly feel like a friend is being attacked – not a company, just a friend.

I feel like I’ve learned TOO much from my purchases from Verdant tea. I feel so blessed to have been given this sample from aisling of tea ! It means a lot. THANKYOU!

I rinse. I sip. I repeat!
Beauty in a cup. More than flavour, yes! More than words. Just enjoyment. But also sadness.

- – -

There are notes in this cup that are reminiscent of the Cornfields Shu I miss already! This is definitely both deeper and brighter with mustiness but also light citrus notes! It’s like a ping pong game with my tastebuds – but it definitely brings me happiness and joy!

Verdant tea has brought tears to my eyes with some of their teas – evoked real emotion in an actor who fakes life every day. What can I say, I’m off my little soap box now. :B




Hmm… Did I miss something? Seems so …
“can’t help but be disturbed by the claims of certain people on the internet. Claims? Slander.”
What are you referring to?


pmed you 4 times by accident! lol sorry <3


I have never ordered from Verdant but I probably will eventually. I have had samples of several of their teas in swaps and they were magnificent. I haven’t seen anything bad about them ever before, so I guess I missed whatever happened. I think most everyone feels that they are a “Creme de la Creme” company.


claims?? what? now I need to know!


Haters gonna hate. And elitists are going to think they are better than everyone else.

Charles Thomas Draper

I guess I missed something too


Decided not to share more because it makes the people causing trouble get even more attention.


I definitely understand, Bonnie. I went looking for it and now I wish I hadn’t.

Charles Thomas Draper

Me too Dinosara….

David Duckler

Thanks for your support. This makes my day! I am really happy to be a part of the tea community here on Steepster, and to have the support of friends and fellow tea-lovers. This is such an awesome place of self-selected people interested in helping each other grow. It really stands out on the web.

In any case, I am grateful for all the support of the Steepster community and for your post, and the comments here, and for Bonnie’s words on that thread. I wouldn’t be in business without all of you, so I am glad to have the means to keep searching out exciting teas to share, and improving the blog, the videos, etc.
All my best,


I’m so glad you’re enjoying your swap teas! <3!


Sorry for being absent from Steepster for so long, everyone :( It’s been an interesting few months, finally doing some physical therapy to get myself back into “good” health…Had an acl reconstruction about 10 years ago that never really healed right, so 10 years of an imbalance spreading through my whole body…When you start having fatigue after going up two flights of stairs, and you are only 28 years old, you start to get a bit scared.

So now that that is out of the way, time to address whatever criticisms that seem to have been leveled towards Verdant… “It’s expensive…” Well, duh…Verdant is not some bargain basement, eBay run wholesale business. When is the last time anyone has been to Teavana? Not trying to knock Teavana, as it holds a special place in my heart for being the shop that opened my eyes to the world of loose leaf tea.

I could tweet David tonight, and most likely have a response tomorrow(well, considering tomorrow is thanksgiving, probably Friday…he deserves some time with his wife!) Same with Facebook or email. David has always been there to answer any questions I have had.

I must relate a story about my interaction with David. This was over the summer, probably around July. I had questions for him about puer, differences between sheng and shu. I also related my dislike for extreme mustiness, which to me almost seemed moldy(something I have gotten somewhat accustomed to, I love the 2007 Xingyang Shu and Yanxin Reserve nuggets, and am getting used to the 98 Xingyang.) I received an email response from David within two hours, covering all of my questions, with suggestions as well. Now, if that were all of the story, I would still be pretty darn pleased. In my subsequent order, along with the usual note from David, there was also a sample of the Yanxin 04 shu nuggets, in a plastic bag with a hand written label that also said “our least ‘musty’ shu.” He knew my preferences, and tailored my sample accordingly. I found that gesture extremely satisfying, and from that moment on I decided that while I may not get all my tea from Verdant, I would always buy tea from Verdant! Seriously, if Verdant stocked every tea imaginable, I would buy everything from just David…

I have also bought from Teavana, TeaTrekker, Cloudwalker, American Tea Room, TeaSpring, Dragon Teahouse and Upton Imports, and while I have no problems with any of those companies, I prefer Verdant. Price isn’t an issue for me, while it may be for some/many, the service, quick shipping, tea quality and easy access to a knowledgeable owner more than compensate for any extra price!

Now if I could just restrain myself from buying any new dark oolong, black or puer tea…Ugh, but I can’t resist!!! Friday I must get some of the Yu Lu Yan black tea…and I think there may be a budset shu on Monday that I will need to try… I’m mad at myself for not getting an ounce of that 96 sheng while it was available :( went back on later that night and it was all gone!!! Oh, what have I missed! That’s why I will have to get some of the new black tea Friday, and the shu(and whatever I find interesting) Monday…I don’t want to wait and find the new black tea to be sold out on Monday!!!

I don’t know how often I will be posting in the future, I’m sorry I seem to “binge post.” It’s just the way I am, and in no way am I trying to be disrespectful!

