Ruby Sky is a GABA oolong tea from Taiwan. It was made from the Ruby 18 cultivar and comes from Alishan. It’s a more traditional oolong tea so that means that it’s more heavily roasted than green oolongs.
Don’t know where to buy tea online? I made a list of over 300 online tea shops and I keep updating it regularly. You can check it over here
GABA means ‘gamma amino butyric acid’ and is a kind of amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system. There are many other benefits, but it would take too long to list them all here.
In order to produce GABA tea, the tea is subjected to a nitrogen treatment instead of oxygen during the production process. It’s a complicated process that has an interesting effect on tea so it’s worth it to get up to date on it…
- 4.5g for a 100ml Neiziwaihong Factory 1 shui ping
- Water 99°C
Ruby Sky is a ball-rolled oolong and the leaves have a dark brown color with a bordeaux hue. The aroma is flowery with a finish of caramelized bread crumbs. Once the leaves get wet, I’m also getting some notes of old red wine barrels.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): the color is dark amber and it looks thick. I’m getting some menthol, which is typical for the ruby 18 cultivar. However, the undertone has caramelized bread crumbs to it and these carry on into the finish. The aftertaste becomes sweeter and even a bit floral. There is a slight astringency as well. I feel this is more complex than a standard ruby 18 oolong.
Infusion 2 (15 sec): I did another 15-sec infusion because I felt a 20-sec infusion would be too intense. The menthol notes at the start are less intense and they are mixed with something floral. The finish has more of that caramelized bread crumbs, but the aftertaste has menthol to it. It’s a mix of sweet and menthol, which is an interesting experience.
Infusion 3 (20 sec): there is menthol at the start with a floral undertone. I feel nothing new is present, but it’s the same flavors as the previous infusions in different intensities and variations. The aftertaste has strong notes of menthol to it. I think it’s nice that it’s not only menthol, unlike most other ruby 18 teas. There are definitely other and sweeter things going on in this one.
Infusion 4 (20 sec): another 20-second infusion because the aftertaste in the previous infusion had a bit too much menthol to it. There is still menthol, but the infusion’s start feels more floral than the previous infusions. There is some menthol in the middle of the infusion, but the finish and aftertaste have floral notes to them. It’s a combination of flowers and menthol.
Infusion 5 (22 sec): this one has almost no menthol to it and it feels really floral. Drinking this infusion almost feels like smelling a bouquet of orchids. This is the best infusion so far!
Infusion 6 (25 sec): this one is similar and the aftertaste is really pleasant. It has some traces of the menthol from earlier in combination with floral notes. The caramelized bread crumbs from earlier also return and it really shines in this one.
I’m usually not a big fan of the ruby 18 cultivar, but I had fun tasting this tea. What made it enjoyable was the combination of multiple things so that it wasn’t only menthol.
It was mainly about the combination of menthol, floral notes, and caramelized bread crumbs (like what you sometimes smell in a bakery). In some infusions, I felt the menthol was a tiny bit too intense, but the final two infusions were amazing.
Infusions 5 and 6 had less menthol and more flowers to it and the aftertaste just kept on going.