09 September 2011
China Cha Dao Golden Key Grade AAA+
Continuing on with the oolong samples from China Cha Dao, I decided to bring the remaining two along to tea with the LA Tea Affair group this past weekend. While tasting teas and writing notes and forming my own opinion forms the basis of this blog, writing about tea in a vacuum does eventually feel unnatural. Tea at its best is group sharing of simultaneous individual experiences of a tea among friends and friends-to-be.
We only tried one, the Golden Key Grade AAA+. The entire 10g sample was brewed in a 110ml yixing pot, making for an altogether different experience from my 90-100ml gaiwan at home.
Like the Shi Ru, the Golden Key is rather heavily oxidized and, likewise, reminded me of dancong in flavor and aroma: fruity, floral. Also similar to the Shi Ru, the Golden Key finished more like a wuyi oolong, roasty and masculine. Unlike the Shi Ru, the Golden Key began sour.
It was thinner and everyone commented that it was missing something, and I think this item missing was gan. The bitterness of the tea faded away without a returning sweetness, leaving only an astringent fruitiness behind. This struck some as having a "commercial grade" feel to it, tasting good but lacking some of the body characteristics that take good Wuyi oolongs beyond good and into great.
The Golden Key also gave out sooner than the other teas, giving maybe 4 good infusions before becoming watery.
One sample left, Da Hong Pao, the king of Wuyi teas, and an AAA+ no less! Great expectations...