This medium-high oxidized oolong tea from Taiwan is made from a popular cultivar of the island called Ruby #18 and it contains high levels of aminobutyric acid (GABA). This kind of oolong became famous thanks to this chemical substance which is quite common in every tea but here, because of a certain processing, there is a greater concentration of the compound. The reason why this compound is really helpful to our organism is that it is a neurotransmitter capable of inhibiting some neural signal and it also participates in the crafting of some hormones. So, these teas can be really useful in our diet but we don’t have to forget their flavors too. Here, because of a quite high oxidation level we can find some woody flavors followed by a more sweet taste and, in fact, the first sip has a woody notes with also a certain roasted touch which turn into some cocoa beans taste with a sweet spicy aftertaste. Among this flavors we can also recognize a sort of GABA taste which is quite difficult to define but it can compare with a high protein food.
Place of origin
After the harvest the leaves wither under the sunlight for some hours before going on bamboo trays indoor. Here it’s where the oxidation process begins thanks to the tea master who rolled the tea leaves by hand and take care they don’t take too much fresh air in order to accentuate the production of GABA molecules. When the leaves have the desired oxidation level (around 70%) the leaves go into an oven heated up by coal where the enzymes related to the oxidation process are deactivated. After this phase the leaves are rolled into their ball shape thanks to a machine or by hand and after the tea is totally dried it’s ready to be consumed.
We invite you to brew this tea in the traditional Chinese style (gong fu cha) in order to extract more from your leaves. Following this preparation you could use 4 grams of leaves (about 3 teaspoons) in a gaiwan of 100 ml so you can obtains more infusions with different flavors. After a brief rinse of the leaves in a 95°C water you can go with a first infusion of 15 seconds and, after that, at the same water temperature, you can do multiple infusion adding 5 seconds every steeping time (15 – 20 – 25 …).
These leaves could be steep about 6 times.
To prepare the tea in the western style we suggest 2 grams of leaves (about 1 teaspoons) in a 150 ml cup with 95°C water for a steeping time of one minute and an half.
If you want to change the recommended quantities of tea mind the fact that these leaves will expand a lot their volume in water and this could compress the leaves in the vessel preventing the water to flow free and so limit the taste extraction.
The tea could be filtered if you want to avoid some little piece of the leaves during the tasting time and also the steeping time we recommend here could be modify on your personal preferences.
We recommend you to store this tea in a dry and cool place avoiding the direct sun light on the leaves.