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En Shi Yu Lu January 6, 2010

Filed under: Chinese tea,en shi yu lu,green tea,Japanese tea,steam tea — cnesgreen @ 6:01 pm

En Shi Yu Lu
 The only famous Chinese green tea
that is processed using steam method entirely.

16 oz/pack, sourcing from tea farm directly!

General Introduction
En Shi Yu Lu is a very unique tea that originates from En Shi City (Ba Jiao Village area) of Hubei province.
It is processed by Chinese Ethnic Minority and is the only famous Chinese green tea that is processed using steam method entirely.
This is the Chinese green tea that most resembles Japanese green tea.
En Shi Yu Lu is also special because of its rich selenium content, an essential trace mineral that helps prevent cancer, cataract, heart disease, growth disorders and many other ailments.
Among the many awards won by En Shi Yu Lu recently are:
Hu Bei Institute Gold Award Product in year 2006, 2007, 2008.
3rd Hu Bei Province 10 Famous Tea Award.
7th China Tea Cup First Prize.
This tea also has a long history.
En Shi City was known to produce tea since the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
History records suggest that En Shi Yu Lu was first created during Emperor Kang Xi’s reign.
It was not always processed by steaming.
The processing method was improved from frying to steaming in 1936 by “Yang Run of Hubei Province Min Sheng” Tea Company.
In 1945, En Shi Yu Lu was introduced to Japan and it was so well accepted that it was called “Chinese Gyokuro”.



Other names: 

En Shi Gyokuro, En Shi Jade Dew, En Shi Green Dew
The name translates as “jade dew” and refers to the pale green colour of the infusion. leaves are long and narrow, the cup is bold, strong, complex with an extremely powerful vegetal scent. The leaves are reminiscent of gyokuro or sencha leaves, but are clearly processed with skillful Chinese hands. A good green tea with sweetness and floral taste.



Origin:

Ba Jiao Dong Minority Village, En Shi City, Hu Bei Province of China


Processing
(1) Plucking 
Plucking starts after the sunrise in order to avoid the morning dew. The present of morning dew on the tea leaves will cause partial over-heating during the steaming process. This will destroy the tissues of tea leaves and affects the quality. Therefore, good Jade Dew must be produced from tea leaves which are plucked during a sunny day.



(2) Withering 

After plucking, the tea is gently placed inside a small bamboo basket. A hole is made in the middle of piled tea leaves to provide effective ventilation. Withering process is carried out under the shade with good ventilation for 24 hours. During the withering process, internal enzyme is triggered to start the ripening. It is the same mechanism as hanging unripe pineapple for further ripening. Another example is that hay usually gives a sweet aroma, while grass gives a very greenish aroma right after being cut. These involve the same mechanism.
The enzyme is triggered by dehydration and mediate moderate ripening process. Ripening is a kind of oxidation or enzymatic hydrolysis that produces various kind of volatile substance. In tea leaves, those volatile substances give a floral aroma and flavor.



(2) Steaming 

The quality of Jade Dew is also affected by the steaming process. In order to bring out the identical character of this tea, the steaming process is conducted at a very short time, about 30 seconds. Tea leaves are steamed at a very high temperature but in a short time so that it become very dry and will not regain the moisture by condensation. This is one of the key points to produce good quality teas.



(3) Cooling 

Tea leaves have to be cooled down quickly after steaming. Immediate decrease of the wet heat is very important to avoid secondary heating of tea leaves. At the same time, the tea leaves will evaporate the moisture.



(4) Pre -rolling 

Tea leaves are agitated with hot air for further drying. At the same time, the mixing will soften the leaves.



(5) Rolling 

This is the only process conducted without heat. The machine moves in a circular motion with pressure that spread the moisture of tea leaves evenly. The tea leaves generate heat due to the friction. Therefore, it is necessary to loosen the tea leaves and release the heat at regular intervals.



(6) Intermediate Rolling 

A rotary dryer is used to roll the tea leaves gently and twist the tea leaves into a finer shape. It is also part of the drying process to further reduce the moisture of tea leaves.



(7) Final Rolling 

It is a reciprocal movement of back and forth; combine with a circular motion to twist the tea leaves into a fine needle shape. High quality Jade Dew is dark green in color, shinny and solid.



(8) Drying 

After the final rolling, the tea leaves still contain moisture. Drying will reduce moisture to about 5%.

