One of our goals as a tea company is to bring you fine teas that may otherwise go unnoticed. Often, these are teas from companies whose products are rarely seen outside their own country. Other times, these teas are the culmination of a dream. A dream that is beating the odds. The Doke Tea Garden is one such dream come true.
Through the ages, the naysayers have sounded loudly “You can’t do that!” whenever someone with that pioneer spirit wanted to forge ahead. They said it about the Doke Tea Garden, and thank goodness founder and owner Rajiv Lochan didn’t listen. The odds were against his success, but he and his family are now beating those odds. We now offer their Doke Black Fusion tea as proof positive. The flavor just blew us away when we tried it. I guess years of experience in the tea industry and a “can do” spirit will win out.
About Doke Tea Garden
The Doke Tea Garden, founded in 1998, is named after the broad Doke River that flows alongside it through Bihar, a state in northern India just south of the Nepal border. The setting seemed perfect to Rajiv for a lush and abundant tea garden. He set about working to realize that potential. And it is a real family affair, with his son, Vivek, and his daughter, Neha, playing key roles. Rajiv and family have been putting his long years of experience and knowledge to good use. He began in the tea business in South India in 1974, working in about 10 or more tea gardens in the South India and Darjeeling areas. He quickly worked his way up to managing tea gardens and even became general manager. In 1990 he oversaw the highest crop ever produced by Phuguri Tea Estate in Darjeeling – that record still stands today. The 100-hectare garden has an extensive irrigation system from the Doke river running along their north side. The river used to flow only during the monsoon season, but a hydroelectric plant now pumps water into it so it flows year round.
About Their Teas
The garden produces only hand-processed teas. Truly hand-processed. Not that pseudo-hand-processing some claim. They hand-pluck the tea leaves, especially for some of their more delicate teas. They hand-sort those leaves to be sure they are only the best quality. They hand-dry them in a wok over an open fire. They even hand-package the final product. At present, they produce a white tea, a green tea, an oolong tea, and (our personal favorite) a black tea, which we carry in our store.
This black tea is a true fusion, somewhere between Darjeeling, Assam tippy, and a sheng Pu-erh, with a bit of Keemun notes thrown in for good measure. I steep it in a gaiwan and get multiple infusions. Getting acquainted with the garden has been a pure delight, and we hope you’ll take time to get to know them, too.
Where to buy: Doke Black Fusion