GABA Green (佳葉龍綠茶) is a unique Taiwanese GABA green tea made from the Jin Xuan cultivar. The very first batch of a similar tea, made from a Qing Xin Gan Zi (青心柑仔) cultivar was made by the farmer, Mr Yu, for the first time in 2020. For 2021 Mr Yu decided to use the Jin Xuan ‘Golden Daylily’ (金萱) TRES #12 cultivar that is commonly used for Milk Oolong teas. The reason behind this was to create a tea that still offered that captivating GABA Green tea flavour but by using the more common Jin Xuan cultivar, Mr Yu was able to reduce the cost. From our perspective, this shift also introduced a welcome, slightly more pronounced, creamy hint to the taste that sits very nicely with the sweet, candied fruit flavours. This tea comes from a natural farming garden that is run to organic standards and it was hand picked and crafted on 3 March 2023.
The leaves of this GABA green tea are hand picked and then placed into a deoxidation vacuum machine used for producing GABA teas. During this processing oxygen is removed from the machine and the tea is left in it for 8 hours. From that point, the processing follows the usual green tea steps: frying to stop further oxidation, twisting and then drying in the sun. Following this the tea is finished in a drying machine to remove any residual moisture. This GABA Green tea undergoes minimal oxidation when compared to a GABA Oolong, resulting in a much lighter, greener taste and profile. The use of the Jin Xuan cultivar certainly brings a creamy aspect that makes it less drying, sweeter and softer when compared to conventional green tea.
GABA Green tea has large, wiry dark green leaves that have a sweet aroma that is reminiscent of candied fruits. It produces a bright liquor with a sweet candy-like aroma. The sparkly fruity profile has a full taste with notes of stewed fruits, toffee apples and candy floss. The aftertaste is clean, with a tart edge and creamy, milky notes. The Jin Xuan cultivar adds a softness to the overall flavour and definitely contributes to the lightly creamy mouthfeel, especially on the aftertaste. The overall tasting notes start sweet and fruity, then progress to a tart creamy aftertaste and finish on a light dryness at the very end. This is a fascinating take on both GABA style and classic green tea and it is bound to appeal to fans of naturally sweet and fruity green teas!
It is best brewed at 80°C for 3 minutes according to your taste and should be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each brew if desired. We also think this tea is particularly good cold, pairing well with food in place of fruity sparkling wine.