I'm tempted to get a sample of this from either Teaspring, Tea Trekker, or somewhere else, but I wanted to get opinions here, first.
I'm curious about this because it's just about one of the only steamed Chinese greens. Has anyone else here had it?
How is the taste? The brew? Can it be compared to Gyokuru and/or Sencha at all in flavor, mouthfeel, etc? What about in terms of brewing?
How is the astringency? I ask because I hate bitter. I have never been able to handle bitter (I can't drink beer to save my life); it's overwhelming and as a taste lasts for days in mouth (regardless of brushing, eating anything else, etc). So with tea, especially green teas, I tend to brew with the purpose of avoiding astringency/bitterness as much as possible. So can this be brewed to avoid that? How would I do that?
If you do enjoy this one, what's your favorite way of brewing it? Do you brew it like Gyokuro, or do you prefer different brewing methods? And how many times can it be brewed?
And finally, how well does it do with cold-brew? I tend to cold-brew with about 66 fl oz of water at a time, which means anywhere from 10-16 grams of leaf depending on the tea. Since it's now getting into summer temperatures in New York, I'm cold-brewing more than hot-brewing (I usually hot-brew just enough for one 8 fl oz cup or a number of 1-3 fl oz cups; when I cold-brew, I cold-brew in bulk... ).
Not sure how it cold-brews (though I suspect well), but yes I have had this. In fact, I currently have some from Dragon Tea House. It is a good tea in my opinion and I think I might put some on now. To tell you the truth, it does not take like gyokuro. Though, it does have a sort of richness like gyokuro, gyokuro has a distinct taste. You can get some pretty nasty brews out of En Shi Yu Lu if you tried but it really is not that difficult. Dragon Tea House recommends a temperature that I disagree with and I think you should brew it down in the lower range of temperature for a sencha (140-150) or brew it like a gyokuro (120-140). Time will depend on life amount, temperature, and taste. You can pull it off at higher temperatures and I started brewing it that way but I prefer it much more at lower temperatures. Due to it being "covered" by the "mist" and what not, it has similar features in taste to gyokuro due to that also being covered, but like I said distinct tastes. I do not recall much bitterness, but I will come back and tell you in half an hour.
I'd say low bitterness. Very low astringency. Not that easy to overbrew if you keep to low temperatures. I had two sessions. The first was three steeps and the second four steeps with the last being 10 minutes in length. Works very well at low temperatures and reminds me in some way of Dragon Well with some steamed characteristics of sencha/gyokuro. The liquor is not whatsoever like Japanese teas and is more in line with Chinese greens such as gyokuro. I would definitely buy again.