Review: Driftwood Tea Organic GABA Oolong

Driftwood Tea, Oolong Tea, Organic Tea Add comments
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Doesn't taste like "tea," but the flavor is pleasant enough, and quite complex."
CJ’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 7/10
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The description of this tea on Driftwood's website set my mind at ease:  " it fills the mouth with the taste of freshly baked, warm cinnamon scones, topped with butter and loaded with summer fruits jam. Over progressive infusions the tea begins to sweeten and soften soften revealing its brighter fruity complexities."

I was afraid I had the wrong tea in my package.  This neither smelled or tasted line any oolong I've ever experienced.  It was more like a rooibos than the slightly fermented green tea that it is.  Though I didn't detect any "warm cinnamon scones,"  I did get buttery notes, and fruity ones--specifically berry and pear. It is a wonderfully complex tea and I want to rate it high, but I just don't like the flavor.

I like a pure, unadulterated tea taste:  grassy, tannin-like, you know, the flavor of LEAVES.   I'm not a fan of flavored teas that cover up that leafiness, nor am I a big herbal tea (tisane, technically) person.  So, with that disclaimer out of the way, I invite you to try this tea if you like your tea, well, non-tea like.

It certainly has a lot to recommend itself, despite the flavor.  Plain Jane oolong tea is good for you, but GABA oolong might even be better.

"GABA teas are so called because of their naturally higher – around 10x higher - Gamma Amino Butyric Acid content. Renowned in Asian cultures for its relaxing and almost miraculous health benefits which include: improved memory, increased fat burning, lower blood pressure and deeper sleep!" says Driftwood.

They are careful to add that none of these supposed health benefits have been proven, but still, the power of suggestion can be alluring.  A caffeinated tea that can help me sleep better?  That was a claim worth exploring, so I investigated how this tea came to be.

Seems it was an accident.  In 1987, a Japanese researcher looking for a more natural food preservative discovered that tea fermented in nitrogen instead of oxygen contained a lot more GABA.  GABA  is good for us because it inhibits the firing of neurons in the brain and encourages the body to slow down. These nitrogen-processed leaves have been a staple in the Japanese diet ever since.

The good news for me is that almost all tea contains  L-Theanine, an amino acid that increases the production of GABA in the body.  The good news for those with a wider range of tea appreciation is that GABA tea is a pleasant tasting beverage that has gathered plenty of anecdotal evidence that it can improve your health.

So, even though I don't like the flavor, I rate this tea an 8.  I give it 6 points for being complex and 2 extra points for providing multiple infusions.

— To purchase Driftwood Tea Organic GABA Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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