Stone-Pressed 2004 Yiwu Wild Arbor Sheng

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Red Fruits, Smoke, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wet Moss, Fruity, Butter, Cedar
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Edit tea info Last updated by Geoffrey
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 oz / 102 ml

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33 Tasting Notes View all

  • “When I got home from my appointment & errands, it was time for some Sheng! I haven’t had any of this one lately, so it was the candidate. It’s a very lively flavored tea, reminding me of newly...” Read full tasting note
  • “Yep… in the world of pu’erh, I am still so much a newbie. Perhaps with enough consumption, I’ll be able to distinguish beyond sheng/shu (like I can now distinguish a bit between different straight...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thank you to David Duckler for this fantastic Sample. Latest issue of this fine Pu’er One of the stories I read on the Verdant website was the idea of buying a newer brick of Pu’er when you get...” Read full tasting note
  • “I got this lovely sheng from Verdant a week or two ago but am just getting around to trying it now. I decided to steep this in the gaiwan, and did a quick rinse. Unfortunately I brushed my teeth...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Year: 2004

Aroma: Incredibly complex. The closest description is that of smoldering eucalyptus wood after light rain in an ancient cedar forest, punctuated by notes of wild berries.

Taste: Unexpectedly sweet like a crisp apple salad with jicama root. The texture is reminiscent of flaky pastry, and the dark sweetness of the aftertaste evokes lychee. As the tea begins to open in later steepings, a strong cooling eucalyptus sensation plays on the tongue with candied orange rind and green papaya. There are vegetal notes of delicate watercress.

In late steepings an incredibly heady sandalwood incense flavor rises on the palate like vapor, combining with the creamy sweetness of jasmine. A sparkling texture builds up on the sides of the tongue along with a cooling cedar flavor in the chest. The sparkling continues to grow and mix with the cooling sensations until it is vaporous like fine gin with heavy juniper berry notes.

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33 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

When I got home from my appointment & errands, it was time for some Sheng! I haven’t had any of this one lately, so it was the candidate. It’s a very lively flavored tea, reminding me of newly mown hay with clover in it. I used 4 oz in my Gaiwan, combining 4 steepings at a time into a small pitcher. I carried this pitcher to my studio, & practiced for a gig I have coming up in 2 weeks, my Annual Birthday Bash Gig, sipping tea in between songs, sipping & contemplating how to make a piece better, how to add another layer, how to alter the vocal…This went on for 3 hours, refilling the pitcher as needed. I went through 4 pitchers. This first was steeped for 4 secs each cup, the 2nd for 8 secs, the 3rd for 12, & the 4th for 16. I also drank a few individual cups at the end, each steeped 30 secs. I could keep going, it still has flavor, but a package arrived, and I’m very excited about that package!

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6107 tasting notes

Yep… in the world of pu’erh, I am still so much a newbie. Perhaps with enough consumption, I’ll be able to distinguish beyond sheng/shu (like I can now distinguish a bit between different straight black teas), but until then, my palate remains terribly unrefined.

I still find that sheng is much more to my liking; it doesn’t brew up nearly as dark and inky as many shus I’ve tried, and the flavour tends to be more sharp and spicy than a mellow shu (and also, I don’t tend to notice things like earthiness and fishiness, which I still have trouble with).

Anyhow, I attempted to use about 2 tsp of this cake for my ~8-10oz. cup, and gave the pu’erh a 15 second rinse prior to a 30 second infusion. I’m quite pleased with the results – pleasant, light flavour (but lots of it), and that characteristic “sheng” flavour. It’s also quite smooth, which is very enjoyable. Unfortunately… that’s about all I can tell you. I’m enjoying it while reading/writing about antioxidant activity assays, and it’s a welcome distraction, heh. Hopefully I’ll have the chance for another few infusions later this morning, or tomorrow.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

Is that what your thesis is about? Antioxidants? Sounds interesting… I have a chemistry background.


Her thesis is on asparagus grin


Sil & Tealizzy – yep, asparagus, but more specifically, the genetic variation in phytochemical content and retention of phytochemicals during cooking. Of course, the phytochemicals in question are mostly of note due to their antioxidant capabilities, so I did a few antioxidant activity assays for my cooking trial. It was a part of my project that had been tacked on mid-way, so I hadn’t written a lit review about it yet, which is what I was/am doing. :D


Blahblahblah….asparagus….blah blah blah :)

I kid of course ;)


Nope, that’s ok… My boyfriend and his mom do the same thing, but I kind of wish that they would at least try to understand instead of assuming it’s too complicated!


lol i actually wouldn’t mind reading your thesis sometime :)


It’s currently at about 47 pages :D Which includes my intro, much of my lit review, and my materials and methods. No results, discussion, figures, tables, references, extraneous front matter…. hahahahahaha it’s going to be long .


