80
drank Brandy Oolong by TeaSource
381 tasting notes

Summer Vacation! I first tried this oolong at my local favorite cafe (and the only decent place in town to get a cuppa), Twin Beans. I think it was my first oolong that was closer to the black tea spectrum, and I fell in love hard. Twin Beans sources all their tea from TeaSource, so I ordered some on my next TeaSource order.

3g brewed in 350ml 200F water in a gravity well infuser. This tea steeps up a ruby brown color, and has this really satisfying medium malty flavor, with nice baked bread notes. It’s also a very sweet tea, with notes of honey, but also a slight fruitiness, with subtle hints of raisins and baked cherries. It’s very smooth, and has a nice natural sweetness, and reminds me a lot of those smooth Chinese blacks with honey and stonefruit notes and no astringency; it’s hard to believe this is a Taiwanese oolong, since all the other Taiwanese oolongs I’ve had have been very light and green with highly floral/vegetal flavor profiles.

A nice, smooth, bready oolong that holds up to resteeping in western style brewing well. I still need to explore this one in gong fu, as well.

I ended up with two cups of this tea tonight, since I brought my work kettle home because every cup of tea I make at work tastes weird — sort of metallic and minerally. I just always assumed it had to be the water somehow, but today I brought the exact water I use at home, that came out of my home faucet, was filtered through my PUR pitcher, chilled in my fridge, and then put into a stainless steel water bottle, transported the 10 minute trip back to work, and immediately put into my kettle at work to make tea. And it still tasted bad! So I brought the kettle home tonight, and made two cups of Brandy Oolong, with my home kettle (an Epica-brand temperature control) and my work kettle (an Aicok-brand temperature control). I had descaled BOTH just a few weeks ago. The cup made from the Aicok kettle has a strange smell that the Epica kettle cup doesn’t… the tea still has that “mineral” sort of taste to me. I just can’t figure it out, since I’ve cleaned that kettle to spotless; it is cleaner than the Epica kettle, which still has some scale in it I’ve never been able to get out. At this point I’m wondering if I have to just buy another kettle for work since I can’t seem to stop un-tasting that weird taste…

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Honey, Malt, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet, Wheat

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in the Pacific Northwest, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little apartment!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas (lapsang souchong)/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Plain raspberry leaf (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Medicinal flavors
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

My Tea Obsession of the Moment: A sweet tisane right before bed

My Monthly Tea Theme: Autumn Harvest! This month I’ll be focusing on teas from my collection featuring flavors from the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices of the bounty of the autumn harvest season!

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating.

New Teas Tried for 2018: 232
Sipdown Count for 2018: 200

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . If you are interested in tea exchanges (USA only, please), feel free to contact me!

Location

Idaho, United States

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