Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea from Bana Tea Company

Today’s review will focus on the Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea from the Bana Tea Company. I received this sample with a beautiful new porcelain gaiwan set that I purchased from Bana Tea Company.

I would first like to thank Linda at Bana Tea Company for the excellent customer service that she provided. I ordered this gaiwan set from Amazon. The set was held at and mailed from an Amazon warehouse. When I received the package, two cups, the gaiwan cup and plate were all destroyed. I emailed Bana Tea Company to request replacement pieces. Linda at Bana Tea Company responded to my email promptly, and mailed the replacement pieces the next day via Priority Mail. The replacement pieces were received very well wrapped and protected, along with some additional pu’er and oolong samples. That is exceptional customer service, and I truly appreciate it. Thanks again, Linda.

Bana Tea Company specializes in Chinese Pu’er and Oolong teas, as well as gaiwan sets and other tea tools and accessories. Check out the Bana Tea Company website by clicking here.

According to the Bana Tea Company website, this Da Hong Pao is a Ban Yan Cha, which means “semi-rock tea.” Although produced outside of the Wuyi National Scenic Park, this tea is produced in the Wuyi Mountain area, Fujian Province, China. This tea was produced from the spring harvest of 2013.

The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet woody and toasty aroma is escaping the packet. Let the journey begin…

Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea Dry Leaves
Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves are mostly black in color, with a few showing a copper-brown color. The leaves appear to be medium to large leaf fragments. There are only one or two small bare stems in the mix. The leaves are rolled. The leaves are heavily oxidized and roasted. The aroma has strong scents of sweet wood, toast, raw cocoa, and dried peach.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for brewing this tea at home to obtain the best flavor is as follows: Use 3 grams (2 tsp) of dry leaves for every six ounces (180 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 195°F (90°C). Steep the leaves for 1:30 to 2:00. The leaves may be reused at least three or four times.

If you have a gaiwan, use 1 gram of dry leaves for each ounce of water that your gaiwan holds. Same water temperature as above. Give the leaves a quick rinse (5 seconds) in the gaiwan with hot water, then dispose of the rinse liquid. For the first infusion, use a short steep time of 10 to 15 seconds, adding an additional 10 seconds for subsequent infusions.

Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea Infusion
Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a dark orange-brown color with a red tint, clear and transparent. The aroma had robust scents of toasted nuts, dry wood, raw cocoa, and Autumn leaves. The body is medium-full, with a round texture. The taste has notes of toasted nuts, light raw cocoa, mineral (wet stone), light wood, and very light osmanthus. The aftertaste combines the mineral and nutty notes. The tea has a drying effect on the tongue.

At lower temperatures and shorter steep times, this tea has sweeter notes and a nice balance. The short rinse should remove the more earthy and robust characteristics.

Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea Infused Leaves
Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a uniform tar-like, dark copper-brown color. The leaves are all medium to large fragments, there are no entirely whole leaves in the mix. The are one or two bare stems. The leaves have a thin leather texture. The pluck is a single leaf. The aroma has scents of toasted nuts, earth (autumn forest floor), mineral (wet stone), and a light fruity sweetness (peach?).

I infused these leaves a number of times, and love how the taste becomes more and more dominated by the mineral (wet stone) flavor. Perhaps to some people that does not seem like a very positive description, but to me it is among the most refreshing and revitalizing taste characteristics that I can find in a tea. I would further describe this taste as that of fresh, clean spring water, with its plentiful and naturally occurring minerals.

I always enjoy a Da Hong Pao review, and this Ban Yan Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong from Bana Tea Company certainly satisfied my periodic Da Hong Pao desire. With the toasty, woody, nutty aromas and tastes that Da Hong Pao is known for, and the developing mineral character that I love, I have no complaints about this product.

Thank you to Linda at Bana Tea Company for her excellent customer service, and for the tea samples! Cheers!