GABA Green Heart Oolong (青心佳葉龍茶) is a smooth GABA Oolong made from hand picked leaves of the Qing Xin Gan Zi cultivar plants from Mingjian Township of Nantou County in Taiwan. The large, tightly rolled leaves produce a sweet liquor with notes of fruits and honey. This tea is grown to organic standards by Mr Yu and was harvested on 1 March 2022.
This GABA Green Heart Oolong tea is from the same farmer who previously made our GABA Green Heart green tea in 2020 and Qing Xin Gan Zi White tea in 2021. All of the three teas are made from the same plants, however Mr Yu chooses the most suitable processing method depending on many factors, including the climate, tree condition and leaf growth, to select the most optimum style of tea in each particular year. In spring 2022 the leaves grew very rapidly due to a warmer spring and were quickly too big to make white or green tea. So this year it was made in a rolled GABA oolong style instead.
The Green Heart name actually refers to the varietal used for this oolong tea – Qing Xin translates as ‘Green Heart’. The widespread and popular Qing Xin cultivar is known for a particularly floral character and this tea is made from a Qin Xin Gan Zi sub-varietal. This sub-varietal is extensively used for high grade Oriental Beauty Oolong teas due to large amount of buds that these plants tend to produce. This results in finer and more characterful profiles and translates extremely well to this fine version of a Taiwanese GABA Oolong. Like all such teas, this tea undergoes special processing in an oxygen-deprived environment to naturally increase GABA content. Most GABA teas are made from the more common cultivars like Si Ji Chun (Four Seasons), Cui Yu (Jade) or Jin Xuan (Golden Daylily). It is more unusual to find a GABA Oolong made from the Qing Xin (Green Heart) cultivar, let alone, the more rare Qing Xin Gan Zi version of it.
The large leaves of this GABA Green Heart Oolong produce an amber liquor with a fruity aroma. The taste is more complex when compared to usual GABA teas, with a more pronounced honey muscatel flavour and less tanginess. The liquor is smooth and flavoursome with notes of fruits and sweet acacia honey that lead to a juicy and lasting aftertaste of dried fruits. It is a little savoury and tangy, becoming sweeter as it cools. There is also an intriguing light eucalyptus note that is reminiscent of Taiwanese black teas. This is a really special GABA Oolong that is a complete one-off production, offering an opportunity to try something a bit unusual.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste and should be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each brew if desired.