Yanxin's Reserve '04 Shu Nuggets

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Pu'erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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35 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I finally finished restringing the harp! My reward? (Other than getting paid by the parents of the student who’s harp I restrung) I took a trip upstairs to open my Shu-Box (not to be confused with...” Read full tasting note
  • “Now I see what I did! I tried this once before and forgot to do the infusion test and rate! Well, I now have a rating! And here’s the notes from my 2nd infusion… I think the 2nd infusion is even...” Read full tasting note
  • “Um, wow. This is more than amazing. TeaEqualsBills ,how did you know?! This has been on my mind since the very first tasting note popped up. It got me insanely excited about puerh, and then here it...” Read full tasting note
  • “I can’t believe I’ve just been hoarding this one. I’ve set up my kettle and gaiwan on my nightstand because today has been OBNOXIOUS. It took me over 2 1/2 hours to get home because of a major...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

This tea defies everything we know about pu’er nuggets. Through a special and meticulous fermentation process, these nuggets yield the cleanest and smoothest taste we have found in pu’er. Indeed, we would recommend this to anyone, even those who are hesitant to venture into the world of pu’er.

In early steepings there is a slight maltiness, combined with buttery thickness and vanilla notes that can only be described as angel food cake. This pastry-like quality continues to grow, and gains an intriguing complexity when light notes of elderberry and cinnamon come through.

In later steepings, the cinnamon notes continue to grow, becoming the dominant sweetness. A slight pine quality comes through with hints of spearmint. Throughout every steeping, the texture is perfectly smooth, and the sweetness always well balanced, and never overwhelming. A pu’er like this is difficult to describe since much of its appeal comes from the mouth-feel. This is one of the most comforting and exquisite mouth-feel sensations that we have found in shu pu’er.

About Verdant Tea View company

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35 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

I finally finished restringing the harp! My reward? (Other than getting paid by the parents of the student who’s harp I restrung) I took a trip upstairs to open my Shu-Box (not to be confused with my Sheng-Box) & selected THIS awesome Shu, which I’ve been hoarding for quite some time now. I followed the ‘western’ steeping parameters, because I don’t really have time to fuss over a gaiwan this afternoon. 3 min, then 4, then 5…
So one of the things I love about this tea is the sweet & malty cinnamon pastry qualities of it, but another thing I love is that even though it doesn’t taste chocolaty, there is a lingering sensation of having eaten an awesome 97% pure dark chocolate bar. It’s so satisfying. This is also one of those Shu’s that is totally free of ammonia, marine, & barnyard kinds of flavors. It’s earthy & sweet.
Love love love! I’ll rue the day when I have to announce a sipdown.

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6768 tasting notes

Now I see what I did! I tried this once before and forgot to do the infusion test and rate! Well, I now have a rating! And here’s the notes from my 2nd infusion…

I think the 2nd infusion is even better than the first! It’s not as cinnamon-E but it seems to be creamier as well as more wheat-like and the ending more smooth. The color is 3X as dark as my first infusion and that was after the rinse!

Yup! Velvety!

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516 tasting notes

Um, wow. This is more than amazing. TeaEqualsBills ,how did you know?! This has been on my mind since the very first tasting note popped up. It got me insanely excited about puerh, and then here it is, right in front of me. I can hardly believe my eyes! I’m in love and I haven’t even sipped it yet! THANK YOU!!!

I’m going to go into detail on my blog, and the post should be up Friday. Until then – there are some unmistakable sweet and light notes on the first steepings. Angel food cake for reals! I’m even imagining notes of small, colourful sprinkles – it’s just so rock sugar sweet! Yum!

A truly changing tea, each steep unlocks another layer of goodness and new flavours. An amazing tea that anyone afraid of puerh simply MUST try.


I have got to try this again, because I remember thinking it was completely unremarkable.


You know that I love this shu too!

