Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea Chai Te
This high mountain oolong is truly a must-try. Gaba teas are unique in that they are fermented in nitrogen-rich environments making them very complex, with both rich and subtle flavors that change over time and differ with each steeping. Unique with its gentle sweetness giving it hints of yam. Also a natural relaxant.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is the first GABA oolong that I have tried, and if any are similar to this GABA oolong from Tea Chai Te, I can definitely get in on it!
First off, what does it mean to be a GABA tea? I’ve heard that phrase thrown around a few times by many different companies. So what does it do? GABA is just an acronym for Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. It is known for having a calming effect on the nervous system. GABA is also in other types of foods, such as . It occurs naturally in this low elevation Taiwanese oolong. To amp up the glutamic acid goodness in the leaves, farmers partially shade the leaves for two weeks before picking the leaves, which sounds oddly similar to how sencha is made. Both are also high in L-Theanine, which gives tea it’s energy. While the oolong is being shaded, nitrogen is added to the air, which makes the levels of GABA go crazy. It does sound crazy when I word it like that, but to put it in simpler terms, what the nitrogen gas does to the glutamic acid in the tea, really nice conditioner does to your hair. It makes it lovelier, smoother and gives it a nice fragrance.
I was having a rough day all around, and drinking this tea made it all better. It was quite aromatic, throwing in a good amount of the forest green oolong pellets into my teapot. I had to stop myself from doing nothing but sniff the leaves! When it got time to brewing, I was distracted by all the annoying e-mail and text messages that I almost forgot all about my tea! But I took a deep breath, turned off all electronic devices, and closed my eyes as I sipped. The warming and sweet aroma of milk caramel candies and rich clover honey unfolded from each inhale and came to life at each sip. Thanksgiving came to mind when I discovered a lingering taste of candied yams at the finish. I did feel less stressed after drinking this tea, although I cannot tell that it was the act of drinking the tea itself or the phytonutrients in the GABA. Either way, this is a delicious and fascinating tea, good for many, many steeps.