Alishan Transitional Organic GABA Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
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, Black Currant, Blackberry, Sweet, Thick, Apple, banana, Sweet, warm grass
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 oz / 97 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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...” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “Reviewing Winter 2018 harvest. An old Southern tradition is to mash butter and sorghum molasses together with a fork until creamed and eat with buttermilk biscuits. The dry leaves of this Alishan...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “What a lovely experience drinking a tea like this is! The smell is strong with prominent notes of banana and some spruce. I like the taste too, which is also somewhat fruity. I can taste cooked...” Read full tasting note
    94

From Taiwan Sourcing

Thanks to the plantation that’s located in the deep mountain environment with opulent sunshine exposure, our GABA tea material comes the 100% Jin Xuan varietal from Alishan area with a incomparable quality.

This is technically not a roasted oolong, but it’s oxidized at about 30%, which gives it a golden-yellow tea soup with buttery yam-like taste and a honey aroma. If you are a fan of medium level roasted Alishan oolongs then you’ll probably enjoy this “Mi Xiang” style GABA oolong!

GABA stands for Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, and the content of this tea is aournd 400 mg per 100 grams which is higher than most of the GABA tea in the market. Through a series of research, Japanese scholar Omori Masashi ( 大森 正司 ) confirmed it has a very powerful antihypertensive effect thanks to its extremely high content of γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) compared to other teas. The GABA content adds a thick layer of baked sweet potato taste to the tea and is proven to offer the drinker a soothing or relaxing feeling. GABA processing, which involves shade growing and then nitrogen sparging was developed by the Japanese and later perfected by the Taiwanese. The result is a tea that tastes great, at once stimulating and soothing to the nervous system.

Despite not being certified as organic, this “new” GABA oolong is a new attempt at crafting GABA oolong. The owner of this plantation has decided stop using pesticide for this place to explore the potential of a better GABA oolong experience, and the result is fabulous. This “new” GABA oolong now has a better aroma and more comfortable feeling, meanwhile being able to maintain a almost identical price compared to the previous version. No one could not be happier than us to see this happened, because this tea really tastes delicious!

Harvest: Spring 2017 or 2018
Varietal: Jin Xuan / 金萱
Elevation: 1000 M / 壹仟 公尺
Region: Alishan Mountain / 阿里山
Oxidation Level: 30% / 分之 參拾
Roast Level: 0 / 無

About Taiwan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

3 Tasting Notes

92
478 tasting notes

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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90
77 tasting notes

Reviewing Winter 2018 harvest. An old Southern tradition is to mash butter and sorghum molasses together with a fork until creamed and eat with buttermilk biscuits. The dry leaves of this Alishan reminded me of the smell and taste of buttered molasses. Once the leaves were wet, there was a definite fruity element to the tea. I could never quite put a name to the fruit. It was sort of like blackberry, sort of like black current, but not quite those. After the third infusion, I got a very distinctive smell or flavor of green banana peeling. If you’ve peeled back a green banana, it was that smell more so than the banana itself. As the infusions went on, it turned more into the sweet potato flavor we often get with black teas. Finally, this tea got fruiter again toward the end. That was a fun ride. I look forward to trying it again and seeing if I can detect any effects from the GABA in this tea. I was in a hurry to get out the door this session.

Flavors: Banana, Black Currant, Blackberry, Butter, Molasses, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML
mrmopar

I was in the sorghum and butter the other night.

HaChaChaCha

@mrmopar Awesome stuff! I made up a fresh loaf of sourdough bread and had that with some molasses and butter, yesterday. We’re old school! :-)

mrmopar

You got that right. I remember boiling , skimming and dropping through three levels to get the finished product. Another thing is pennies in the bottom of the apple butter pot.

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94
346 tasting notes

What a lovely experience drinking a tea like this is! The smell is strong with prominent notes of banana and some spruce. I like the taste too, which is also somewhat fruity. I can taste cooked apple, grapes and a bit of egg (shells?) in the background. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and reminiscent of pine tree.

Where this tea got me though is the mouthfeel. It is so incredibly thick and velvety from the very first infusion! If you add the effect of the tea on your sensory perceptions, which is very enjoyable by itself, what you get is one of the best teas I have tried!

By the way, listening to some cool music should absolutely be part of every session with a tea like this.

P.S. Oh, and one more thing. This tea can really make you sweat if you drink fast, at least that’s what happened to me. It seems to be more warming than any other tea I’ve has thus far.

P.S. 2: I have just made a final infusion by simmering the leaves for about 30 minutes. It is quite different from all the other ones, being more nutty, sweet and a little bit shou-like (both in taste and colour). Very nice I must say.

Flavors: Apple, banana, Fruity, Grapes, Nutty, Pine, Sweet, warm grass, Thick

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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