Daisy Chubb

I used super awesome water – I always save my special filtered water for Verdant ;)
Mostly because I’m too lazy to filter all of my water for all of my teas, but also because Verdant deserves teh special treatment <3


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1220 tasting notes

I can’t believe I’ve just been hoarding this one. I’ve set up my kettle and gaiwan on my nightstand because today has been OBNOXIOUS. It took me over 2 1/2 hours to get home because of a major accident. I got off the interstate about 15 miles from the accident, because the sign back there was mentioning the accident I figured get out quick. So this US highway parallels the interstate…but of course, halfway there everyone else has found out the secret and so the 45mph highway crawled to 20-25mph. And then I got home and some jerk had their U-haul truck completely blocking 5 parking spaces and the stupid office wouldn’t help me out and ask this jerk to move it out of the way. The entire time I was getting my stuff to my apartment, nobody was putting stuff in the truck. As I’m bringing the last of my stuff in, someone comes and shuts the back. SERIOUSLY??? Good riddance.

So I didn’t feel like tea. I felt like taking a nap. And now it is finally tea time. Sebastian agrees, as the water started bubbling, he started chirping and now he’s sitting on one foot, which I’ve never seen him do at home before (he does it while at my parents’ house constantly for some reason though).

I did the usual two rinses on this one…I also dumped part of the third because it went on way too long, I don’t entirely get this kettle so I wanted it to turn off and it was being difficult, so only part of it made it to my cup. And then I steeped again.

This issue is making this very hay tasting instead immediately instead of in later steepings like I noticed before. As it cools, there’s more of the semolina flour notes though.

I have no idea what to call the next steep then. Threeve? Now the vanilla and cinnamon are coming out a bit. Not sweet enough for angel food cake, but a bit like all the components for baking in a new, weird combination.

Next steep: definitely getting sweeter. More cinnamon too!

Actual fifth steep – even sweeter, definitely has that rock sugar taste to it again like it did at the beginning. This puerh is so much fun. I can’t believe how sweet it is, it’s definitely more like cake after I let it cool a bit again.

I kept telling myself only one more steep, but I think I have steeped this now a total of ten times. I can’t stop because it tastes so sweet and cinnamony, but also because my bird seriously chirps while the kettle heats up and it’s hilarious. I would have thought it’d scare him!
I think 10 steeps is fair for a day with this one. I would like to sleep at some point today so it is time to stop, even if it tastes amazing.


Happy weekend!

Terri HarpLady

I really enjoy this Puer. :)

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4843 tasting notes

I really like this pu-erh. It tastes amazing! It has these delicious cake-y kind of flavors, complete with notes of vanilla, sugar, caramel and cinnamon … even some wheat-like tones in there! So good!

Definitely a pu-erh I’d recommend to anyone, even someone who doesn’t think they like pu-erh. This is incredible!


I’ve heard pu’ be called a lot of things, but cake-like has never been one of them!


Is this the new one…oh please say yes! If so I am envious!!!


Darn! Now I want to try it, and I was going to ask for the spring oolong. Now after reading vanilla,caramel and cinnamon I want to try it.


Oh Oh Oh I just looked at my order and I DID order this…it should arrive tomorrow…I’m a CRAZY woman! I can’t remember what I’m doing one minute to the next. I ordered the Laoshan Black that’s supposed to taste like Chocolate also!


Yes, it is one of the new ones.


This sounds amazing!


It sounds really awesome. I’ve been playing with the idea of getting some; now I’ve read this entry, I may have to.


Haha, I’m the same as smartkitty; it’s been sitting in my cart for days as I contemplate what to buy, but I think you just pushed me over the edge :)


I got this one with my order and I was just wondering what your brewing parameters where? I only got half an ounce and I want to make the best out of it and your review was one of the things that made me order this one!


were* oops :P


I eyeball the amount of tea that I use, I would estimate that i put about 2 1/2 nuggets of the tea in my gaiwan. I rinsed for 15 seconds. The first infusion was 45 seconds, the second 1 minute. I combine the first and second infusions in one cup, and add 15 seconds to each subsequent infusion, combining two infusions in each cup.


Hahaha, Ian – I mentioned to David that LiberTEAS review swayed me towards picking up an ounce (or half ounce?) of this! And I was only a couple days away from asking about her infusion methods too :D The power of a positive review!


Oh… I forgot to include the temperature. For this, I used 190°F for the rinse and the subsequent infusions.


Great minds think alike Krystaleyn:D

Charles Thomas Draper

Is this a record for “likes”?