Your thesis sounds interesting, and you get to do cooking too! Fun! I totally understand about people not even trying to understand what you do. Good luck with the write-up!


That sounds like a good essay. I always wondered if vegetables lose some of their minerals and beneficial properties when they are cooked. I know the broccoli pretty much gets destroyed when you boil it (in flavor as well).


When I cook, (if boiling that is) I try to use the water in something else like a sauce or soup etc. Dunno if that saves any antioxidants or anything but I figure it can’t hurt!


OMG that is so cool!


Well, it was interesting before I spent two years on it! :P And yes – nutrients are definitely lost when veggies are boiled, so it’s actually in general not the best way to cook them! Steaming is better. So yes, Indigobloom – using the cooking water from boiling is actually a good idea based on some prelim results I have – the one phytochemical I was looking at was definitely lost from the spears… and ended up in the cooking water! Didn’t get destroyed, just leached out. Sadly I didn’t get to test all the cooking liquid as I wanted; it was cut from my project due to lack of time.


Hey, at least you are doing one. I about choked on my tea when I read that you typed up 47 pages. I already have a hard time doing 2000 word research papers for school.


LOL a sign of how tired I am – I actually meant 57! 16.5 of Materials & Methods + 40-ish of Lit Review. I should go home and sleep…


I think pretty much anything is really neat until you spend 2+ years full time on it. :)


aw that’s sad your project had to cut the water study out! interesting to know, I’ll have to tell Mum.. she always boils veggies

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676 tasting notes

Thank you to David Duckler for this fantastic Sample. Latest issue of this fine Pu’er

One of the stories I read on the Verdant website was the idea of buying a newer brick of Pu’er when you get engaged, and spend half of the brick (so to speak) with the people who attend the wedding, and the rest of the brick little by little piece on every anniversary for the rest of your life. The point being, that every year the Pu’er and the marriage will age,mature and get better. I love that way of thinking. You can apply this to other occasions…a birth and so on. This Pu’er is that kind of brick. The one you would want to choose for lifelong celebrations.

Because this tea will reach 18 infusions I would not attempt to write about each one and fill pages with notes. I know you are relieved! Me too! I’m going to have to lump some information together and hope it makes sense.

First, all steep times were 4 seconds to begin with and 6 seconds after the 8th infusion.
1tsp dry Pu’er
4 oz. clay Gaiwan (la tee dah)
Spring water at the boil
I did a 2 second rinse first and washed my hands in the rinse to remove any other scent.
Every steeping produced a light brown (more beige) liquor.

Wet Leaves:
1. The most fantastic smell of any leaves ever! They smelled like the drippings from a roast! And sweet like the sweetness of artichokes!
Later steepings: No leather smells at all until steeping #5 and then a bit vegital. Before that there was some smoky scent that had developed. I loved the really good smelling, beautiful, big dark green leaves.

1. The first pour was full and warm like cedar wood and sparkled. I smelled a floral note but could not tell what it was.
2. Jasmine right up front and then dryness like the skin of juniper berry…but then WHAT IS THIS? Sweet smoky ceder with a bacon flavor! Couldn’t be, but it was! I didn’t notice it at first and went back to smell the wet leaves…uh huh…there it was…smoky little leaves! Very juicy too! I loved the smoke!
3. Not as smoky, more like cedar but more tannin. Hum.
4. Same as #3
5. Now, this pour was beginning to get more floral, sweeter, sparkling and juicy. There was a creaminess at the end and jasmine flowers that brightened the cup. It tingled.
6. Unbelievable, apple and citrus came to visit…light and refreshing with something else. That taste was cinnamon to me. Not sandlewood or cedar…cinnamon. It had the warmth and spice to compliment the citrus.
7. Again, spicy and floral. The citrus coming and going. I think it was shape shifting. I had 11 more infusions to go!

What I had enjoyed was the hide and seek…the playful quality of this Sheng. I certainly had never smelled leaves like this. Incredable! And such depth of flavor with a consistant 4-6 second contact was amazing to me. What the future holds for those fortunate few who possess a whole brick of this Pu’er…well…what a grand thought! I have more infusions to go!

Just a FYI This is the first tea that Verdant Imported when the business was started. Very Special!


