GABA Black

Tea type
Black Tea
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Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Floral, Honey, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Roasted nuts, Decayed wood, Vegetal, Wet wood, Apricot, Fruity, Muscatel, Flowers, Nectar, Pine, Smoke, Sour, Stonefruits, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 oz / 352 ml

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From Mandala Tea

This rolled black tea provides a warm, soothing, and absolutely delicious way to try GABA supplementation for a calm mind. It starts out as an Anxi, Fujian May-picked organic Tie Guan Yin variety. What makes it special is a processing step that exposes the tea to an oxygen-free, nitrogen-rich environment. Originally designed as a food preservation method, this process has the happy effect of boosting the naturally occurring Gamma-AminoButyric Acid content to over 350mg per 100g of tea. GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for inhibiting overactive firing of neurons in the brain. It is the body’s anti-anxiety mechanism supplemented in the natural form through a drink that is healthy for numerous other reasons, as well.

The tightly rolled leaves are unique among our black teas – somewhat similar to an aged, well-oxidized oolong with more subtle floral notes. Honey and bakery or pastry flavors are abundant. The aroma can be reminiscent of a warmed, honey-drizzled bowl of “grape nuts”. A very cozy and crowd-pleasing black tea.

Basic Brewing Instructions for GABA Black Tea:

Do a 5 second rinse with the same temperature water as used for brewing. Check out the aroma!
208˚ F water temperature
Use 1 teaspoon per 8oz. of filtered water
Recommended three steepings of 1 minute, 2 minutes, and 4 minutes. Alternately, one long 4 minute infusion.

About Mandala Tea View company

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23 Tasting Notes

3262 tasting notes

Sipdown #2 of the day (#11 overall) Teacount = 381
This is actually a pleasant cup of tea, kind of sweet, smooth, & grapenutty. There’s also a hint of a roasty coffee-like flavor, which is interesting. I went with two steepings, 3min/5min. Both were delicious.

Regarding GABA, the best ways to up your levels are:
Yoga – which I haven’t done yet today…
Eating fermented foods – which I have! I’m pleased to share that my most recent batch of root kimchi is the best batch ever! I started the crock a week ago, with a mix of carrot, burdock, sunchoke, radish, turnip, horseradish, ginger, garlic, onion, shallot, scallion, & probably a few other things I can’t think of right now. I like to cut each root into it’s own unique shape, sticks, squares, triangle, etc. My talent @ making carrot flowers, which used to grace all my soups when my kids were young, has sadly diminished, so the flowers look kind of lopsided, but they will still taste good, & add interest. Anyway, I had some of the kimchi with my breakfast, & it really is a tasty one, so I’ll jar it up later, & add it to the laboratory (i.e. the fridge in my basement where all such culturing projects are stored when they reach the appropriate level of ripeness. They will keep almost indefinitely, but we do eat them regularly. It’s current residents include cukes, green beans, the last of the pink kraut).

Terri HarpLady

Whew! The window froze when I hit save, for like 5 minutes. I finally hit ‘cancel’, & was pretty sure my note would be lost, but it’s not! Yay!


heh grats on having a giant cupboard lol is that accurate count? :)

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8255 tasting notes

I received this as a sample in my latest Mandala order. I had to add the tea to the database so it’s no surprise that this is the first review. I’m not sure what to make of this one. I’m going to have to try a few steeps to see where this one takes me. I’ve only ever had GABA oolongs, and there IS a familiar taste there but it’s a black tea.

This is a rather unique taste. I really am having trouble describing it. Maybe my tea sister will do better since i AM sending her the other half of this sample. yeah….this one is confusing me lol it’s not’s reminescent of gaba oolongs, but it’s clearly NOT an oolong based on the taste… there’s no astringency but there is a taste there that reminds me of red rose bagged tea if i let it sit in my mouth.

huh. thanks for a unique experience Garret! more to come on this one i’m sure :)

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142 tasting notes

A pleasant surprise! I didn’t love the GABA oolong, but this does add something my black tea spectrum – as described, it IS warm and comforting, very smooth, maybe savory? It feels like a lazy/rainy morning tea to linger over while resolutely not going outside. Or maybe an after dinner tea to settle the stomach. I may just have to keep this one around. And it’s definitely worth trying.