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676 tasting notes

Second Review

My favorite tea’s become jewels that I drink when I want to celebrate, or as a way to beat the blues.
Last night the local wild fire smoke came down as a fog again with ash and grit. I got a huge migraine and couldn’t sleep until the wee hours. I awoke at 6 AM…too early. Four hours of sleep was not enough for me! I went back to bed, and woke up at 10:30 ready for a PU’ER! I went for this Verdant Pu’er which is one of my best tea jewels!

My mood was not fussy. I really had no patience for Gaiwans or teapots!
(Thank you David Duckler for making plain old cups and brew baskets cool to use!)

All I had to do was boil water, put the Pu’er Shu Nuggets in the Finum brew basket, rinse the Pu’er Nuggets 20 seconds(once), pour and steep 20 seconds (it’s what I did) and drink! Duh! So easy! You do this over and over and over (18 times).

My love of this Pu’er…let me count the ways…
You can’t get more smooth and mellow than this Shu. It’s so clean and cinnamon tingly on the tongue. Every steep is juicy and flavorful, rich with vanilla and pastry delight. The earthiness is in the light maltiness. (You can transform the malt into a bit of caramel if you prefer a morning latte with a bit of cream). I like the saltiness of this Pu’er and added a little sweet to add contrast. That’s the way I love my Pu’er!

Like a big footed Bengal Tiger the flavor meanders slowly along steep after steep…looking back at you now and then, keeping you aware that there is excitement along this path and you want to keep going. 18 steepings is a journey.

Now why would I liken drinking tea to a Bengal Tiger walking down a path? What a dumb thing to say!

But wait!

If you take time with tea for 5, 10, 18 steepings… it will open you up more to yourself. It’s beautiful and dangerous like a Bengal Tiger.
Worth the small effort if you’ve never tried this before!


I can’t even imagine getting 18 steeps from any tea! What size mug did you use?


I kept it small and went with about 4-5oz each round. Having some mugs that hold about
the same amount as my gaiwan is useful. I have a few Verdant’s with long steeping ability.

Charles Thomas Draper

I can see 18 steeps at 20 seconds each….


My attention span is never that long… :)


You have to be in the right mood and I was not able to go out due to smoke from the forest fires and 100 plus temperature outside!


My mouth is watering. And I’m with the others. 18 steeps is quite an accomplishment. Even with my little yixing pot, I’m too tea drunk for more after about the eighth or ninth brew :P


This one didn’t make me tea drunk. The Laoshan White! Wow! The xingyang 1998 zowie height ashbury …I really get buzzed!

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15131 tasting notes

Figured i needed a good solid puerh to take a break from some of the other flavoured teas i’ve been drinking today. I thought today might be about getting rid of some of the samples that terri sent my way, but instead i find i’m using today as more of a purge this morning. Going back to the older teas in my cupboard or teas that i haven’t tried yet to see if i want to keep them around or just simply get rid of them.

This isn’t a sipdown and i’ll be drinking this for most of the morning. I’ve been hoarding this one as bakc in the day before i even got into puerh i bought samples of all of verdants offering just so that I could see if when i finally got in to puerh, i could pick up on the notes that have on their website.

So far this one is really easing me into my day, though i’ve been up for a while now. Looking forward to seeing how other steeps go, so there will be more on this one later.

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119 tasting notes


I actually have no idea if that’s how you say the second because I take French not Spanish :P. I was going to try and make the Spring Tieguanyin but I don’t have enough patience or the right environment to do that in right now, so I figured I’d make this one! I’m realllllly hoping that this ends up tasting like the reviews say it does because they make this sound like heaven in a cup.

I’ve never seen a tea like this before. I am familiar with pu-erh bricks and I’ve seen those before, and I’ve seen loose pu-erh, but I’ve never before seen a nugget…. They’re actually kind of cute in a way! I’m brewing this one western style as I still have not gotten my hands on a gaiwan or a yixing teapot, but I do know that Teavana has yixings (alright, well not true ones, more like mass produced ones, but a yixing is a yixing right?!?) and I’ll be near one when I go to Pennsylvania next weekend, so I plan to pick one up while I’m there! Anyways, back to the point at hand, I put two full sized and then one little baby nugget in the infuser basket and did a double rinse with 208 degree water, both for ~15 seconds.