Grade & Inspection


Taste:
The liquor is very clear but the taste is not weak at all. It has a distinct floral sweetness and a pleasant aftertaste. Very refreshing and special.

Appearance:
Only one-bud-one-leaf tea leaves picked from early spring season are used to make En Shi Yu Lu. Its shape is long and narrow. The infusion is very light (almost colorless) jade green.

Health Benefits
En Shi Yu Lu is special because of its rich selenium content, an essential trace mineral that helps prevent cancer, cataract, heart disease, growth disorders and many other ailments.
1. This tea protects the body against free radical damage and hence slows down the process of aging.
2. It reduces the level of cholesterol in our body and hence prevents heart disorders.
3. It protects the body from various harmful effects of alcohol, viral hepatitis and liver tumors and hence prevents liver diseases.
4. It efficiently regulates the level of sugar in the blood and thus controls diabetes.
5. It has anti cancer properties which kill free radicals and reduce certain cancer types.
In general, it aids in stomach ailments, digestive disorders, headaches and depression too.




How to Brew
The characteristic of En Shi Yu Lu is deep umami and sweetness. It is very thick and has a soupy like consistency, with a very sweet after taste. Please note that the brewing method of En Shi Yu Lu is very different from Sencha.



Water 

If you are using tap water, it is necessary to use a water filter that consists of activated carbon filter. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the authentic taste of tea. If using commercial mineral water, it is important to choose natural mineral water. Never use distilled water or reversed osmosis processed water. This water lack of mineral content and thus the taste of tea is too soft and a little plain. Soft water is better than hard water. Brewing tea with hard water makes taste bitter while soft water makes taste gentle and sweet. The softness of water is written on the mineral water bottle as TDS: total dissolved solid. You need to choose the water which TDS is below 200mg/liter.



We recommend 2 different styles of brewing: 

1. Traditional style
2. Modern style.
3. Cold water style
The traditional style uses less water, extremely low water temperature and long brewing time. It gives a very thick taste like soup and strong body. As for modern brewing method, we follow almost the same method as brewing sencha. We use less quantity of leaf, higher water temperature and a shorter brewing time than brewing sencha. It gives a very strong flavor and a gentle sweetness of taste.



Traditional Brewing Method 



The volume of water and the quantity of tea leaf 

Use about 6g of tea leaves for 100ml of water. Tea is served in very high concentration.



Temperature 

It is important not to use boiling water. Boiling water should be poured into an empty glass or any container and let it cool down until about 50 degree Celsius. It is as low temperature as shower.



Brewing time 

The brewing time is about 2 minutes. The second brewing is less than 10 seconds at the same temperature. Second brewing is the most critical brewing. If you brew too long at 2nd brewing, you would not be able to enjoy the tea from the rest of brewing.



Serving method 

Traditionally, a pitcher is not used. Tea is directly poured from the tea pot into respective tea cups. In order to make the concentration even, we have to pour one cup after another, a few times until the last drop of tea. The purpose of pouring until the last drop is to extract the concentrated liquor. This is important as tea leaves must be filtered well and kept without water to avoid the liquor becoming bitter and stewed. Besides, it prevents tea leaves from being over cooked. In addition, tea after filtration will be ready for second brewing. However the usage of pitcher is highly recommended as it is very practical for brewing a nice cup of tea. With the pitcher, you will be able to keep the teapot always empty as soon as brewing is completed.
After pouring the tea, you have to make sure leave the lid open to avoid further steaming of tea leaves.



The suitable equipment 

The purple clay pot and Iron pot makes the taste of En Shi Yu Lu even better. It is mainly because of the iron that released from the equipment. In particular, the iron enhances the depth of after taste.



Modern Brewing Method 



The volume of water and quantity of tea leaf 

The quantity of tea leaf can be calculated by a formula that “Divide the Volume of Water by 5”. For example: the volume of teapot=200ml; 200ml/50=4g. You need to measure 4g of tea leaves for 200ml of water. As opposite to the traditional brewing method, the modern style uses more volume of water. A teapot with the size about 150-220ml is just nice for one person.



Temperature 

Cool down the boiling water to 70-80 degree Celsius. Use the same temperature for a series of brewing until you feel the taste no long remains. Finally, you can use boiling water to bring out the remaining taste and flavor.



