Tiny ball rolled nuggets shaded black and brown unfurl in a heated pot and begin to waft faint scents of orange peel dusted with spices and earth. Pure gold in colour, but not in taste, more orange fruits; mandarin, cumquats, juicy and soft, like a Christmas cake! Soft textures balance sharp citric acids. Bright, crisp, fresh, like a springtime sunrise. (Daniel Honan @thewineidealist)
Leaf: Full leaf, ball-rolled medium oxidised oolong.
Liquor: Deep amber, honey
Aromatics: Biscuits and honey, cinnamon
Palate: Cinnamon, spice, citrus, honey, peach crumble
Gaba oolong contains Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This is an amino acid which occurs naturally in the body and among a number of the health benefits it is thought to offer, it is said to have a calming effect on the nervous system. It is produced in a nitrogen-rich atmosphere rather than an oxygen atmosphere. Dr Tsushida Tojiro from Japan's National Tea Experiment Station inadvertently stumbled across this taste sensation in the late 1980s while conducting research into the amino acid metabolism of tea.
This Gaba oolong is produced by an experienced artisan tea making family in Nantou, Taiwan, who consistently produce excellent quality teas year after year.
Origin: Nantou, Taiwan
Quantity: 4g/200ml (1 tsp per cup)
Water temp: 90°C
Steeping time: 3-4 minutes