Grown organically in the mountains of Enshi in West Hubei Province and picked to a 'one bud, two leaves' standard, this is the Chinese version of Japan's famed Gyokuro green tea.
It isn't a Chinese copy of Gyokuro though; in fact this tea has been grown and enjoyed in China for hundreds of years.
While this tea is grown from the same varietal and tastes similar, there are a couple of key differences: Gyokuro owes its delicate umami taste and high theanine content to shading of the tea plants, which is done for 3-4 weeks in the springtime. Enshi Yu Lu, by contrast, is shaded naturally due to the abundance of clouds and mist in the growing region.
The processing of the two teas is a little different too. Gyokuro is initially steamed as part of the "kill-green" stage, arresting further oxidation, then rolled, and then it undergoes different stages of low-temperature pan frying before being aged for several months.
Enshi Yu Lu, by contrast, is also steamed and rolled, but only undergoes a short low temperature pan fry and isn't deliberately aged. As a result, the finished tea is a bit more dusky green than straight dark green. The taste, however, is similar.
We recommend brewing this tea with an initial steep at around 170-175f, and have had good results brewing 5g in 250 ml or so for 30 seconds, then 45, then for one minute.
It's a great one to cold-brew as well. Try using 12g of tea per half-gallon pitcher for a very tasty chilled tea.
Spring 2022 harvest.