Brewing time 

Jade Dew Tea leaves are much tenderer than sencha leaves. Brewing time should be slightly shorter than when we brew sencha. For sencha, the first brewing period is 1 minute. For Jade Dew Tea, 30 seconds to 40 seconds is long enough. The second brewing must be less than a few seconds. The third brewing is the same. From the forth brewing onwards, increase to additional 10 seconds for the each subsequent brewing.



Suitable Tea Equipment 

For this brewing method, we also recommend to use a red clay teapot. With higher water temperature, the aroma and flavor of En Shi Yu Lu is more intense which synchronizes with the character of red clay.



Cold Water Brewing Method 

Most of Green Teas can be brewed in cold water. The higher the grade of tea, the more suitable it is with cold water brewing. In particular, En Shi Yu Lu is second to none when it comes to the cold water brewing.



Brewing method using the large container 

1. Measure 1 table spoons of tea leaves for 500ml of water.
2. Pour the water into a glass jar or bottle and leave it for more than 30 minutes. It is also a good idea to put the tea leaves directly into a PET bottle.
3. Gently sway the container in order to get an even concentration.
4. Usually the taste of tea gets thicker when it is brewed for more than a few hours. In this case, pour in additional water. Eventually tea can be brewed more than 1 liter per 1 table spoon of tea leaves.



Brewing method using a clay teapot 

1. Measure 4-6g of tea leaves for 200ml of water.
2. Pour water into a clay teapot and brew for 3 minutes.
3. For second brewing, brew for 20 seconds. Alternatively you can also switch to hot water from second brewing onwards, if you wish. If using hot water for second brewing, pour boiling water and brew for less than a few seconds. Since tea leaves are very cold and wet, the temperature drastically drops to less than 60 degree Celsius.
The benefit of cold water brewing is tea can last for a whole day and the taste is refreshing with a natural sweetness. Thanks to the cold water extraction, the level of caffeine in tea is very low. You would not suffer from sleepless nights. Even kids can enjoy this tea.



How to Store 



The higher the tea quality, the more easily it loses its flavor.
Put some effort and it should keep fresh for a longer time.



Keep tea away from moisture

Once a bag of tea is opened, please finish it within 3 months if you wish to enjoy its freshness.
From the medical point of view, it is safe to consume the tea even if it is kept for a few years.
However the freshness disappears if it is kept for too long.
Tea must be tightly sealed before it is kept.
Tea should be kept in ambient and dry conditions such as in the living room, but it must be completely away from humidity.
Tea should not be kept in the kitchen as the environment is very humid.
Avoid enclosed area such as inside the cupboard or drawer as these places are damp.
Also avoid opening the bag of tea in humid atmosphere.
It is recommended to open the bag during a sunny day or under air-conditioned atmosphere.
Once tea leaves absorb moisture, deterioration of tea will be triggered within a few days.
Tea will then give an astringent taste, sometime it tastes sour. The fresh aroma also becomes weaker.



Beware of keeping the tea in the fridge

If the tea is sealed, keep in a freezer. Cover with a box to insulate from temperature change.
Once the package has been opened, store away from light, moisture, smell and heat in an airtight container.
The quality of tea lasts longer if it is kept in the fridge. However we strongly recommend you not to keep tea in the fridge.
When tea is withdrawn from the fridge, there is usually condensation. Once tea is exposed to moisture during condensation, the quality will deteriorate within a few days. The higher moisture content in the tea leaves will trigger oxidation and it will completely destroy the quality of tea.



Here’s one frequently asked question: 

What happens if bag is sealed using tape or tea is packed in zipper bag and kept inside the fridge?
For your information, these simple sealing methods are not sufficient. When the bag is withdrawn from the fridge, it is cold inside the bag and therefore causes negative pressure.
Air will be drawn from outside and condensation will occur.
In addition, if the bag is taken in and out from the fridge very often, this will cause heat stress to the tea leaves as temperature is increased and decreased very frequently.
If tea is kept in the fridge, when it is withdrawn from the fridge, it is necessary to leave it in ambient atmosphere for more than 24 hours in order to warm up the tea leaves.
Based on our experience, 12 hours is not long enough. We may think tea is warmed up, but inside the bag, the tea leaves are still cold due to insulation effect.



IMPORTANT: Get tea with teaspoon instead of hand.

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