Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Lochan Tea
Doke Black Fusion
Invoice Number: DB 001
Season: 1st Flush 2015
Grade: Hand made Black Tea
Cultivar: TV22 plucked from the 4A section
Location: Bihar, India
Size: 6 kilos
This tea comes from a small producer in Bihar, south of Darjeeling. The flat tea garden, next to a river (a power plant outlet), is everything else than the almost eponymous “Darjeeling Himalayan vales” – and yet it can already rival with some of the finest Darjeelings. What is unique however, is that the leaf material is Assamese and indeed embodies their virtues without their climate. Not without reason, the Lochan family have baptized some of their teas with the “Fusion” moniker.
Learn more about this tea here.
It is with thanks to the Lochan Tea family that I have been sent this sample to review. I did not know that the Lochan Tea founder Rajiv Lochan was responsible for starting up Doke Farm, one of my favourite sources for Indian Tea. It was Butiki Teas that got me into Doke through the likes of Doke Rolling Thunder and Doke Silver Needle. Needless to say that makes me rather excited and honoured to be sent this directly from source to review.
In-front of me is a 10g sample which is factory sealed and clearly labelled with tea company name, tea type/name, flush info and growing region and also the date it was packed. A nice little touch and easy to read/see what the packets are. Also the packets are black and non see through which I like as it protects the tea from the sun/light.
In raw form the leaves are: long, thinly rolled and curly. Dark brown colour in appearance. They hare a dry wood and sweet cocoa scent.
Method: Gongfu glass teapot – 200ml
Infusions: Three – 1m, 2m,3m.
First Steep – 1 minute
Tea is light golden brown with a red/orange hue and bares sweet wood and sour malt scent, albeit of a subtle and pure nature.
In flavour this starts with light and soft, sweet wood notes before increasing in strength and becoming sour with malt and cocoa, put together with a sweet fruit after taste of dried fig with honey. A combination that worked very well together and each sip was as good as the first.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
This steep remains mild and pure in flavour but there is a definite increase in the dried fig flavour. Also the difference between the sweet wood and sour malt has now combined as one. Some dryness in the after taste which put together with dried fig and honey has a rather nutty finish. No bitterness at all.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
Wonderful balance of flavours remain despite this being the third steep. It is less sweet and there is some astringency now but still mild on the scale. Thicker malt tones and less wood but the dried fig after taste remains.
Fourth Steep – 4 minutes (A surprise steep)
There is enough flavour left in my opinion for another steep, this doesn’t happen many times which is why this wasn’t planned.
The final steep is lighter than the first but was worth going that bit extra for. All that remains is a dry and delicate wooden flavour.
Mentioning I was a Doke fan from what I had previously tried I’m happy to say this lives up to my expectations. This has such beautiful flavours that were very clean tasting and pure, and it had a wonderful array of different notes that combined together very well. On the mild side for a black tea in strength to begin with which plays with the traditional Indian black tea vibe and makes this rather ‘different’ and ‘special’. I particularly liked the honey and fruit notes in the after taste.
Thank you very much Lochan Tea for this beautiful tea sample, I know I will be keeping an eye on this tea for when my cupboard runs low.
Until next time, Happy Steeping!