2006 Twin Elephants Tea Trail Commemorative Shu

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Pu-erh Tea
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25 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

Year: 2006

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:


About Verdant Tea View company

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25 Tasting Notes

294 tasting notes

First of all I would like to say I am enjoying the Shu over the Sheng. I am having a pot of this after the Yiwu 2004 and I prefer it. The aroma. The flavor. Even the color of the liquor. The mouthfeel. I will be doing another Sheng tomorrow probably followed by a Shu. At least I am finding what I like. I love the depth and the complexity this fine tea offers.

Jim Marks

Sheng is a lot less consistent from tea to tea. The spectrum of potential flavors is a absolutely vast. Shu is a lot more predictable — still highly complex, but there’s less “oh man what am I about to taste?” with a shu.

Charles Thomas Draper

Jim I know you already suggested Camellia Sinensis for fine Puerhs, do you know about Jas e Tea, Generation or Puerh Shop ?

Jim Marks

My list currently includes:

Camellia Sinensis
Red Blossom
Seven Cups

and I’m looking forward to trying Verdant, soon. Sadly, new teas have to wait until well after The Holiday Season.


dont overlook the tao of tea (they have great sheng and shou), life in a teacup, and yes…def. try Verdant

Jim Marks

All added to my bookmarks.

Once the weather turns cold here again, in Houston, my thoughts will return to pu-erh. Sadly, that’s really only late December through late February.

Charles Thomas Draper

Thank you. I highly recommend Verdant….

Charles Thomas Draper

I found all but TeaG. Thank you

Charles Thomas Draper

PS< This Tea is Awesome….

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2816 tasting notes

A very nice shu pu-erh offering from Verdant. The purists will scoff at me but I sometimes drink these with soymilk. I am trying this one without it.

Very aromatic leaves after steeping. Smells like dirt, earth and shitaake mushrooms. Aroma is definitely that of a campfire but this is not smoky tasting like a lapsang souchong. Reminds me of a good roasted twig tea when I keep the steeping time to around 90 seconds or so. Not astringent at all, delightfully mellow.

For the third steep I am bumping up the steeping time until it tastes like mud. Ha! I did that last week and it was still delicious. If you like coffee I would recommend checking this out…

1 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I have this in my sampler. It is for my days off….


It is a nice tea to be able to relax and enjoy… nice to save the best ones for home. :)

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53 tasting notes

It’s September, and high school’s been in session for a month now… that initial excitement and drive I get at the beginning of the year is quickly waning. I’m sitting in chemistry absent-mindedly nibbling on the end of a drawing pencil, half paying attention to what the teacher is saying, half-heartedly doodling dragons and other fantastical creatures in the margins of my notes, squinting at them, thinking someday, I’ll draw better, I just have to practice more. Maybe when I get home.. I don’t have that much homework so far, after all.

But then it hits me… it’s Wednesday and that means it’s my turn to rake the leaves before dinner. I briefly look out the window and to the sky, wondering what my chances are that a downpour will get me out of this chore. Not likely, it seems; the few clouds up there are fluffy and white, and a heavy wind seems to be blowing even them away, not to mention even more multi-colored leaves off the trees. But despite the wind’s efforts to make my afternoon tasks harder for me, I wish we could open the window so I could feel that breeze through this stuffy classroom.

When I get home, I reluctantly change into my work clothes, finding the pants with the huge pockets that I can fit my portable CD player in. The wind tried to work in my favor after all, and the sky is overcast by now, but no rain means I still have to sacrifice my drawing practice for the cosmetic appearance of our backyard. Sighing, I put on my work gloves, grab the old splintery rake, and step outside.

Fall weather is almost as intoxicating to the senses as spring weather, the harsh heat ebbing away, the cooling breezes stripping the trees of their dead to make way for new life, playing with their colors and shapes, guiding them, dancing and spinning gently to the earth, where the life-forms below take their role of consuming them, feeding themselves and the soil, making it fertile and ready for the far-off spring. I can almost taste it on the wind, the ancient annual rituals of the earth as it prepares itself before a wintry hibernation.

The work is never as painful as I think it will be, and I relax into the rhythm of the raking, synchronized with the sounds of the drum and didgeridoo playing in my ears through my cheap dollar-store headphones. Very deep and earthy rhythms; so full of mystery, one could believe they mimic the heartbeat of the planet itself.

The work is over faster than I expect, yet the sun is going down and I know I’ve been out here a while. The heaping pile of leaves I’ve raked to the curb is just too inviting though, and without even checking around for a scolding parent, I leap right in, ignoring my CD player’s protests as it skips on impact, burying myself in the soft crackles and crunches, inhaling deeply. I don’t care if I’m barely a kid anymore, this is still the best part of autumn.

