Produced from low-elevation Taiwanese oolong tea leaves, GABA tea contains a high percentage of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, known for having a calming effect on the nervous system. It has a wonderful, soothing flavor, said by some to be similar to that of ripe bananas; others liken it to baked yams.
GABA Oolong, a partially “oxidized”, nugget-style tea from Chiayi County, Taiwan, grows in the foothills of famed Mount Ali. It produces a caramel-colored, fragrant brew.
Tea plants are known to produce leaves especially high in glutamic acid. About two weeks prior to plucking, GABA oolong leaves are partially shaded, which causes increased production of this substance. During the oxidation-phase of production, all oxygen is replaced with nitrogen gas, whose presence causes the glutamic acid to be converted to Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (from where the acronym “GABA” is derived).
To meet Japanese standards and be labeled GABA Tea, the finished product must contain at least 150mg of GABA per 100g dry weight.