For many curious tea connoisseurs, there may be some valuable questions regarding their introduction to GABA tea. Things like, “what kinds of GABA tea are out there?” or “how can I brew my GABA tea?” and the most tantamount to many new drinkers, “what is GABA tea?”. All of these are important and interesting questions! So let jus begin with our tutorial on this excellent variety of tea!
1. What is GABA tea?
GABA is actually an acronym. it stands for “gamma-aminobutyric acid”. This amino acid occurs naturally in our brains and eases the flow and communication of neurons. It also happens to occur naturally in tea plants, too. It was in the ’80s that the Japanese researcher, one dr. Tsuchida Tojiro found that tea’s GABA levels could be enhanced via special processing methods. The result was in tea that provided its drinkers with increased levels of calm and some of the other health benefits of standard tea. It also resulted in drinkers experiencing decreased levels of anxiety and depression with more restful sleep, too. Today the majority of GABA tea is produced in Japan and Taiwan.
2. What kind of GABA is on the market?
Because GABA is a processing method rather than a particular type of leaf, virtually any kind of tea can undergo the same processes to become GABA tea. The most common GABA on the market is Taiwanese GABA Oolong. Other varieties include GABA green, black and yellow tea. Interestingly, there is tea labeled GABA pu’erh on the market as well. However, we prefer to refer to this as GABA post-fermented or GABA dark tea. This is because only tea produced in Yunnan province can be called true “pu’erh” while lots of the GABA “pu’erh” on the market is actually produced in Taiwan!
3. Should I brew my GABA in a special way?
Brew your GABA the same as you would any other tea! For GABA green, brew it as you would normally brew green tea! Though we suggest using a keen side-handled kyusu pot if you have one! We also suggest trying your GABA tea iced or cold brewed to unlock some nuanced flavors, aromas, and textures!
4. How does GABA tea taste?
GABA undergoes an enhanced processing method, one in which the tea leaves are placed in stainless steel vacuum drums and have the oxygen replaced with nitrogen. This affects the flavor and aroma, but one that differs from tea type to tea type and is at times a bit more subtle. A tea that will generally have a vegetal taste with floral notes may evolve into a savory, sweet or even malty flavor palette as a result of GABA processing. Other tea drinkers have described GABA teas as having a flavor profile and body similar to many black teas.
5. What are the health benefits of GABA tea?
Aside from amplified levels of tranquility, better sleep and reduced anxiety and depression, GABA’s health benefits are manifold. GABA provides the same health benefits as standard tea such as L-theanine to help offset some of its caffeine content. Antioxidants and tannins that can promote proper health and even potentially guard against developing certain types of ailments like cancer. It also helps circulation and blood flow and can even help us to lose weight and stay fit and healthy!
6. Are there side effects?
GABA tea is still tea. And so any of the potential negatives of standard tea is still present with GABA. While GABA does offer enhanced calming effects and the like, it still possesses caffeine and is not advised as a before-bed beverage. Caffeine being a diuretic will also result in more bathroom trips and the need to readily hydrate with some water!
7. How is GABA tea graded?
An excellent question! GABA’s level of quality comes in a two-fold way. First, the same standard grade of quality that is applied to all tea leaves is also applied to GABA tea. This includes grading things like the leaf quality, type, aroma, taste, terroir and time of harvesting for the tea leaves. These are all step 1 of GABA’s quality standard check. The next step involves grading how much GABA is found in the final processed tea. Once the standard leaves undergo their transformation into GABA tea they are subjected to this next grading step. In order for the tea to meet the Japanese tea standards and be labeled as GABA, it must contain 150 milligrams of GABA for every 100 grams of dry tea leaves. This is the bare minimum with the potential for some tea to contain a bit more GABA per gram. But the standards are quite stringent and if you seek out GABA from Japan or Taiwan, you will be getting high-quality GABA tea!
The wonderful world of GABA
The world of GABA tea is wide and vibrant. Come and explore more of this superb quality processed tea yourself today. From GABA black to green to yellow to Oolong to even post-fermented, the possibilities to enjoy GABA are virtually endless. Come and brew a pot of GABA and experience true calm.