Peacock Village 2004 Shu

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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 1 min, 45 sec 8 g

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30 Tasting Notes View all

  • “First review. A disclaimer. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT PU-ER! (Don’t know why it’s spelled Pu-erh, Pu-Erh, Puer, Pu-er either). My background is working in a tasting room at a Winery, entering cooking...” Read full tasting note
  • “Wasn’t able to write anything down at work, but ended up with over 20 steepings. Though this tea didn’t start out too complex with western style, nor did it gain complexity, it maintained all that...” Read full tasting note
  • “I really love this shu. It just knows what it’s doing. No heavy nonsense. No murky bitterness. No sickly saccharine. Just balanced and fair and sweet and transluscent. It’s classy. I want to...” Read full tasting note
  • “Okay, so there are some Shus you might date: they’re wild, unpredictable, and exhilirating, but slightly high-maintenance. You don’t want to always mess around with steeping times and water temps....” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Workshop: Tian Di Ren
Year: 2004
Region: Peacock Village, Menghai County, Yunnan
Tasting Notes: The Peacock Village is unique in its perfectly light and clean body. It does not weigh down the palate with earthiness. Rather, it sparkles in its crisp sweetness. The very large leaves used are similar to the old tea tree leaf material in the Xingyang 1998. The first steepings yield a crystalline orange tea with tea oils swirling on top. The sweetness is like rock sugar and white grapes. After the preliminary steepings, the tea starts to unfold in darker buckwheat flavor and honey. Unexpectedly, there is something in the texture and aftertaste of dried oregano. As the tea steeps out, the grape-like fruit taste becomes dark elderberry, and the aftertaste is tinged with the warm spice of Thai ginger and peppercorns.

About Verdant Tea View company

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30 Tasting Notes

676 tasting notes

First review. A disclaimer. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT PU-ER! (Don’t know why it’s spelled Pu-erh, Pu-Erh, Puer, Pu-er either). My background is working in a tasting room at a Winery, entering cooking contests, and international cooking. That’s it. I have a pretty good palate for THOSE things. I bring what I know about other things to tea and am learning new ways to think about tea as I progress. Nuff said. This explanation is given because this was a tea that took a lot of turns in reviewing.
Here goes:
I used my new PIAO I Glass top drop infuser and 3 minutes for each steep .
I did 1 quick rinse before the first steep. Raw the Shu looks like dark tan-bark. Really!
1. I poured on the water and let the steep go watching the liquid begin to lightly turn brown. Beep…pushed the button to release the water to the reservour below. The liquid is light honey colored and tastes like toasted rice. No earthiness, slightly salty and sweet. Really good and savory. Not a hint of grass or hay but maybe a shitaki mushroom sauteed in there. Super delicious.
2. Way darker color like whisky. Earthy scent. While steeping you can see the leaves begin to float and open pushing away from the solid bark mass. There is a slightly astringent finish and pepper on the tongue, linen and rust. No bitterness. Juicy and light. This makes no sense but it’s what I taste and smell. Oh, faint nutmeg also. I opened the top of my steeper and smelled the wet tea…arh…paint thinner! Whoa…no kidding!
3. This steeping released long-legged creatures moving around the steeping cylinder releasing all the tea flavors just for me. Eight long years from China to Colorado they were locked up waiting for this moment! Eh…timer went off…Really dark liquor this time.
Less paint thinner smell on the leaves! Lighter less earthy flavor. More astringent but still juicy and not bitter. There is a tartness which is like black walnut and an introduction of salt and smoke. Bless My Soul! I like smoke and salt. In fact…Hum…I have some gumbo in the fridge and think this would be a good finish after some gumbo and rice. Not during the meal but after. Very delicious Shu! I have loved all the selections from Verdant thus far! Find the new videos helpful to a rookie like me.
This is not a fancy review but MY review. It’s what I enjoyed this afternoon as a part of my life.


