Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lochan White Tea Samples

After I wrote a review on Rishi's Silver Needle, Ankit Lochan was kind enough to send me a package of white tea samples, which I received a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, with half of my department on vacation, and my grocery manager in Houston, I had to work through most of my regular days off and haven't had a chance until now to sample them or write a review.

To the Lochans, thank you for the tea, and I apologize for the delay.

I've never been proficient at identifying and describing the characteristics of white tea, but I will do my best. I used the same parameters for each tea: 3 g/8 oz/5 min, brewed in a kyusu.

Lochan Silver Silver Snow Buds
2nd Flush 2007

I rushed this one a bit. Over all it was okay. The color was strong, but the taste was sort of watery; I should have brewed this one longer. There was a slightly unpleasant, artificial taste, that had me checking to see if my water was the culprit, but it wasn't. I have some leaves left, so I plan to try this tea again.

Giddapahar White Tea Needles of Jade
2nd Flush 2007

This one was my favorite. The color was very strong, like a 1st flush Darjeeling. It has the characteristic white tea smell, a clear Darjeeling taste, and a mild astringency in the back of the throat. This is the first and only Indian white tea I've had that I would hold on par with bai hao yinzhen in levels of uniqueness and enjoyment

It also came with a toy surprise.

Doke Silver Needle
2007 "Special Edition"

Doke is an interesting garden started in 1998 by Rajiv Lochan on a plot of land that others said was useless. Nonetheless, Doke started to prosper, and Rajiv shared the profits with the local community through the development of the Indus Foundation, a non-profit organisation promoted by Lochan Tea. Its main goal to promote education and primary schools in a way the will most benefit Indians. As a supporter of Transfair USA and Fair Trade Federation, I'm pleased to see a grass roots project such as this.

The Silver Needle was enjoyable, similar-ish to the snow buds in color and in that I should have steeped it longer, but kind of sweet. Over all a decent tea but not super great.

Locahn Wiry Delight of the Himalayas

The wiry delight is my second favorite of these four. Good strong color, and a pleasant fruity smell I can't place. It is kind of tart. Very good. I like the unique appearance of the dry leaves.

While some were better than others, all of these teas were enjoyable. Thanks again to the Lochans for the samples.


ankitlochan said...


normally the brewing time we use in india for white's is 4.5 gms for 6 oz of water... try this combination for the silver needles - they will come out better..

nice review -- loved reading it.

Mary R said...

That wiry delight? *drool* That looks fantastic. I also didn't know about the origins of Doke--my already high respect for the Lochans went up a good notch there.

Space Samurai said...

Over the last year, I've almost completely moved on from Indian tea, but after this and reading Brent's review, my curiosity and interest have been restored.

MarshalN said...

I generally have found the most enjoyable Indian whites tend to be the ones that come closest to first flush darjeelings?

It's weird, but the other stuff sometimes have a sort of strange artificialness you noted in the first tea.