First Infusion-205 degrees for 3 minutes. This is interesting because it didn’t brew up to that dark color that every other shu I’ve had (not that I’m experienced, because I’m not by a long shot!) has done. It looks more like a regular black tea, with a deep amber color, almost like maple syrup. It smells somewhat earthy, maybe a little hay-like. Oh my goodness (on a side note, I can’t handle how many times I’ve said the phrases “OMG,” “oh my god,” and “oh my goodness” in these past few reviews, it’s actually getting kind of ridiculous). This tea is so amazing. There’s nothing added to my cup and yet it tastes so naturally sweet. I can see why this would be compared to angel food cake! There’s a nice graininess that lends itself to the actual cake, and then there’s a nice sugary note that sweetness the entire thing. I am not disappointed at all. This is so incredibly interesting and delicious. I could easily see myself drinking this all day but unfortunately until I have a method of gongfu brewing, I can only really make 4-5 infusions with one set of leaves :(. le sob that’s actually so upsetting because if I used a gaiwan I suspect that I could easily make this tea all day without the leaves ever running out of steam. But, regardless, there’s no use crying over spilled milk (or in this case, there’s no use crying over milk that you don’t have), so I will have to live with my (more than functional) current brewing vessels.

Second Infusion-208 degrees for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I just noticed how much I rambled on the first infusion notes and I would like to apologize for making you read my incoherent babbling :P. This infusion has a lot more of an earthy feel to it, though there is still a nice sweetness. I don’t know if anyone else has gotten this, but I get a wine-like flavor as an aftertaste…. Maybe it’s the elderberry that David mentions on the website? I’m not familiar with elderberry so I have no idea, but there is definitely a dark, fruity flavor. This is also really nice. It’s pretty late and I’m beat so it looks like this session will only get two infusions, but this was SUPER good, and I’m so glad I asked for this! Thanks again David and the folks at Verdant Tea!


Very good and passionate review! Oh my goodness Ian! I have this yet to taste in my cupboard!


Thanks Bonnie! I’d like to say it came from the heart but it would probably be more accurate to say that it came from my sleep deprivation :P. I was so excited to try this one! And it lived up to my expectations which is even better!


Oh man. Now I want to try this one rightnow . But I’ve already done the multi-infusion thing tonight, and am tired. Sigh. Perhaps tomorrow night…


Actually… not all yixing are created equal. Personally, I think you’d be better off purchasing a cheap gaiwan. There are several online sources, or if you come across an Asian Tea Shop you can probably find one quite inexpensively there. I use my gaiwan daily, but the Yixing that I have I use only when I brew the tea that I have dedicated to that yixing. (I have one for jasmine tea, one for yellow tea and one for Ali Shan Oolong).


My sister-in-law has a Teavana yixing that she got for Christmas. Now, she’s pretty much ignorant about a lot of tea things, so I’m not sure how mint tea would actually go well with a yixing, but that’s what she decided to use it with.
The things I liked about hers, when we used it the first time, was that it did stay very warm and kept the tea hot. The downside was we had yixing cups with it too and I didn’t like the graininess of the texture. I thought that overall that it was pretty, but I’m pretty sure that if purchased they should be more than that.
I don’t know if that’ll help!

Autumn Hearth

Sigh I had to place another Verdant order today for this and the Twin Elephant Shu as it said it was getting low in stock. I had to remove the Corn Shu when I realized I had hit $40 (my last order was $60 and that was less than a month ago, so I told myself the Corn could wait till the summer). But I’m looking forward to this!


Hey Ian! If you are looking for an easy gongfu brewing method, I would get the small perfect cup tea maker from teavanna, or something like it from adagio or davidsteas. I have the teavanna version and it works well. The thing I like the most about these types of brewing vessels is the ease and quickness of the pour. Just put it on your cup(or if the cup is too big, you can manually press the release “valve”) and you get a nice consistent pour. For me, this really helps with steep times. I have 3 “yixing” pots from teavanna(2 of the small mouse pots and 1 12ish oz lizard pot. My problem with the is if you get any leaf stuck in the spout it can take 10+ seconds to drain your pot. Now that is ok if you are doing a western steep, but gets annoying if you are trying to do a 5 or 6 second steep of something like a dancong….

As for the shu nuggets, I received some as a sample when I made a puer order, and so far it is the only shu I like. Nicely sweet, and lacking the moldy/musty smell and taste of some other shu’s I have tried.

