drank Brandy Oolong by TeaSource
1212 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: Bread, Cherry, Honey, Malt, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet, Wheat

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

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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 genderqueer asexual (she/they) 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
-Hemp/CBD teas
-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://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

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



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