Sounds like a fan-TASTEic tea journey. :))


Thanks Scott. I appreciate the kindness of others. You are a kind fellow yourself!

Doug F

This was absolutely my favorite Pu-erh of the ones I tried from Verdant. I still have some left but I’m reluctant to use it all up!


What a LOVELY idea! I love this! Too bad I am already married lol


This is some new issuing… last of the Pu’er according to Davids note to me and then today he released it (you should have an email if you subscribe to Verdant) .


@Azzrian: I wonder if you could find a brick that was made the year you were married and start from there? :)


Sure you could! You are young!

Yunnan Colorful

You are right.many tea lovers tell us like this when bought puer tea from Yunnan.China.


Yunnan Colorful, thank you. I really am glad to learn about wonderful Pu’er tea. The flavors can be so different and exciting!


Just bought some of this and a few other pu-erhs from Verdant. So excited.

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2816 tasting notes

I got this lovely sheng from Verdant a week or two ago but am just getting around to trying it now.

I decided to steep this in the gaiwan, and did a quick rinse. Unfortunately I brushed my teeth right before I tried this which is definitely impacting the flavor, duh!

I liked the intensely aromatic, almost burnt woodsy smell which is happening here. My first steep was for around 30 seconds and is very robust. I’m wanting to say I taste eucalyptus, but perhaps that is just toothpaste. I felt like I was sensing the lychee and there was also a cinnamon sort of element present here.

I think I am too tired to rate this tonight and the toothpaste has totally thrown me off. stay tuned for more details.

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30 tasting notes

Every language has its own great advantages. I love English- the adjectives to summon forth are some of the best I have encountered (especially for visual concepts). However, our language is a bit more limited when it comes to taste, texture and smell. This is where Chinese comes in.

I took a rainy Qingdao day (In Seattle they call it a “marine layer”, in Qingdao, they say it is misty) and sat with Wang Yanxin drinking tea. Every pu’er she pulled from her mysterious back room stacks tasted like seeing a new color for the first time. I was learning about “sticky rice” aroma, “fruit” aroma, etc in the context of pu’er all were so bracing. After drinking teas at that level, you just want to fast because it seems wrong to bulldoze the ethereal aftertastes lingering on the palate. (Usually I would give in though and stop for charcoal roasted fish and shrimp on a stick while walking home.)

When Wang Yanxin brewed up this Yiwu, I can say in earnest that tasting it felt like being reunited with an important part of myself that had gone missing. She described the flavor as “zhang.” Apparently, zhang is a flavor used to describe the cooling sensation and herbaceous complexity that a wild picked pu’er picks up when growing in a forest with cedar or fir trees. It is a certain sensation in the back of the throat and tongue that is almost electric in its tingling cooling qualities. This taste felt like being reunited with my home town, my childhood heroes, my best friends.

I love zhang. I seek it out in everything now. Fine gin, birch beer, juniper berries, some kinds of tulsi. Zhang feels like pure energy melting on the tongue. This brick of yiwu was the first tea to give me that. It is what inspired me to understand that tea is more than flavor, texture, or aroma- it is energy, memory recall, connection to the land, and a synergy of all these put together.

Why do I leave a tasting note on this tea after so long? Because I am so excited to share the fact that Wang Yanxin agreed to get me a later 2004 pressing from the same workshop, and the 12 cakes I could import have arrived. Last time we were able to secure a few bricks of Yiwu, they sold out in 1 week and a half, so I am very excited to offer these up again. I hope you enjoy this tea as much as I do:


love the review! reading it, I felt I was almost there experiencing the Zhang myself…hope I can achieve that someday. I’m waiting for your next Laoshan Black arrival to place my first order with you and I must say I can’t wait… I was lucky to sample it from a swap with Bonnie, and the day I tried it was a difficult one and that tea made things brighter for me…


The new young 2006 Yunnan Reserve Sheng has this quality. I felt the Zhang on the second pour twice. I’ve learned so much in a short time from the Verdant website and from your notes (like the one above) about what is beyond the taste of the tea. Diving deep down so that I am thoroughly bathed in what it has to say.


Sounds incredible. I swear, if I had the money I would buy a whole cake purely based on this description.


I so wish I could share a cup from across a table and feel the tendrils of mist snake in from the open doorway, allowing me to truly relish the warmth of the cup and the scent of the moss outside the door. This is the effect of these words, a desire to sit, share, enjoy and be one with those that can find that stillness.

Invader Zim

I feel the same as Kwinter, base on description alone I would buy a whole brick. As it is I only bought enough to sample. I hope that there will still be more left after I actually get to try it. I love your descriptions of your teas.