Here is why I will always continue to buy tea from verdant… I was at work one day and sent David an email regarding puer teas, and my aversion to the moldy/mustiness. Within a few hours(probably 1 or 2, not 100% sure) David sent me a response to my questions. I ended up getting the yiwu sheng, farmers co-op sheng, and star of bulang sheng. With the order was the sample of the nuggets, and hand written on the bag was “our least musty shu.” David could have sent any kind of sample he wanted to, but took the effort to send something he thought best fit my preferences! Needless to say I was, and am very impressed with Verdant.
Lol my only problem is right now I have soooo much tea that I am going to have to hold off a bit on my orders until I can catch up!

Sorry for the long post, hopefully it may be helpful :)

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314 tasting notes

Yay! I got this today and instantly tore into it!

I have to say it’s super smooth and the flavor seems very soft and slate-y. But I’m not getting much of anything else, sadly. No cinnamon, no sweetness, no vanilla, no angel food cake…

Just smooth, soft, slightly rooty puerh-ness.

But wait!…..if I breathe deeply and exhale with each sip—I can taste something like buckwheat…something like malt-o-meal..something like those whole wheat tea biscuits in those cylindrical packages (“Digestive Biscuits”?). Then, finally some rich buttery notes, upon cooldown.

Wow. Some teas assert themselves right away. This one doesn’t. Patience is key!

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

I didn’t steep mine for as long. I steeped it in my gaiwan for just 45 seconds for the first steep (after the rinse) and added 15 seconds to each subsequent infusion. I also steeped it at a slightly lower temperature (195 F)

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143 tasting notes

Story: Well today has been a bust. I woke up to my dog being sick. We think he might have ingested something, but don’t know what. He was breathing hard and wouldn’t eat, and would barely drink. Someone told my mom to give him a pinch of Pepto and to give him lean boiled hamburger meat. Of course when I get back from the store he comes out and eats food out of his bowl………. at least he is better now. sigh this is so not how I planned my day to go. What a waste.

Tea: Backlogging from a few days ago with this one. I am slowly getting through my samples……. slowly. I brewed this with the gonfu directions on Verdant’s website; though sadly I forgot to do a second rinse. Here are my random thoughts from each steep.

Steep 1: Must and spice, sorta of malty. Still need to understand linen flavor but I think it taste it. I am getting some Caramel now.

Steep 2: More sweeter. slight menthol on the tongue. sweetness yes. omn nom.

Steep 3: More cakey now. A slight spice coming through. tasty. minty menthol after taste

Steep 4: Sorta of cinnamon and heavy linen and semolina

Steep 5: Stronger cinnamon. Not so much a flavor as more of that dry spice tingle I associate with cinnamon.

Steep 6: More savory taste and some minty after taste.

Steep 7: Caramel like savory and sweet with a smidge of mint and cinnamoness

Steep 8: Crisper less savory and more cinnamon taste. very sweet is back. Semolina again maybe. Also still cinnamon. Pine dew maybe.

Steep 9: CINNAMON LEVEL AT 8000!!!!! lots of salty caramel and a hint of pine dew…..yum!

Steep 10: lots of pine dew. some cinnamon after taste. Also savory, but lots of pine dew in the beginning sip.
Cooled: more savory caramel and cinnamon

I then did a couple of western brews, but I didn’t like them as much. They were very strong of burnt caramel, but that was it. I liked how through the steeps it got less caky/malty and turned into salted caramel cinnamon, but with a bit of woodiness and menthol to keep it from getting to bold. I never could get the nuggets to break apart.

Overall it was very good. I wouldn’t call it uber complex, but it was what a would call upper middle shelf. Very good flavors from beginning to the end of the sip. It would be good for someone who doesn’t like earthy Puerh’s.


I am geek chuckling at the fact that the 8000 cinnamon level is at steep 9.


Would Mae a good later infusion latte.


i need a long weekend to have a puerh party! Sit and go through 1-2 in a day. heh love this review!


Very nice review, I enjoyed reading this! (happy the dog is feeling better! )


@Bonnie: That sounds like a really good idea. I wound’t have though about using a pu erh in a latte.

@Sil: ahah you and me both. Glad you liked it.

@TheTeaFairy: Thanks! Yeah he was pretty bad. I just can’t believe he snapped out of it right after I got back from the store. I was like, “I’m so happy your feeling better, but….. did you have to do right after I bought stuff for you?”

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