An unusual black tea from Taiwan, Red Jade GABA (紅玉加碼), also known as Ruby GABA. This tea is made from Hong Yu TRES No. 18 cultivar. Hong Yu translates as Red Jade or Ruby, hence the name for this tea.
The Red Jade cultivar was developed in Taiwan very recently in an attempt to reinvigorate black tea production of the country. This cultivar was developed from an Assamica strain from Burma and the local wild tea from Taiwan. By the way, the Taiwanese Wild Shan Cha is available to buy in our online shop, where you can also read more about that unique strain of Camellia. Wild Shan Cha compares interestingly to the new Red Jade cultivar. They both exhibit similar qualities, however the teas made with the new Red Jade cultivar have a unique eucalyptus and mint edge to them. But if you try them side by side you can definitely see the ancestral relationship between them.
Our Red Jade GABA black tea is organically grown around Mingjian Township of Nantou County. This crop is from April 2016. After plucking and rolling, this tea undergoes oxidation in an oxygen deprived environment. This is the unique process that is employed to achieve all GABA teas. The tea is placed into large tanks. Oxygen is then flushed out with nitrogen and the tea is left to oxidise. As the environment is oxygen deprived, the oxidation process happens very slowly. This results in a much larger amount of GABA molecules being present in the finished tea.
Red Jade GABA black tea comes in tightly rolled oolong-style leaves, producing a medium strength liquor with a scent of raisins and currants. The taste is crisp and very mellow, which is the result of the slow oxidation process. The flavours prevalent are of sweet raisins and tart dried fruits. The flavours linger in your mouth and there is a definite minty aftertaste detectable that is a characteristic quality of this tea. Although the flavours do linger, the finish is very clean without any tannins or astringency. A very interesting and unusual tea – definitely worth taking time to enjoy this one!
This tea is best brewed with water at 90°C for 3-5 minutes and can be brewed multiple times. Red Jade GABA is absolutely delicious cold so make sure to try this as an iced tea!