As for Zhang, I believe I have experienced this before with your wonderful Yabao Buds.

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294 tasting notes

I am brewing Ala Jim Marks Style. It’s already a winner. Generous leaf in the Yixing and steeped for what seems like an eternity. The brewed has warmed me in the way that the Verdant Big Red Robe had only more so. I feel warm and glowing. The taste I am getting is truly unique. I cannot place a certain flavor profile other than wood. I should be more poetic and say, cedar forests. I thank Jim for his advice. I too like to taste the tea. To feel the tea. I am feeling this one! I am now entering the Pu-ehr Path. And I like what I see….

Charles Thomas Draper

This one is wild….

Charles Thomas Draper

The ritual has changed the rules are broken and I am loving it….

Jim Marks

Now learn Qi Gong and drink your pu-erh just before attempting to enter the Grand Heavenly Circle ;-)

By the way, is this the one minute eternity or the genuinely exceptionally long steep?

David Duckler

I just brewed up the Yiwu this morning in my yixing pot devoted to sheng pu’er. I was wondering to myself why the Yiwu has received less attention than the Artisan Revival. I am glad that the Yiwu can be a trusty guide down the path of pu’er. It is an inexhaustible path, winding in all directions, and full of wonder.

For the first time this morning I notcied that warming effect. I usually think of this as a very cooling tea, with cedar notes and a cooling aftertaste and feeling. This morning, I felt the warmth in my chest. Very interesting. Perhaps the tea is growing.

By the way, perhaps you or Jim Marks can illuminate me in the trademark style of brewing. I love hearing new ways to brew the tea!
Best Wishes,

Jim Marks

I’ll leave it to Charles to re-articulate which of my heresies he has embarked upon ;-)

I tend to associate pu-erh with a vigorous activation of the chi energy and a cleansing of the organs — a very warming event — but then I mostly drink shu rather than sheng pu-erh and perhaps there is a bit of a yin/yang thing going on where sheng tends to be more cooling. I know there are some Qi Gong movements, such as Wag the Tail & Raise the Head from the Eight Brocades, that actually cool the chest rather than warm.

Charles Thomas Draper

My sample of Shu is coming Jim. Another path….

Charles Thomas Draper

@ David, I will brew the Artisan again and I’m sure it will be totally different….

Charles Thomas Draper

@Jim, genuine exceptional long steep.

Jim Marks

Ah yes. @David ~ he means a 15-30 minute steep. I used to do this with large tea pots when I worked in a corporate office, make a huge batch of highly concentrated ph-erh and then add hot water to each cup as the day went to avoid having to get up and make tea every 20 minutes throughout the day.

Practical, but also produced a very unique, intense cup.


@Jim – I will have to try that! Luckily I work in an office that has an electric water heater but I feel like I am making tea constantly!

Jim Marks

I would recommend doing this with a tea that is good enough to drink but not so fine that it will be in any sense wasted, as this is kind of the sledge hammer approach to steeping.

I used to get the “Celestial Tribute” pu-erh from Upton Teas which was, for many years, my “good enough” pu-erh of choice.

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6768 tasting notes

This is pretty good! There are hints of mushroom that I can taste. I can also pick up the small notes of apple, too! I actually like this one better cold. It seems to fit my palate better with the flavors and I could taste the flavors better when it was cold. This is a neat pu-erh. It’s sweeter than most and I like that. The aroma isn’t funky either. Leaves a refreshing aftertaste even!


I had just mentioned a cold brew on a review I had written and was catching up on reading reviews as I am behind due to a rather unpleasant month of back issues and caught this one. Was this a cold steeping?


Not a cold steeping, a hot one then left at room temp for a while! :)

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4843 tasting notes

This is lovely. One of my favorite Pu-erh teas thus far, maybe THE favorite. It doesn’t taste like what I’ve come to recognize as Pu-erh, in fact, if someone had simply placed a cup before me, I don’t know that I’d immediately identify it as a Pu-erh. This is very nice, indeed.

The aroma is amazing. Normally, I brace myself for a strong earthy aroma, but, with this pu-erh, only hints of earthiness are there. Mere hints. In the dry leaf, I noticed a hint of mushroom more than the strong, musky, earthy (dirt) smell that I have come to identify as Pu-erh. That mild earthiness translates to the taste as well, with mere hints of an earthy taste. This is extraordinarily enjoyable. I taste hints of fruit in this cup – something I have never really associated with a Pu-erh before. A solid flavor of wood comes through, as well as beautiful spice notes that are lightly peppery. Not spicy or peppery in a “hot” kind of way, but more of a mild pepper note that never quite develops fully, but continues to develop as I sip… still never quite reaching PEPPER exactly, but only subtle-y nudging at it.