I love it Bonnie, your review is fabulous!! not sure I’d be so big on the paint thinner though. My sniffing days are far behind me now :P
but your notes are indeed intriguing. I love reading your notes! :)


Likewise…thanks…been aching and just have to ride it out. Tea helps stave off gloom that comes as a symptom with fibromyalgia. Very easy to keep celebrating throughout the day with tea!


oh dear, I wish I could offer some advice for the fibro pain. Stay warm is about the only thing I can think of. and drink tea!


Drink tea! And eat chocolate chips! It’s 75 so warm enough, I’ll paint my nails and be fine.


oh yes, chocolate chips all the way!
what colour? I’ve been meaning to do the same actually… but it means getting up from the bed :P


Not too bright tangerine ..I’m a kickin grandma!

Daisy Chubb

Awesome review! Love all of your reviews Bonnie :)


You guy’s are being so nice! I had no idea anyone was reading them. I enjoy writing and I love everyone else’s reviews. Tea people write better than most! Smooch (not you Ian,gross and Illegal) ha!


Amongst other things in your review, I loved “This steeping released long-legged creatures moving around the steeping cylinder releasing all the tea flavors just for me.” I like to think of Tea as being alive in some fantastical kind of way, and this description sound like how I think! I am a nature lover, so creatures of all sorts sometimes end up in my imaginings, and then to my writing. I’m glad they made an appearance in yours!


This Shu came to me in big chunky bark pieces…rich and dark. As it broke apart in the second steeping it grew legs (this is why you need glass pots or steepers…it’s like having an aquarium for tea) and I put my face down close to watch the creatures move around in a fantasmic dance. (You might realize now why I’m the ONLY one of my generation that did NOT have any need to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs even though I lived 1 hr from Height Ashbury in the 1960’s). I am a left-handed, right brained…visual thinker. Maybe you’re a visual thinker also!


I enjoyed your review. I know next to nothing about reviewing or PU-ER, but I felt your review painted a picture for me. That’s good in my opinion. I also really enjoyed the creature comment. Haha not sure if I really want to see that in my tea though! :D


This was an awesome review. Of course I would expect no less from a fellow lefty! I have used a french press for the last year and it may not be insulated enough for the purist but my right brain loves the dance of the leaves. I sit it on my desk at work and often just stare at it – an aquarium for tea indeed!

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62 tasting notes

Wasn’t able to write anything down at work, but ended up with over 20 steepings. Though this tea didn’t start out too complex with western style, nor did it gain complexity, it maintained all that it started with through the 20plus steepings which was very impressive. I will take Autumn’s advice with the remainder of the sample and try my first gongfu brew.
Autumn Hearth sent this to me amongst several wonderful selection that I am most greatful for.
The drink is so smooth and crisp. It actually has a lighter body than I expected, but that could be explained in that the leaves of dense cakes are harder to judge amounts with. That said, I may have added too much water. Whether improper brewing or mistaken expectation this is still a good tea.
Mostly what I get from this is a sweetness. Now I’m not just gonna leave it at that…it’s a…well…kind of a…
OK it has that camphor sort of tingley sweet, as well as an ever so slight honey addition. So a honey flavored lip balm I guess is what I’m saying. Somehow that didn’t come out as eloquently as I had imagined.
I’m really bogged down at this point. There’s an earthiness, though not as apparent as other pu’s I’ve had. On the flip side of that coin though, it lacks much of the bitterness that may help to make up any smokey, malty, or thick wood notes. There is a cedar note, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not overpowering nor is it very bitter.
I read another note or two that said that they had luck steeping it again the next morning so I will try this as well.
To me this is a good tea, though not great. Maybe I need to try brewing again, I was surprised to see three minutes for the brewing time rather than the thirty to forty five seconds I have steeped all other pu’s for.
Maybe my expectations were thrust up after reading David Ducklers beautiful telling of the story behind this tea. That, actually is probably part of it, though I fault Mr Duckler none for this. I surely invite the telling of the tale behind the tea, I should just avoid being caught away by it.
I thank David for making this tea available, and I thank Autumn Hearth even more for putting it into my hands.
tunes-I picked up some CDs from the library and the Orthodox Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu’s Live @ Stubbs was one of them. I’m enjoying it, especially seeing video footage of a man in complete Hasidic attire beatboxing! Wild to say the least.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

very cool


if you’re refering to Matisyahu I agree. I thought it was a publicity thing at first, and it may be, but I wanted to see for myself. Americanized reggae similar to Sublime. It’s just neat to see something less than mainstream.