P.S. I was the one who got the bigger Zhuni pot, and I have seasoned it for Xingyang 07/98, plus Yanxin Nuggets!! I’m loving it so far!!


How does one like a comment? HyBr1d, I hope you’ll feel better soon! And well put!


Thanks for thinking of us Hy! I hope you’re feeling much better and know you have the amazing tea by your side to help you through.

We miss you friend – your post was inspiring, optimistic and passionate! Not disrespectful in the least – quite the opposite. :) Good to see you!

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2816 tasting notes

I’m still trying to find my way in and around the world of pu-erh. I just had a 21 year old wild tree pu-erh so perhaps it isn’t a good time to try something else. There is some interesting stuff happening here with this one. To me, this smells fishy but nobody else seemed to have remarked on it. For a shu it is coming up a bit on the light side in terms of color. I am trying to keep these infusions to under a minute. 3 so far. More on the fruity/berry side than others I’ve had as of late. I am not getting heavy brown sugar at all, more citrusy from the get go. It really has a nice personality which is kind of a bonus. Not thinking I will need to keep this around for the permanent collection but it would probably excel as a digestif. I will hang on to the rest of my sample and revisit it over time.

Charles Thomas Draper

I bought the whole cake.


It’s good that you know what you like! =)

Charles Thomas Draper

If they blow me away I buy them if I can….


I have bought a few cakes here and there but nothing too expensive.

Charles Thomas Draper

This is by far the most I paid.

Nathaniel Gruber

You may have grabbed one of the last cakes of this one. It appears to be off the site now.

@Amy oh: I’m sure that this one was quite the different experience than the 21 year old wild pu’er! Now just try to imagine what that one must’ve tasted like when it was only 6 years old. It makes it exciting to think of what something like this will age in to. :)


I don’t think I have the patience to be a pu-erh collector. I’d rather find stuff that I like and can drink now although I know some people feel very differently. Thank goodness the world of tea is so vast.

Charles Thomas Draper

My bad. I bought the commemorative….

Nathaniel Gruber

Commemorative is equally good. Yes, keeping pu’er for a long time certainly is not for everyone. I think this one is good to drink now…I leave the aging to Sheng, while I usually drink Shu more immediately.


Let’s see if I let a Puerh age 21 yrs, hhhmmmm…..I’d be…..nevermind, I’m with Amy on this one! :))

Nathaniel Gruber

You would be thanking the gods for the tea :) haha

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172 tasting notes

Tommy The Toad was kind enough to send me some samples to introduce me to unflavored pu-erh, this being the first of them I decided to try. I can’t thank him enough for helping me branch out. To be honest, I was a little scared to dry it when I smelled the brewed tea, but I kept an open mind. There was definitely a little bit of that “fishy” odor that I had heard about, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. When I tasted it, there was no fishy taste whatsover. It was just an earthy, smoky kind of taste that made me think of fall leaves, campfires, and dirt (I never thought I’d drink something that reminded me of dirt, but really it wasn’t a bad thing). This was a very new experience, my mind was not fully prepared for what my taste buds experienced, and I’m glad I got to try it. Once I get used to the taste a little more, I can see myself becoming a pu-erh fan. The whole process of making pu-erh is very intriguing to me. The amount of effort and expertise that goes into creating a good pu-erh is something I can really respect, and I want to experience all of the different facets of the tea world. When it all comes down to it, tea in general is a form of art and allows me to feel a spiritual warmth and a connection with the nature. I am consuming the ESSENCE of nature, and at the same time the product of a rich culture of my own human race. As you can see, I’m getting a bit contemplative…and that in my mind the greatest quality of tea. It gives me a few minutes out of a hectic day to truly feel centered and be able to THINK and BE in the moment. I truly enjoyed this new experience.


I like that you are willing to try these different tea types. I drink my Pu erh rather strong and after tasting straight up I usually make a latte with sugar. If you have a chance try this too.

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41 tasting notes

This is an excellent and perfectly balanced brick of shou that far outdoes any of its contemporary shou’s of the same age. The color is translucent and brilliant orange. Taste of burnt sugar, burnt caramel, dark fruits, and chocolate are prevalent in the early steepings. As you move along notes of sweet candy and cooling camphor begin to set in though there is a warming feeling that comes along in the chest…a very ideal brick!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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144 tasting notes

This is a very good shu. To me, this is where shu puerh begins to stand apart from aged sheng. Many lesser shu tends toward the murky and greasy in their attempt to emulate the earthiness of wet stored aged sheng. This one carries the typical characteristics of shu but elevates them to a higher level.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this tea is not at all an attempt toward emulating aged sheng but is perfectly enjoyable by itself; dense, cooling, and hollow in that the flavors are not muddied or confused.

I personally like shu puerh so this tea is very enjoyable to me. In the past I have always preferred an aged sheng to any shu but this one definitely stands on its own merits. It’s different and “shu” enough to be, to me, a sort of paradigm. Good stuff.

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