I have reviewed a black GABA tea from Taiwan under this challenge, and I talked about the technique of producing GABA tea but also about its benefits. On this review, I will focus on the potential side effects of GABA.
According to this website, GABA leads to increased Somatropin, a vital growth hormone, in plasma, resulting in certain body parts' growth. Bodybuilders also use GABA for muscle training. However, too much Somatropin may have adverse effects such as resulting in excessive development of organs and hormone prolactin. High concentrations of prolactin in women result in possible infertility and menstruation problems while in men it can lead to loss of libido. In 1980 (before GABA tea was invented), scientists started to study the relationship of orally taking GABA and somatropin & prolactin levels in the blood (i.e. Cavagnini, 1980). Accordingly, long-term use of high dosages of GABA resulted in fatigue in the legs, and general tiredness was reported by all subjects. More recent research (2020) raised concerns about GABA consumption during the early stages of pregnancy.
In Japan, GABA is an accepted health supplement and can be found in supermarkets and various foods apart from the tea. In the world of tea, GABA is still trying to find its place as some people may consider GABA teas' compromised'. My previous GABA experiences also made me think that the aroma and flavours were not as delicate as some other teas I tasted from Taiwan. But I felt that this tea still carried elegant characteristics of a fine Alishan high roasted oolong. I actually enjoyed it more than other GABAs I have ever tasted.
Origin: Alishan, Taiwan
Harvest time: Spring 2020
Leaf colour: Tones of brown
Liquor colour: Dark yellow
Tea Aroma: Delicate flowers and roasty notes
Tea taste: Mellow and fresh with fruity, floral notes
Steeping/brewing: Place about 6-8 g of this tea in a gaiwan or teapot and add hot water around 95°C. After rinsing the leaves, you can steep for 5 seconds and add 10 second to each consecutive steeping. You can re-steep this tea multiple times.
Shelf-life: 2-3 years