92

Thanks Togo for the swap :)

Have a song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIMKJ43TFLs

Spring 2018 harvest. Dry leaf has an aroma of malty molasses cookies with additions of baking spices and a fruitiness when warmed. Smells like a hearty banana bread, though light on the banana. Rinsed leaf aroma is dominantly woody. I can smell light florals not on the inhale but when I exhale. Drank the rinse — subtle spruce and malt. Cool in mouth, warm in chest. Throat is already tingling like a strong returning sweetness will come forward. Already an aftertaste of peach and both black and green plantains.

The tea doesn’t change much in character like other GABA oolong, which I consider a strength. Buttery, floral grape aroma. SIp hits the high tones with floral grapes. The liquor is oily and the flavors sit low, with a light malty spiced banana bread midtone, deep fruity undertone, minerals, a bit of vanilla, straw when cooled. In fact, the flavors, which are more aromatic than penetrating on the tongue, become more pronounced if the tea cools to somewhere around 160F. Tangy aftertaste like light, sweet lemon and profuse salivation, brown sugar returning sweetness. Later develops hints of baked bread and cream in the aftertaste. Final infusions end on nutty, woody impressions. Like other GABA oolong, this has great longevity. I liked that characteristics of this tea’s Alishan provenance were still discernable despite the GABA processing.

I also did a grandpa infusion with the remaining 2g for 8oz with 3 top-offs. It was even more mellow with a rock sugar like sweetness. It was honestly difficult to describe. Maybe like a salty, soft and buttery white sweet potato? Comforting. The one major difference with this preparation was a complete lack of that floral grape flavor and aroma.

I love GABA oolong teas. They’re generally accessible, mellow and sweet with no bitterness or astringency. They can’t be oversteeped and perform great as western, grandpa or gongfu infusions. So let me take this moment to 100% endorse GABA oolong to loose leaf newbies!

Drink GABA oolong!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Banana, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon, Cookie, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Lemon, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Nutmeg, Nutty, Peach, Pine, Salty, Smooth, Straw, Sugar, Sweet Potatoes, Tangy, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Kawaii433

I love GABA oolongs too, Derk :D

derk

I have some different ones coming from What-Cha weeee

Kittenna

I’m honestly not sure what the GABA stands for here, but all I can think of when I hear this are my colleagues’ Masters projects, because whatever they were researching (plant agriculture – apples?) involved gamma-aminobutyric acid. And although the same thing may be what’s being referred to in both cases, it causes some pretty solid confusion for me. I should probably just do some light research on it to fix that…

derk

You have it right — GABA does stand for gamma-aminobutyric acid. These teas are flushed with nitrogen and ‘oxidized’ in an oxygen-depleted fermentation chamber. This process, combined with shading prior to harvest, increases the GABA content in teas. There is of course a slew of research on the effects of GABA for which I’m not currently interested in reading… but from some cursory browsing, it is agreed upon in some literature that when ingested, GABA does not cross the blood-brain barrier.

That said, anecdotally, I have found that all but one GABA-processed tea I’ve tried have consistently given me a specific feeling of well being, different from the feelings acquired from other oolong teas. It could all be wishful thinking, though, given the blood-brain barrier argument and that ‘tea energy’ is qualitative.

As an aside, I used to work in produce when I was younger. There I learned that bagged lettuces and salads are also flushed with nitrogen in order to diminish oxidation, thus preserving the leaf longer. Same for potato chips and other crunchy bagged snacks.

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Kawaii433

I love GABA oolongs too, Derk :D

derk

I have some different ones coming from What-Cha weeee

Kittenna

I’m honestly not sure what the GABA stands for here, but all I can think of when I hear this are my colleagues’ Masters projects, because whatever they were researching (plant agriculture – apples?) involved gamma-aminobutyric acid. And although the same thing may be what’s being referred to in both cases, it causes some pretty solid confusion for me. I should probably just do some light research on it to fix that…

derk

You have it right — GABA does stand for gamma-aminobutyric acid. These teas are flushed with nitrogen and ‘oxidized’ in an oxygen-depleted fermentation chamber. This process, combined with shading prior to harvest, increases the GABA content in teas. There is of course a slew of research on the effects of GABA for which I’m not currently interested in reading… but from some cursory browsing, it is agreed upon in some literature that when ingested, GABA does not cross the blood-brain barrier.

That said, anecdotally, I have found that all but one GABA-processed tea I’ve tried have consistently given me a specific feeling of well being, different from the feelings acquired from other oolong teas. It could all be wishful thinking, though, given the blood-brain barrier argument and that ‘tea energy’ is qualitative.

As an aside, I used to work in produce when I was younger. There I learned that bagged lettuces and salads are also flushed with nitrogen in order to diminish oxidation, thus preserving the leaf longer. Same for potato chips and other crunchy bagged snacks.

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Bio

Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy — message me if you want to try something! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

I prefer straight loose-leaf and compressed tea, teabags for ease of use and herbal teas/tisanes. My favorite teas come from all over including China, Taiwan, Nepal, Darjeeling, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Georgia. The only one that doesn’t do much for me is Ceylon.

I abandoned my preference reference in early 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative description and because everybody uses a different rating scale. I’m still comfortable toggling the ‘Not/Recommended’ button.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be daily drinker teas.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

Some things about me:

Endless curiosity and fascination have led me to wear many hats. Stubbornness and naivety have led me down dark paths. The restlessness isn’t improving with age but at least at 37, I’m finally aware of my nature. I have high physical energy and love being around people but am easily exhausted. My most recent caricature is that of an environmental engineering masters dropout working in retail electrical sales. An impatient woman with a knack for making stupid decisions, a lover of Jesus, science, art, beauty and language who happens to ride a motorcycle and bicycle, dabbles in sax, wields a chainsaw and drinks tea out of tiny pots. They call me “Trouble”.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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