drank Brandy Oolong by TeaSource
873 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

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, 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 condo!) 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:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/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)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

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

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

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. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


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/1JjlpjQ94UyoryaDRMIeqnPHObgvCtmRp/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited outbound gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer