Lochan Tea LimitedEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I decided to get a bunch of new first and second flush Darjeelings this year, even though I still have a few from years past. Maybe I should have waited, since I’ve heard that weather conditions during the second flush harvest weren’t that great. I steeped 4 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 4.5, 6, and 8 minutes.
The dry aroma is of raisins, figs, malt, autumn leaves, spices, and wood. The first steep has notes of raisin, fig, muscatel, rye bread, autumn leaves, chili, spices, honey, tannins, malt, and wood. It’s a little drying, though I may have used a bit too much leaf. The next steep emphasizes raisins, rye bread, autumn leaves, cream, malt, and wood, though the aftertaste is nice and fruity. It also, predictably, becomes more drying. The final steep adds caramel and grass, and is bready, malty, and tannic without much fruit.
This is a nice daily drinker Darjeeling that I probably won’t remember a couple months from now. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it doesn’t pop with lush fruit and florals like some really good SF teas.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Caramel, Chili, Cream, Drying, Fig, Grass, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Raisins, Rye, Spices, Tannin, Wood
Some Darjeelings seem to last for years, but others definitely don’t. This is what must have happened to this second flush from 2020. I steeped around 3 g of leaf in 355 ml of 195F water for 5, 7, and 9 minutes.
The dry aroma is of faint cocoa, muscatel, and grass. The first steep has notes of muscatel, cocoa, caramel, wood, honey, citrus, orange blossom, grass, and paper, along with some astringency. The flavours are a little muted, though still detectable. The next steep adds autumn leaves, bread, and malt. The final steep is bready and malty, with tannins, autumn leaves, and hints of muscatel.
This is a nice tea that has faded with the years. I’m not giving it a rating at this point. I also could have done shorter steeps to cut out some of the astringency.
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Caramel, Citrus, Cocoa, Grass, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Paper, Tannin, Wood
I find more of a papery taste upfront while the second flush characteristics come out right behind it with smooth, indulgent notes of honey, citrus, cocoa, muscatel, malt and rosewood. The citrusy, orange blossom note rises slightly. Earthy, dill undercurrent.
There are some great flavors here within the smooth mouthfeel. It’s like a ribbon of flavor, like a lot of Darjeeling teas, without a lot of structure. Easy to drink.
Thanks for sharing Leafhopper :)
Flavors: Citrus, Cocoa, Dill, Dry Leaves, Earthy, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Paper, Rosewood, Smooth
From Leafhopper, thank you :)
Dry leaf aroma has very faint notes of hay, orange blossom and myrrh. The aroma of the brewed tea is a mix or orange blossom-malt-chocolate-autumn leaf. The taste has a very floral tea rose lean upfront, followed by smooth autumn leaf-malt a very shy muscatel. Leaves a lasting, drying astringency and malty-orange blossom creaminess after the swallow.
As it is, good middle of the road tea. The flavors are pleasant but muffled. Need more leaf to find this tea’s sweet spot.
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Chocolate, Cream, Drying, Floral, Hay, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Rose, Smooth, Spices
I received this tea as a sample in my 2019 Lochan order. As I don’t drink Assam often, it’s been sitting in my drawer, but I broke it out today in an effort to give myself some much-needed energy. I steeped 4 g of tea in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 4, 6, and 8 minutes.
The dry aroma is of autumn leaves and malt. The first steep is all about the malt, with notes of tannins, autumn leaf pile, a touch of bready sweetness, and wood. There’s a slight astringency, but not as much as in some Assams I’ve had. The malt, baked bread, and tannins become more prominent in the next two steeps.
This is a no-nonsense Assam that gets the job done. However, Lochan carries Assams, notably their Harmutty Golden Lion, that are more to my taste.
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Malt, Tannin, Wood
Since the weather is warming up this week, I’m moving back to some lighter teas. I prepared this first flush Darjeeling 1g:100mL with 85C water, steeped western. When I came back to the glass 5 minutes later to strain, confusion set it in because the aroma instantly reminded me of something I love: canned French style green beans. The taste is much the same, green beans mixed with squash blossom and dry grass, an undertone of yellow peony, a light note of Indian green chillies, and impressions of cream, almond and autumn leaf.
As soon as the sip, the liquor is luxuriously smooth and silky, glassy, clean. I really can’t get over the mouthfeel of this tea! It makes me think that a lot of the Dammann Frères advent black teas I tried this season might have had a Darjeeling base. The tea disappears like silk on the swallow, leaving the mouth comfortably slick and with a gentle salty-mineral mouthwatering finish. So good! I’ll have to try it with the higher temp water of Leafhopper’s note next time, which will most likely be later today!
I can see the similarities between this tea and another first flush Darjeeling I finished last month but this is so much more light and playful, gentle. It feels nourishing. A tea I could see myself craving in the hot days of October preceding our very short autumn. Thank you, Leafhopper :)
Flavors: Almond, Autumn Leaf Pile, Broth, Cream, Dandelion, Dry Grass, Flowers, Green Beans, Honey, Lemon, Mineral, Parsley, Pepper, Salt, Smooth, Squash Blossom, Vegetal
This tea is very clean, smooth, full-bodied, finishing only a touch astringent. Cocoa, malt and touches of caramel and autumn leaf push this toward being a rich brew but a brilliant tangy, fruity quality lightens it considerably. The two types of flavor balance each other almost perfectly. The fruitiness is complex and difficult to parse: red grapes, muscatel, red wine, pomegranate, raspberry, peach-orchard fruit. Those notes carry through into the aftertaste with additions of rose, incense and those green Indian chillies (mirch?).
Thank you Leafhopper for sharing :) It is aptly named, isn’t it?
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Berries, Butter, Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Earth, Flowers, Fruity, Hay, Malt, Muscatel, Peach, Pepper, Raspberry, Red Wine, Rose, Smooth, Stonefruit, Straw, Tangy
I love the flowery, over-the-top names given to some Darjeelings (like Moonlight, Enigma, and Summer Punch), especially when the teas deserve them. I’ve enjoyed Lochan’s offerings from Jungpana in the past, so I have high expectations going into this tea. I steeped 4 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 5 and 8 minutes.
The dry aroma is of muscatel, pastry, chocolate, flowers, and grass. The first steep has notes of heavy muscatel, dates, raisins, pastries, butter, chocolate, rose, spring flowers, spices, wood, straw, earth, tannins, and grass. The chocolate aftertaste is pronounced. The second steep is less exciting, with autumn leaf pile, malt, muscatel, tannins, wood, straw, and earth.
This is a lovely second flush Darjeeling that is indeed a summer delight. I was advised to get 100 grams, and I’m glad I listened.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Chocolate, Dates, Earth, Floral, Grass, Malt, Muscatel, Pastries, Raisins, Rose, Spices, Straw, Tannin, Wood
This tea is from my massive Darjeeling haul this summer. I don’t remember ever having a Singbulli second flush, as I think this estate is better known for its first flushes. I steeped around 4 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 5 and 8 minutes.
The dry aroma of these fluffy, generously gold-scattered leaves is of muscatel, autumn leaf pile, and hay. The first steep has notes of sticky muscatel, malt, orange, honey, flowers, autumn leaf pile, wood, hay, and tannins. It’s both gorgeously sweet and grounded by the astringency, which I think makes it a nice weekend morning tea. The second steep is lighter on the muscatel and heavier on the tannins, and adds notes of earth, grass, and minerals.
While this tea didn’t blow me away, it’s a nice second flush Darjeeling that had enough heft to wake me up. I might try steeping it a bit cooler to emphasize those muscatel and orange flavours.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Floral, Grass, Hay, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Orange, Tannin, Wood
I just received a bunch of 2020 first and second flush Darjeelings from Lochan Tea, and, impatient as I am, I’ve already cut open one of the bags, even though I have some 2019 first flush on the go. Let me say that their foil vacuum-sealed bags are great for keeping tea fresh, but also sadly prevent me from trying all the teas at once, which I would totally do if I had enough empty tins. I steeped around 4 g in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 5 and 8 minutes.
I forgot how nice fresh Darjeeling is. The dry aroma of these fluffy, still slightly springy leaves is of flowers, autumn leaves, muscatel, chili, and stonefruit. The first steep has notes of herbs, chili, grass, honey, flowers, autumn leaves, muscatel, cream, and wood, with some stonefruit (apricot?) coming in on the aftertaste. This first flush is more savoury than sweet and has some pleasant astringency in the mouth. I wish Eastkyteaguy had access to this tea because there are flavours I can’t pin down that he’d probably get. The second steep has more wood and tannins, but still has the muscatel, spicy, grassy, and floral profile of the first steep.
This is an excellent way to begin my exploration of Lochan’s 2020 offerings. It reminds me a bit of the Guranse Spring Hand-Rolled Floral Black Tea from What-Cha I reviewed a few months ago. I gave the 2019 version of the Giddapahar Spring Wonder an 84. To my mind, the 2020 harvest is substantially better. There could be a number of reasons for this, including the AV2 cultivar, the possibility that I used more leaves, and the tea’s freshness. Regardless, I’m delighted I have 50 grams and look forward to trying the other teas I purchased.
