GABA Milk Oolong (佳葉龍金萱烏龍茶) is grown in Mingjian Township in Nantou County of Taiwan and has quite a unique flavour with pronounced cinnamon and gingerbread notes. It was picked in May 2018 from trees of a Jin Xuan (TRES #12) cultivar and processed in the style of a GABA Oolong in an oxygen deprived environment.
The GABA acronym in the name of this tea stands for Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. This molecule, which in mammals is mostly found in the nervous system, purportedly can reduce stress and anxiety. This GABA Milk Oolong undergoes a complicated manufacturing process, which involves vacuum tanks and oxidation by way of exposure to nitrogen rather than oxygen. The very high GABA content is the direct result of this processing, which was developed by Japanese scientists over 20 years ago.
There are differing opinions on how well our bodies can actually absorb GABA from our food and drink and while some people report feeling particularly relaxed and calm after drinking GABA tea, others do not see any significant difference. So while the effects of this tea are a very personal experience, most will appreciate this tea for the unusual and distinctive taste.
This GABA Milk Oolong is produced from leaves of the Jin Xuan ‘Golden Daylily’ (金萱) TRES #12 varietal that is normally reserved for tea such our Organic Milk Oolong. In this case this oolong has been processed as a GABA tea, resulting in a rather unique flavour. It is similar to our standard GABA Oolong in that it has the characteristic tart and dry fruit flavours. However, unlike our popular Deep Baked GABA Oolong that is also made from the Jin Xuan cultivar, it does not undergo any baking or roasting. This tea has a unique flavour that is very much dependant on the yearly weather patters. If you had a chance to try our one-off Mi Xian Honey GABA Oolong that we sourced in 2017, you will see some flavour resemblance between the two teas. As the weather patterns were not as strange as they were in 2017 the crops from 2018 do not have the pronounced honey flavours. Instead this tea has a heavier cinnamon profile with a distinct spicy edge.
The leaves of this GABA Milk Oolong are tightly rolled and unfurl when brewed into mostly dark leaves with some green colours still present. Its pale golden liquor is very aromatic, having a wonderful scent of cinnamon and fruits. The taste is supremely smooth with a flavour that would be immediately familiar to any fan of GABA Oolong. This manifests in a profile that is slightly tart, yet fruity sweet, reminiscent of dried fruits like apricots, raisins and cranberries. However, the additional flavours present are really what sets this tea out from the standard GABA Oolong. It features flavours that are also present in the aroma; those of cinnamon and spices. Coupled with nutty and spicy notes, this creates a flavour reminiscent of gingerbread. The aftertaste offered is clean, yet long lasting with notes of cinnamon and tart fruits. It is an excellent and complex tea that can aid with deep relaxation and meditation.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed more than 3 times depending on your preference.