But finally I’m drawn out of my leafy haven by another inviting scent, one coming from inside the house, something warm and spicy, sweet and dark… someone is baking gingersnaps. I let out a laugh of sheer bliss as I brush the leaves off my jacket and head back inside. Drawing practice can wait. Days like this don’t come often enough.

…Anyway, that’s what this tea reminds me of.


Bravo! That’s a great tasting note. Love it


A beautiful note!


Awww, I appreciate it guys! This tea was very inspiring, heh.


That was beautiful. I tell people that a cup of tea is like a story…it’s good to know that some people out there are still willing to listen for it! HEY I’m out of college, and I still jump in leaves. Don’t stop!


It’s been a while sice I’ve read this, I forgot how beautiful it is. :))

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6770 tasting notes

3rd infusion…
10 secs
Color: Dark(er) Brown…much like a hefty black tea
Aroma: Bolder Musky and a little less plum scent than the 2nd infusion.
Taste: Creamier than the last infusion, still very plum like with the taste, semi-mouth watering…

I really like this 3rd infusion, too, I would say equally as the 2nd infusion but they taste distinctly different. This is very nice!

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300 tasting notes

I ordered an ounce of this when I noticed the stock was low a couple months ago. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to try such a highly rated tea with descriptors that sounded right up my alley. Granted this was before I had tried any shu, I had to resist ordering them all, but picked up one of the newer offerings the Yanxin Reserve ’04 Nuggets for some comparison. I tried the nuggets first as an introduction and it was a lovely one.

This does have some similarities, but where the nuggets were sparkling, this is smooth and earthy. This is more coffee cake than angel food and I’m pleased I chose this for desert. It’s sweetness doesn’t kick in until the fourth infusion, but boy does it shine. And even in the first five second steep, this is the darkest cup I’ve ever seen. The sixth infusion is a bit smoky, the ninth has a hint of cinnamon and the tenth reminds me of toffee. I definitely get Amy Oh’s twig tea reference, this is just so more more velvety and deeper.

I want to stay up all night and drink this, the boys are already asleep, I’m just hoping it will keep till morning. Me thinks I love shu and am looking forward to trying the sample of Xingyang Golden Leaf David included with this order. I also can’t wait to order the Cornfields Toucha later in the summer and Peacock Village come fall.

Update: This tea is so generous, I’m enjoying my tenth mug (8oz), twenty-four hours later. I enjoyed 6 infusions last night and I believe this is my fourth today, a couple of them were light (both in color and taste) and minty (something I’ve taken as a cue it might be spent), but I just upped the time and it is so very vibrant and sweet (I also started getting some spice in the last infusion). So here’s to another wonderful night with a wonderful tea!

Scott B

How much tea leaf did you use for this?

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138 tasting notes

So I was cleaning out my tea stash. Getting rid of anything that I did not want. I came upon this a small sample from way back. I remember having tried this when I first got it a little over a year ago and just did not like it. But when it comes to Puer Im not a big fan. The fishy mustiness of it turns me off.
I have not been drinking tea like I used to and I though why not drink this tonight. I rinsed 3 times to get the mustiness smell out of the way for me to try it again. I always smell the wet leave before I taste the tea to get my senses going.

A nice cedar with a sweet fig smell. Hmmmm, a lot better than I thought. I noticed when it comes to puer, I must rinse a few more times for me to drink it. I seems hat others rinse once or twice and can enjoy it. Im happy I tasted this again, since it is no longer sold.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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144 tasting notes

I accidentally way over-steeped it and while it came out very strong it remained perfectly palatable. I have never had a “cooked” puer that tastes like this. The taste rivals some of the better aged sheng I’ve had if not for the typical heavy/silky mouthfeel (not greasy like some nastier shu).

Delicious, deep, woody and stoic. Energizng (esp when over-steeped). High quality shou, for sure.

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30 tasting notes

When this shipment came in and I broke into the first tong, it was like christmas. The aroma brings me back to Northern California and the redwood forests. This tea is very clean, but also gaining the musty qualities of something older. It was pressed in commemoration of the tea trade between China and the old Tubo empire (now Tibet). It is stamped with the seals of every township along the tea-horse trail. I may have to set aside a tong for myself to age. Thank you Yongming workshop!

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

sounds wonderful

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41 tasting notes

Here is my favorite shou pu’er of the Verdant Tea line. This brick has an assertive mustiness that is not overwhelming, but perfectly balanced with the cleanliness of the color and mouthfeel of this tea. Clean and cooling, the description says it well; the camphor builds up throughout the steepings and gives way to a sweet plum or fig flavor. Well done Verdant!

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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