I love Matisyahu’s first two albums, Youth and Light. Didn’t care for his newest, a bit too hip hop for me. Definitely give Youth a listen if you haven’t before!


I saw Matisyahu with 311 several years back – AMAZING!

Autumn Hearth

Ohh i should have included my own personal instructions. I think Verdant has two sets of instructions gongfu and western and i almost always go with the gongfu. I start between 3-5 sec steeps with small amounts of water and can get a dozen infusions out of this one working up to 30sec steeps. If you can please do try again, the strong elderberry notes didn’t come out for me till around like the 6th infusion :)

Londo Mollari

Matis is amazing, and I think Live at Stubbs was his best work so far. Thank you for reminding me I’m home relaxing, so there should be music playing!

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59 tasting notes

I really love this shu. It just knows what it’s doing. No heavy nonsense. No murky bitterness. No sickly saccharine. Just balanced and fair and sweet and transluscent.

It’s classy.

I want to write more about this later. This is more a reminder to drink again and take proper notes. The scribbles I do have are useless in helping me describe.


I need to try this one. I love balanced and subtle notes and this seems to be in the right alley.

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189 tasting notes

Okay, so there are some Shus you might date: they’re wild, unpredictable, and exhilirating, but slightly high-maintenance. You don’t want to always mess around with steeping times and water temps. Then there is the Shu you marry and she’s from Peacock Village. Beautiful but not flashy, never volatile, comforting, consistenly there for you. Satisfying in the “deep heart’s core.”*

W.B. Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Love this review!

Doug F

Thanks! I haven’t had many new teas on which to comment. I’m putting in an order at Upton for some first flush darjeelings which I’m excited to try.


Looking forward to reading more from you; glad to see you back.


Awesome tasting note! My thoughts exactly. And bonus for the Yeats reference. Cheers!

Doug F

Thanks Geoffrey—I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work some poetry into my comment.


If I wasn’t an old woman who would gross you out I’d give you a big kiss for a review like this one with tears in my eyes! So short but beautifully expressed!

Doug F

Kisses are always welcome and never gross.


Ha Ha, I had my issues wrestling with this Pu’er…until I could hear what it had to say. (Your’s was female, mine male…I must have received her brother! And I do find romance in a muscular Shu who would be more like one of my Highlander kinsman in a kilt! (Yeats would approve although the setting for the longing in the poem was for Ireland it meant a longing for the freedom from city life.))

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6073 tasting notes

Made some last night (yikes, I’m going to need a pu’erh pick to break the rest of my sample up!) and it…. tasted earthy and smooth. I gave it a 15 second rinse (aka infusion that I dumped), and then a ~10 second rinse (same thing, dumped it), then steeped for… 2-3 minutes(?) and ended up with a pretty nice cup. I only drank a sip or two though, which is why I can’t give a more detailed description of the flavours. My mom drank the rest, and said it “tasted like pu’erh”. (In a good way. And not particularly fishy.)

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1473 tasting notes

Oh my penguin! This tea! It’s…and the….with a….guh. I don’t even know where to begin.

So the first steep (after two rinses) smelled earthy. Like…really, really earthy. Almost painfully so. It scared me a bit and that first sip took a lot of willpower from this pu-erh newbie.

But I have faith in Verdant Tea. They’ve never led me astray yet.

That faith is amazingly well placed. The earthiness worked well with the surprise sweetness, that hint of white grape on the tip of the tongue….guh. This is a work of art. I am so glad I got this sample. I adore grape anything, so a yummy pu-erh with that hint of grape? Oh my goodness, yes please! I may need to add this to my order as well!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Tina S.

I think I love you solely for saying “Oh my penguin” right now! :D


XD I try, I try.

