Yanxin’s Reserve ’04 Shu Nuggets from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

These nuggets are formed from only the smallest most delicate buds, and slow-fermented to form nuggets.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  Just … Wow!

I always seem to be so surprised by pu-erh… surprised that I actually like it.  The first couple of times that I did try it were less than successful tastings, and as a result, I have it programmed in my head that I do not like pu-erh.  But, you’d think that by now, after so many successful tastings since those first few, that I’d have managed to reprogram myself and realize that I DO like pu-erh.

And I REALLY like this pu-erh.  Immediately upon opening the pouch I KNEW this was different.  The tea has been formed into little nuggets, looking a bit like dried clots of dark earth.  And I expected it to smell like dark earth, but it didn’t.  The aroma is fairly faint.  I detect hints of wood, but not much else.

The flavor is quite remarkable.  The tasting notes on Verdant Tea’s website seem to describe what I’m experiencing very well.  Notes of sweet cinnamon and a vanilla tone that is not so much a creamy vanilla, but more of the sugary sweetness you’d experience from an angel food cake.  Enhancing these angel-food-esque flavors even more is a sort of cake-y like taste … wheat and browned sugar and tones of malt.

But it’s what I don’t taste that makes this shu even more remarkable … I don’t taste EARTH!  Usually with a shu pu-erh, even a very good one that is sweet and delicious, there are earth tones that taste unmistakeably … well, like earth.  But, I don’t taste those same earthy tones here.  I don’t taste that brine-y fish taste.  I taste a sweet, clean flavor with notes of wood and spice.  And I like it a LOT!

If you have wanted to get in to pu-erh but have not found one that you can enjoy without tasting those strong, earthy flavors, try this one!  This one WILL surprise you!