2010 Winter Taiwan Nantou GABA (Jia Yieh) Oolong

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Oolong Tea
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From Hou De Asian Art & Fine Teas

Harvest: 2010/December

Method: Machine-harvest

Location: Zhu Shan, Nan Tou, Taiwan

Cultivar : chin-shin oolong

Description: The newest batch of 2010 Winter-harvested GABA just arrived! This batch was made in the style of BaoZhong, same great soothing GABA taste.

GABA Oolong, also called “Jia Yeh” (Good Leaf) oolong, is fast becoming one of the most important tea exports from Taiwan.

GABA tea was invented in Japan in 1986 when researchers were trying to find ways to preserve the freshness of raw tea leaves under a Controlled Atmosphere (CA), either vacuum or nitrogen-filled chamber. Accidentally, they found that the amont of r-aminobutyric acid increased significantly under such an environment. A 1987 paper further provided evidence that the liquor from the GABA tea can help alleviate hypertension by relaxing blood pressure. The GABA tea soon became popular in Japan.

The technology was introduced to Taiwan in 1994. However, it was not accepted well in Taiwan, as its flavor had a kind of “composting” (a bit like cooked pu-erh) and acid smell in it. Taiwan’s market has long been spoiled by oolongs such as Dong-Ding, Bai Hao, and high-mountain oolongs. So it has long been an “export” tea from Taiwan. We started to see the skills and quality of GABA oolong being greatly modified and improved by Taiwan’s tea extension units and farmers since 2002. By now, the unique fruity fragrance has won the hearts of many Taiwanese.

Our GABA oolong was harvested from the famous Zhu Shan (Bamboo Mountain) area. The unique two-phase fermentation step (one aerobic oxidation, and following by an oxygen-depleted anaerobic oxidation) contributes to the excitingly fruity aroma while capture high GABA content (>200mg% dry weight, Japanese standard 150mg%). The growing condition (mid-high elevation, soy-based organic fertilizer and hand harvesting) is the key to the high content of the amino acid Glutamic acid which during the anaerobic step is converted (decarboxylated) into GABA.

Crystal-clear liquor of an amber color. Pleasant fruity fragrance. Nice smoothness with a light and gingerly acidity. Easy taste and good consistency. Good durability. Easily goes into 5 brewings.

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