The DJBooth

Ha thats like my wife saying bad news bears…or my daughters interpretation bad news ballerinas

Tommy Toadman

:) that sounds really good to me


I love this note!!

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4843 tasting notes

I had this Pu-erh yesterday, was about to write a tasting note on it, and got distracted. So, I am enjoying more today. Dry leaf does not have much aroma, but while brewing and the liquor is quite earthy, which kind of scared me. The first sip is earthy… but it quickly subsides and becomes rather sweet and pleasant. After that, the earthiness is right at the start of the sip, but again, it quickly disappears and makes way for a beautiful sweetness. It’s remarkably light for a Pu-erh. It’s a lovely surprise. My first reaction was that I probably wasn’t going to like it because of that strong earthiness right at the start, but, as it turns out, I like it quite a bit.

First 2 infusions (following a quick double rinse): earthy at the start, followed by a lovely sweetness and a light, crisp taste. In my full-length review of this tea (which will publish in the next week or so), I likened it to honey that had been thinned with sparkling white grape juice. It has that crisp, sparkling kind of sensation, and the sweet fruity taste.

The next two infusions were sweeter and there was some earthiness, but, less than the first cup. It is off in the distance, becoming a memory more than a prominent flavor. A spice profile is developing, in the aftertaste especially, I get a sort of tingle on my tongue that reminds me of the sensation of when I’ve just eaten something with fresh peppercorn. It isn’t a spicy or hot sensation, but that tingle is there.

The next two infusions: the earthiness is now gone. Sweet sweet sweet! Rock candy sweet. There is a dry sensation toward the finish… not astringency, but, kind of like the dry sensation of powdered cocoa but without the chocolate… it is more like powdered, mild spice. Intriguing.

This is a great pu-erh – I’d recommend it to those who have tried Pu-erh in the past and thought they didn’t like it. I think that this one would change their mind. It’s really a unique Pu-erh.


Very good review. I did have my day of pu-erh day before last; I went back to those samplers I received from Jerry Ma and this one was Jing Mai; a very raw pu-erh. I steeped it for five minutes and drinked it most hot and the earthiness is very pungent as the liquid burned my tongue and throat…eventually to settling for those elemental notes (I so like) found in the supplements of zinc or iron.

Steeped longer causes more earthiness and the more infusions brings out the lightness of the pu-erh so one can just enjoy the elements…perhaps peppercorn even and no astringency at all.

These samplers of pu-erh have all been very good. Always I drink them down to the last bit and can even add my green tea bag for final infusion. But don’t tell anyone. Shhhhhhhhhhhh.


I did add this to my wish list as well. Thank you.

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30 tasting notes

With the arrival of the 2004 Peacock Village Shu, I feel that some sort of cycle has turned upon itself, and brought me back to the starting point of my love affair with pu’ers. When I first moved to China as literature and philosophy teacher at Qingdao University, and as a tea researcher, I knew almost nothing about the vast world of pu’er. For tea lovers, pu’er is truly the last frontier. When you have explored all the other teas out there, pu’er is waiting patiently to reveal its mysteries.

Qingdao has a tea district where all those most devoted to the culture would congregate. I used to go visit Wang Huiming to train in proper Fujianese tea ceremony. Every day I would pass a small shop filled to the ceilings with pu’er bricks, and a young tea-scout named Wang Yanxin. Finally I put aside an afternoon to visit Wang Yanxin and listen to her stories.

She got into the tea business when she was 20 years old, and started spending summers in Yunnan working with small growers, learning the pu’er trade, and tasting some of the finest bricks in the world. She is now 28 years old, and has quickly risen to become one of the most respected palates out there, and certainly the most formidable source for pu’er from small growers in the whole region. Most shops offer some decent quality brocks from Mengku, Haiwan or Xiaguan, but these big companies make it easy, grading their teas, printing catalogs, sending samples, etc. Wang Yanxin was determined to be different, and work with the small growers to bring something to market beyond what most in China had ever experienced. Despite having to go down to Yunnan every month or so to try new pressings, advise growers, etc, Wang continues to succeed.

