Tea Trail 2004: Willow Grove Workshop
A uniquely clean shu pu’er with both warming and cooling qualities, a sophisticated musky profile, and a sparkling texture like fresh mint and basil leaf. . . .
Our first generation Tea Trail brick from Yongming workshop became an instant favorite for its potent cooling notes and clean body. This older tea embraces the same spirit as the first Tea Trail but builds on it with a complexity all its own.
The aroma of the wet leaf is that of pine sap, wet forest moss, rosewood, and wafting incense. The flavor builds on the aroma with a first steep that is altogether refreshing. it reminds us of water drawn from an untouched and perfectly clear stream, with mineral notes picked up from smooth stones lining the stream bed. Then, after the refreshing cooling sensation a lush warmth begins to build. Though obscure, the best way to describe the flavor is in its relation to the rich aroma of antique lacquered furniture that has absorbed decades of incense. Trailing the lush warmth is a musty sensation that is almost vaporous. It reminds us of the smell of fine, crisp parchment paper.
As we continue with more infusions the clean cool sparkling begins to play on the wamth building in the chest, creating a thrilling taste experience. The sweetness and flavors of fresh mint and basil leaves come through. Later, the tea begins to take on a thicker body with a flavor similar to whole wheat bread, while at the same time maintaining an intense juiciness. In late steepings, the warm spice and incense flavors remind us of cinnamon baked apple.