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cream, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Honey, Muscatel, Spices, Stonefruit, Tannin, Wood
Since I have a fraught relationship with teapots at the moment (a newly purchased and expensive one cracked and I can’t replace it), I’m steeping Western style for a while. (My little porcelain teapot is in fine working order; I’m just bitter that my dream teapot isn’t.) It’s annoying how few teas I own that can be steeped Western, and most of them are Darjeelings. Western kind of seems like a waste for nicer teas anyway.
I steeped 4 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 5 and 7 minutes.
The dry aroma is of sweet muscatel, orange blossoms, chocolate, and green plants. The first steep has notes of heady muscatel, plums, stonefruit, orange blossoms, sap, faint cocoa, and tannins. Maybe five minutes was too long for this tea, as it’s a bit drying. Those tannins and the sweet muscatel fight with each other in the aftertaste. Honey and apricot become apparent as the tea cools. I made the second steep at 190F to try and reduce the tannin punch, with limited success. The fruitiness is still very much there, but so is the assertive black tea backbone of tannins, minerality, malt, and wood.
This is an excellent Darjeeling that would have been even better if the tannins had been toned down. I’ll keep changing the brewing parameters to see if it will help, but for now, it’s an 87.
Flavors: Apricot, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Plum, Sap, Stonefruit, Tannin, Wood
Thanks to Lochan Tea for including this sample in my order. I had previously tasted an autumn flush from this producer and thought it was quirky and quite good, so was eager to try their interpretation of a second flush. I steeped 4 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 5 and 8 minutes.
The dry aroma is of apricots, muscatel, smoke, and malt. The first steep has heady top notes of apricot, muscatel, and orange zest, balanced by malt, baked bread, tannins, subtle smoke, and wood. The apricot note is quite distinctive and is something I haven’t seen in a second flush Darjeeling. There’s some astringency and the aftertaste is smoky and a bit metallic. The second steep still has lingering apricot notes, but also tannin, wood, minerals, roasted almond, and grass.
While these smoked teas will never be daily drinkers for me, I liked this second flush’s interesting balance of fruity and heavy flavours. The apricot was especially nice. However, if you’re not frugal (a.k.a. cheap) like me, you should forego the second steep.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Bread, Grass, Malt, Metallic, Mineral, Muscatel, Orange Zest, Smoke, Tannin, Wood
I bought a bunch of second flush Darjeelings from this company a while ago, plus a couple first flushes. But by the time I could dig in to them, I got two back-to-back colds. Finally, my sinuses have more or less returned to normal and I can start reviewing tea again (yay!). I steeped about 4 g of this fluffy leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 5 and 8 minutes, respectively.
The first steep is really green, with notes of orange blossom, other flowers, citrus, herbs (thyme?), roasted almonds, cream, green pepper, and grass. The body is thick and there’s little astringency. The second steep is more vegetal and herbaceous.
This is a nice, complex, greener first flush that deserves the attention I can finally give it. The flavours are well integrated, although I tend to prefer more fruity offerings (hence the focus on second flushes).
Flavors: Almond, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Grass, Green Pepper, Herbaceous, Orange Blossom, Thyme, Vegetal
My cupboard cleanout continues. This is a second flush Assam from 2015. I steeped about 4 g of leaf Western style in a 355 ml mug at 200F for 3, 5, and 8 minutes.
This has all the usual suspects for Assam: malt, raisins, prunes, dark wood, and hay. Either due to its age or because it was a high-quality tea, the liquor is smooth and has little astringency, although it’s unmistakably an Assam.
This didn’t wow me, but it was good and has aged well. Solidly average.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Hay, Malt, Raisins, Smooth, Tannin
Last Sunday, a power outage ate my elaborate review of this tea, so I’m going on my fuzzy recollections. Always, always save your work, even if it’s just a tea review!
I never know how to brew white teas from the Indian subcontinent, so I used brewing instructions from the Camellia Sinensis website. I steeped 6 g of tea in a 120 ml teapot at 175F for 30, 20, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus a couple long, uncounted steeps.
The dry leaves smelled like flowers, oats, and grass. The first couple steeps had notes of autumn leaf pile, apricot, hay, oats, wildflowers, and grass, with a hint of smoke. The second steep had hints of smoked salmon, which thankfully disappeared as the session progressed. Later steeps lost the fruit and tended toward grass, oats, hay, and linen. There was also quite a bit of astringency.