So what does this have to do with the Peacock Village 2004? That first day I visited Wang Yanxin, I told her that I wanted to fall in love with pu’er. She told me that she would help if I was willing to visit twice a week until I understood. I readily agreed, and we started down the path of shu and sheng pu’er. She was patient, starting with the simplest bricks, teaching me to taste the major flavor profiles commonly found in pu’er. She showed me how pu’er steeps out in time, how it grows with age after being pressed.

Finally, I was beginning to understand. That was when she pulled out the first “Graduate Level” tea for me to try, the Peacock Village 2004 from Tian Di Ren Workshop. I fell in love instantly. Everything suddenly made sense. The lower quality bricks we started with all had a heaviness to them, a certain lingering feeling that was unpleasant. This brick was crisp, light and perfect. I was so excited to taste all the different flavors, and Wang was pleased to hear me describe them.

I may have had a lot of pu’er since the Peacock Village, but it has remained a favorite, representing one of the ideals that a shu pu’er can reach for. I made the call a few months ago to discontinue the Fuhai brick, feeling like it was almost what I was looking for, but falling just slightly short. I debated for weeks about what to replace it with that would be a step closer to my ideal, and finally remembered my beloved Peacock Village Shu.

Wang Yanxin actually tracked down 25 bricks for me! I am grateful to her for everything, and grateful to everyone for the chance to share this.


as a lover of pu erh, sheng before shou….i’m excited about this..


@Kashyap – It’s a great shou! I can’t wait to have my own brick of it. Just made a massive tea purchase though, so I’ll need to be patient.

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300 tasting notes

Soooo delicious, what wonderful thick, creamy, dark sweetness. At first I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the smell and taste of this reminded me of, besides my two other favorite shu. I wanted to describe it as caramel but no, I had a caramel cake at Fridays tonight (my gods, delicious) but definitely not it. Then my mother-in-law asked me to bring her down a bottle of old fashioned cream soda, bingo! I’m much more pleased with this non sickeningly sweet, non teeth rotting version :)

Just before bed, in the fifth infusion (I think) the tart elderberry note became very present and has thankfully stuck around till morning for five more infusions. I’m going to keep reinfusing for as long as I can, amid the toddler’s birthday party preparations, because I’m having a love affair with this tea. I definitely like the original better than the Elderberry creation it inspired, yet that totally helped educate my palate to find the notes inherent in this most amazing shu.

If I win the Tea Cat’s contest I’m ordering more of this and it’s getting its own tin along with the Eight Treasures Yabao. So if you haven’t voted already go check out the gorgeous felines and consider voting for Pan I should not that it didn’t stay “thick” for long, it has a much lighter body than I first described, but still very, very flavorful and yes very “clean”. I only rinsed once, but did actually like that second infusion, ::shrug::

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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294 tasting notes

The 1st steep without rinsing is 30 seconds or so. It’s mild with redwood and cedar forest flavors. The 2nd was steeped for 30 as well and it’s a lovely reddish brew with an intoxicating feel. I am getting the warm feeling and I actually started to perspire. The clear liquor is pure and crisp with that electric feel in my mouth. I can only imagine what it’s doing inside of me. I am only going to do 3 steeps because once again it’s a gorgeous day. I will leave the rest in the Yixing for tonight. I am coming to the conclusion that Shus are my favorite teas period. There is wonderful feeling that i get from them. This is why we drink tea. When I went back to brew number 3 I noticed the nugget was still intact. I gave it a gentle nudge and steeped for a bit longer. I knew this cup was going to be special. The Redwood and Cedar is now a dense forest with lighting in the sky. This is a very, very special tea….


I love all of your tea descriptions!


I can’t wait to have my own brick of this one. This is the kind of Shu that makes me want to drink pu-er all the time. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Your description is wonderful, Charles. I know that I’ll remember it the next time I drink this. Cheers!


looking forward to trying this

Charles Thomas Draper

I am looking forward to a whole cake….

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