GABA Oolong Tea Cake (佳葉龍茶餅) is a superbly smooth oolong from Nantou County of Taiwan that, unusually, comes pressed in 100g cakes. The processing results in a complex tea, full of floral and fruity flavours. We source this tea directly from the tea master who baked and pressed these GABA Oolong Tea Cakes in January 2021 from the May 2020 harvest. Compared to our previous 2018 harvest, these cakes are made of handpicked leaves.
These GABA Oolong Cakes are a new creation from our tea master in Taiwan. They are designed so you can enjoy drinking them straight away but also so that they can be put away for ageing. We do not know yet how these will develop with age as this is the first year of production but given the provenance we think long-term results should be rather good!
This tea would definitely appeal to fans of our GABA teas. It features the typical pronounced flavours of dried fruits and is produced in an oxygen deprived environment for elevated GABA content. However this GABA Oolong Cake is also made from a slightly more unusual cultivar called Bai Lu. The Bai Lu (白鷺) cultivar, translated as ‘Egret’, also known as TRES #17, was developed by the Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station in 1983. This cultivar, when handled well, is known for producing teas with particularly fragrant and fruity profiles.
This GABA Oolong Cake 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. While this increases the GABA content of the tea, it also positively affects the tannins, resulting in a smoother, non-astringent taste.
Our GABA Oolong Cakes consist of compressed dark oolong leaves that have undergone 60-70% oxidation and light baking. The clear and bright liquor produced has an orange-amber colour and a fruity, stony aroma. This tea is supremely smooth, with a lasting, freshly tangy aftertaste. The tasting notes are of red florals and dried fruits. This tea slightly reminds us of rose Turkish delight due to the fruity, floral and sweet flavours. The start of the taste is definitely more focused on the red floral flavours, while on the finish these transition to notes of red dried fruits. This is quite a complex GABA Oolong that is smooth, refreshing and has no astringency. As always, with these kind of teas, the interplay between the main sweet flavours and a tangy aftertaste provides much excitement!
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3-5 minutes. This tea should be brewed multiple times.