Today, I steeped my remaining 3 g Western using 355 ml of water at 175F for 3, 5, 8, and 10 minutes. I don’t think I used enough leaf, as the flavours were pretty muddled. I got flowers, oats, grass, and something fruity that I couldn’t have identified as apricot if not for the gongfu session. If I’d just drank it this way, my rating would be lower.
This was a solid white tea with some interesting flavours, some good and some not so much. I’m glad to have tried it, but not sad to say goodbye.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cut Grass, Fishy, Floral, Hay, Oats, Smoke, Tangy
Maybe because of my recent Camellia Sinensis order or maybe because it’s winter, I’ve gotten back into Darjeelings. I plumbed the depths of my stash to find some teas from Lochan, which are unfortunately now two years old. (Why did I need so much tea again?) I steeped about 1.5 teaspoons of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 200F for 3.5 and 5 minutes.
This was an interesting one! Possibly because of the name, I got notes of autumn leaf pile, malt, muscatel, prunes, and hay. I also suspected that the tea was lightly smoked, which is highly unusual for a Darjeeling. This led me to Geoffrey Norman’s post on Steep Stories that states that gently smoking their teas is Niroula’s signature; incidentally, it also provides an interesting history of the tea garden. The second cup was less fruity but still good, and the smoke remained gentle and unobtrusive.
While this wouldn’t jump immediately to mind when I think of Darjeeling, I’m glad I added it to my already overblown tea stash and will have no trouble finishing it.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Hay, Malt, Muscatel, Smoke
This is another one from the tea archives. I used to dismiss Assams as a combination of malt and paint thinner, but the ones from Lochan Tea made my opinion a bit more nuanced. I steeped about 4.5 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 2:30, 4:00, and 6:00 minutes.
While the dominant note is malt, the first steep also has notes of honey, raisin, wood, hay, pencil shavings, pleasant sourness, and pine sap. Although some astringency is present, it isn’t overwhelming, and the liquor is pretty smooth. The flavours decrease in complexity over subsequent steepings and if I allow the tea to cool.
While I don’t think Assam teas will ever be my first choice, this one is surprisingly smooth and complex while also waking me up. Not bad for a tea from 2015!
Flavors: Hay, Honey, Malt, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins, Resin, Smooth, Wood
Technically, I got this tea from The Pleasures of Tea. (My tea dealer) but it is from the Doke Estate in India. Lochan is the name of the family who runs the estate. This tea is great. Leaves are brownish in color and expanded greatly with each infusion. I do not separate infusions. I infuse, put it in a pot, infuse again until the coloring looks light to me. The liquor is dark amber in color when brewed, It has a bit of an astringent, musky taste. There aren’t many floral notes like a typical oolong. Sweet tasting kind of like a Formosa. Yum.
Flavors: Astringent, Sweet
A lovely, well-defined flavor. I find that the Indian Silver Needle teas tend to have a stronger flavor than the Silver Needle teas from China.
Sweet, refreshing. Soothing. Notes of melon and peach with a dewy freshness. As I mentioned in my full-length review of this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/10/doke-silver-needle-from-lochan-tea-limited/ – I had difficulty putting my finger on the precise fruit flavor that I was experiencing until I read the description for this tea “Dried Apricot” and yes, that’s it. It has that sugary sort of flavor that you might experience from biting into a dried apricot. Sweet, sweet, sweet!
The dry leaves have a range of colors from light green to reddish brown to black. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments. There are some bare stems in the mix. The leaves are rolled. There are a few silver tips in the mix. The aroma is quite sweet, with scents of muscat grapes, cocoa, and roses.
The infusion produced a liquor with a bright golden color with an orange tint, clear and transparent. There were some fine particles. The aroma had scents of muscat grapes, roses, and light wood. The body is medium, with a lively and clean texture, and an uplifting energy. The taste had notes of muscat grapes, roses, light wood, and light spice. The aftertaste is floral, and a flowery essence is left on the breath.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Muscatel, Rose, Spices
I just noticed that this says 2012 … I don’t think that this is a 2012 though. But the other stuff – the estate and the FTGFOP stuff … that’s correct.
I’ve been pretty impressed with the Darjeeling teas that I’ve tried from Lochan. I generally prefer a second flush to a first, but, this is a mighty fine first flush.
Sweet, crisp, with a clean taste. Notes of flower and woodsy tones. Refreshing. This might be a tad more astringent than some of the Darjeeling teas I’ve had, but it’s still quite good.
here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/03/29/dooteriah-sftgfop-1-first-flush-darjeeling-tea-lochan-tea-limited/