Huang Shan GABA Oolong tea - Sparrowtail Teas

Huang Shan GABA Oolong tea

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This is an interesting tea for sure. It's grown in Huang Shan (Yellow Mountains), Anhui Province, processed using a method developed some three decades ago in Japan which maximizes the content of gamma-Aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a neurotransmitter that has an inhibitory effect on the central nervous system, and is naturally occurring in some plants.

The upshot is that drinking the tea produces a mellowing effect in the drinker, a surprisingly profound effect actually!

Beyond that, it's also very tasty and approachable. It's fairly heavily roasted, so there is some of that characteristically toasty earthiness, but also a noticeable sweetness which is more of a fruity sweetness than a floral one.

It will stand up to many infusions before the flavor fades, though anecdotally I can relate that the mellow, focusing GABA effect seems to be strongest in the first couple steeps.

This tea is best brewed like a Tie Guan Yin- first, do a flash infusion to warm the cups with and open the leaves a bit, and pour out that water. Then steep to drink. A somewhat lower water temperature (190f ish) may reveal more complexity, but it will also hold up to near-boiling water and not develop any harshness.

I've cross-filed it here on the site with the Anxi Oolongs, even though it's from Anhui province, because the style is similar to those produced in Anxi county in Fujian province. However, it's worth noting that it's not actually an Anxi tea.  

Spring 2018 Harvest