Wonderful Pu-erh. I’m currently on my fourth infusion. I find that the more you steep this one, the more complex it becomes. I would recommend this to any tea enthusiast, even those who have found Pu-erh not to their liking in the past. This one will change your mind!

Nathaniel Gruber

Well Said! Hints of mushroom are a definite characteristic of this one. I think it’s incredible what trying some of the best Pu’er in the world will do to change our perceptions of something we thought we had a good handle on. This one certainly does that for me, probably only topped by the Artisan Revival Brick offered by Verdant Tea as well.

Knowing David personally has helped me grasp just how lucky we are to be able to partake in the teas he has brought over. We get to reap the benefits of a man that has spent countless hours talking and sharing life with some folks who have spent their lives dedicated to tradition and honor in tea and Chinese culture. This Yiwu brick is just one example of how beautiful and world changing a cup of tea can be, when it simply goes beyond words and description.

That being said, I really like your description of this one and am overjoyed to hear of our common love for this tea. Be blessed :)

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300 tasting notes

Oh my… So for awhile I have been saying how shengs aren’t really for me and I haven’t really developed a palate for them. But this sheng, oh my goodness, this sheng is so delightful to drink! It is immediately sweet and sparkling and woodsy with a touch of spice and just zero astringency, zero! I did a quick rinse and two quick steeps and they are just so unbelievably good. Love the cedar, love the stone, love the fruit (no idea what kinda fruit but the sweet with the juice and all the richness reads as fruit rather than rock sugar or honey) and cinnamon and its just so pristine and complex and I uh guh! And and and! There is a buttery note in the second and third infusion, unbelievable! Best sheng I’ve tried hands down! Now to spend the day with it. Must order at least 4oz, not sure if I’m ready to properly store a cake, but this is the sheng I want to impress guests with.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I’m seeing a cake in your fuuuuuturrrrre…. ;) So glad you enjoy this one! Maybe you were just meant for each other? Hope you enjoy your date with destiny.

Autumn Hearth

Very possibly, of course there are several shu I am in love with (and yes some of them are nuggets and tuocha) but we’ll see ;). Right now I have migraine that I am not blaming on the sheng but rather that I had two black teas before the sheng. Sigh caffeine sensitivity.

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134 tasting notes

This morning I finished up the last of my sample of Mt. Yiwu Sheng Pu’er, and I am truly sorry to see it go. It is one of the top three Sheng Pu’er teas that I have ever tasted, and shares this honor with the two other Sheng Pu’er teas I received in my Verdant Tea sampler. So nice that a company uses it’s sampler to put their best foot forward and tries to gain you as a customer.

Through multiple infusions, this tea takes you on a journey that is both quiet and adventurous. It is a walk through a rain filled forest, with stops along the way for a taste of spicyness, a later nibble at pear or apple, and a sniff of moss, mushrooms and distant campfire. Sorry if my description is a bit too imaginative, and should perhaps be more prosaic, but this Pu’er (along with the Verdant Teas ‘06 Artisan Revival and ’03 Mt Banxhang) gets me excited about Chinese Pu’er like no others.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec
David Duckler

This makes my day- Thank you for the vivid description, which I will keep in mind next time I brew up the Yiwu, and for the compliments on our sheng pu’ers. We go through adventurous tasting sessions of hundreds of teas to find the very small number of pu’ers that we end up offering. I learned much of what I know from tea master Wang Yanxin, who works with the small farmers and keeps thousands of kinds of tea in stock. I would describe a taste I was looking for, and she would pull out the brick from stack upon stack of pu’ers. She is always spot on, and am delighted to keep working with her, and send her enough money through orders for her to double the size of her shop and take serious trips to Xishuangbanna for me.

We found one new sheng pu’er that should make its way to America in the next month. I am excited for you to try it. Best Wishes,


I also really like this description of yours. It captures the things I remember about this tea for which I can never find the words. The last two reviews on this one make me really want to pull this tea out and try it again soon.


and through a cup of tea…lovely company blooms…looking at these words weaves a beautiful character that should read ‘fellowship’

E Alexander Gerster

Getting nice “warm fuzzies” from online tea buds… ‘fellowship’ sounds good to me! From different corners of the USA, we bond through teas from far away. Makes all the distractions of daily life melt away. :)

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