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16 tasting notes

Today’s a rainy day, so I thought it’d be perfect to try out this sample.

45, 60, 90, 120, ect

This tea is interesting because it’s not as “in your face” as black tea can sometimes be. I just threw my sample into my gaiwan, so maybe with more leaf it could be, but the character in this one just seems milder. The description of baked goods is incredibly accurate. I got a lot of sweetness, especially as it cooled.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar


This tea brews up very nicely at temps from 195 all the way to 208. Grandpa style (leaving the leaf in water while you sip from it) also works great and you don’t even need a strainer as the leaves sink to the bottom fairly quickly. Thank you!!!

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333 tasting notes

Another sample from my recent order. GABA is not really something I’ve heard about, so I went in with no preconceptions. The dried tea leaf looks like little pellets, and the liquor brews up to be a light golden color. It’s honey-sweet, with a touch of ripe fruit, maybe plum or muscatel. On the second steep, the honey note takes over completely. This is a very light-bodied, smooth tea. As to whether it has a calming effect, it’s too early to say, but it definitely doesn’t have much of a kick as most other black teas, and is a nice cup to enjoy slowly.

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92 tasting notes

A great, smooth black tea. It’s got a nice nutty bite to it that makes it stand out from other plain black teas. Great quality, much deliciousness, such tea!


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804 tasting notes

Thank you Garret for this tea!

I steeped it as instructed online: 5 second rinse, 1 minute, two, then four. I really like it. To me, it was very similar to Imperial Pearl by Mountain Tea because it had the same type of roasted character, but with a sweet aftertaste. I want to say there was some cherry in the second steep, but not quite. Honey perhaps? Both times had a wonderful earthy, floral character very similar to an oolong. Also surprisingly nutty, though it’s a considerably light black tea. The final steep reminded me of stone fruits and honey.

I steeped this again the full four minutes, and all the notes that I got from the Gongfu in each brew came at me at once in a balanced way. Definitely better western, and I was even able to brew it again for another four minutes and it tasted almost the same though it was lighter. It was spicy, and fairly complex. The Imperial Pearl from Mountain Tea and this one are almost the same in terms of taste, and both had a dried cherry flavor that lingered on the tongue for a while.

I had some jitters earlier today from a lack thereof working out. I naturally have a lot of nervous energy, and with a lot of tea, the caffeine can get to me….so yay! More caffeine. I noticed though, that this had a focusing effect on me. I wouldn’t say calming, but slowed me down a little bit and reminded me to breath. I see why this is taken before exams.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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818 tasting notes

I had absolutely no idea what GABA was when I tried this sample this morning. I had a very long gong fu session with it and it was really enjoyable. It was malty, roasty, a bit fruity honey, and a bit of a tang. I really liked it! So now that I know what GABA is, I can actually say that this tea did have a calming effect on me. Feeling very zen and caught up on work right now. :) Love it! This is going on my wishlist for sure!


I liked that tea, bought 4 ounces of it.


@AllanK- nice! Definitely a good one.

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1231 tasting notes

So far this is my favorite GABA tea – this one has an tasty sour dough raisin bread with honey flavor. The other GABA teas I’ve had were all green oolongs which are more in sour vegetal country. However, Black GABA appeals to me more as that crazy GABA flavor works better with the black base adding more comfort food feels, at least in my opinion.

This tea is also very pretty – it steeps up gorgeous, glowing and clear with a huge leaf!

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl


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1812 tasting notes

Interesting honey flavors. I need a second cup to make a judgement call on this one.

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