Doke Black Fusion from Lochan Tea

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Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Lochan Tea

Tea Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

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.

Steeping Info: 
Method: Gongfu glass teapot – 200ml
Water: Boiling
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!

Doke Silver Needle from Lochan Tea Limited

DokeSilverNeedleTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Lochan Tea Limited

Tea Description:

This second flush Doke Silver Needle White Tea shows how this family run garden is constantly innovating (Chinese Silver Needles are only harvested once per year). Like most Second Flush pickings, these leaves are loose and slightly darker yet here this simply concentrates the delicious white tea flavors – a truly extraordinary Silver Needle tea. Only the freshest tender young buds, covered in a delicate soft white down, are selected and brew to produce a clean and smooth liquor that’s simply bursting with fresh white tea flavor. Large, downy needles produce a sweet and creamy, full-bodied golden liquor with notes of peach blossom and dried apricot. This is a unique selection from a little-known origin. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had a silver needle tea, and this one is unique because it’s not a Chinese Silver Needle, this one is from India.  I find that Doke Silver Needle teas tend to have a stronger flavor than the very delicate flavor of a Chinese Silver Needle.  I appreciate both for their unique qualities, but since I’m reviewing the Doke at the moment, I think I’ll just say that I really like the well defined flavor of this Silver Needle tea!

It has a very sweet, refreshing taste.  It’s very soothing to sip.  I taste notes of dew and melon and a peach-like flavor … but sweeter.  I had trouble putting my finger on exactly how to describe that flavor until I read the above description and saw “dried apricot” and then I realized … yeah, that’s it!  It has the almost-sugary sweetness of dried fruit, and it does indeed have a dried apricot-like flavor.

The texture is soft.  The taste is very smooth from start to finish.  No bitterness and very little astringency (as in I am having a hard time discerning any astringency here at all.)  I keep going back to the word “sweet” but that is the word that keeps coming to mind with every sip.  It’s deliciously sweet.  My mouth waters from the sweetness.

It’s a very lovely cup of tea.  I like that this isn’t exceptionally delicate in flavor, the flavors here stand out.  It’s a very flavorful cuppa!

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 Oolong Blend from Butiki Teas

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description:

Our Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 differs slightly from our previous version and has a fuller body, is creamier, and utilizes a more gentle base tea. This 2.0 version pairs our Doke Rolling Thunder oolong with pumpkin, vanilla, and cream flavors. Pumpkin and vanilla notes dominate our Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0; however, there is a sweet creaminess present that lingers. Some caramel notes can also be detected. We highly recommend adding some brown crystal sugar to transform this tea into a rich, creamy, decadent, vanilla and pumpkin desert treat.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t think I tried Butiki Teas’ first version of their Pumpkin Milkshake tea, but, I’m glad to be trying this Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 Oolong Blend from Butiki Teas!  It is yummy!

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a pumpkin milkshake.  But I’m liking what I’m tasting in my tea cup right now.  This tastes of pumpkin, spice, and vanilla with a very enjoyable Oolong background that is earthy.  There are some distant fruit notes that seem to accentuate the pumpkin more than stand out on their own.   There’s also … a sort of … toasty-ish flavor that I’m tasting which I can only assume is part of the Oolong’s character.  I like how this toasty note combines with the spices.  It’s a very harmonious blend.

What I’m enjoying most about this, I think, is that even though the pumpkin, vanilla and spices are strong, they aren’t overpowering the base.  Everything comes together in a very pleasing way.  It’s warm and comforting … but at the same time, I can see how this would make a really enjoyable iced tea too.

Doke Organic Silver Needle Second Flush White Tea from Driftwood Tea


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Driftwood Teas

Tea Description:

Doke Organic Silver Needle is one of the finest examples of a white tea I have ever tasted. It’s easy to see the care that has gone into the hand harvesting of each one of these buds and personally I think this is easily more than equal to even the very best examples of silver needles being produced in China’s Fujian Province at the moment.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I find myself in total agreement with Azzrian’s assessment of this tea:  “Doke Organic Silver Needle Second Flush from Driftwood Tea offers a crisp, clean, and juicy sweet cup.”  It certainly does!

This is one of the finest Silver Needle teas that I’ve ever encountered – and I’ve consumed quite a bit of Silver Needle Tea!

The dry leaf is beautiful:  long, silvery spears covered in soft downy fuzz, and the liquid they produce is softly fragrant with notes of fruit and perhaps a hint of hay, reminding me of the smell of the air after a field of hay has been harvested.

The flavor is delicate – no big surprise there.  But what does surprise me is how abundant the flavor of apricot is in this cup.  It is as though the flavor just bursts onto the palate.  The background notes are of hay, hints of a grassy vegetation, and vague floral tones.  There is a slightly dry astringency to the cup – slight!  Those of you who tend to be “astringency-shy” … I don’t think you’d be put off here.  This is more “juicy” than it is astringent.

It is a very enjoyable Silver Needle – as I said, one of the very best I’ve tried.  I’d highly recommend this one.