India Bihar 1st Flush Doke 'Black Fusion' Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Brown Toast, Butter, Caramel, Earth, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Plum, Raisins, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 oz / 236 ml

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From What-Cha

A completely unique black tea possessing a brilliant rose aroma with a sweet light body and notes of rose and malt.

Sourced direct from Doke Tea Garden, run by the Lochan family who have leveraged their vast tea knowledge and experience to create one of the foremost Indian tea gardens in a previously unheralded Indian tea region – Bihar! Doke’s entire range of teas are hand-produced under the watchful-eye of Neha Lochan who carefully monitors production from the picking to the processing of the tea leaves.

Tasting Notes:
- Brilliant rose aroma
- Complex and unique taste of rose coupled with a light malt finish

Harvest: First Flush, March 2017

Origin: Doke Tea Garden, Bihar, India
Altitude: 50m
Cultivar: TV22

Sourced: Direct from the Lochan family who grow and produce the tea
Percentage of price going back to the farmer: 30%+

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

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1 Tasting Note

1031 tasting notes

I have been curious about some of the Indian teas produced outside of the major tea production areas for some time, but I did not bother to make a point of exploring such teas until this year. This particular tea was the second tea from the state of Bihar that I tried. The first was an oolong that I also purchased from What-Cha, and like this tea, it was also a product of Doke Tea Garden. To be honest, I did not care for that tea and I did not care for this one either. As a matter of fact, if I were to be placed in a position to pick between the two, I would take the oolong over this black tea.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped about 3 grams of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.

Prior to infusion, I noted aromas of wood, malt, caramel, sorghum molasses, plum, and raisin coming from the dry tea leaves. After infusion, I did not note nearly as much complexity. I mostly picked up scents of sweet potato and honey underscored by hints of cooked leaf vegetables. In the mouth, I found soft notes of malt, butter, caramel, sweet potato, honey, plum, sorghum molasses, raisin, brown toast, and wood with distinctive vegetal overtones that reminded me somewhat of both damp grass and cooked spinach. There were slight traces of earthiness and minerality in there too. What-Cha suggested that there were aromas and flavors of rose in this tea, but at no point did I ever come close to finding them. The finish was clipped and very sweet, mostly offering brief malty notes underscored by touches of sorghum molasses, sweet potato, and honey. Even after the lingering flavor impressions faded, I was left with traces of sweetness in the mouth and on the back of my throat.

Well, Doke Tea Garden is now 0 for 2 as far as I am concerned. To me, this tea was just thoroughly unappealing. Not only was it too sweet, but no specific aroma or flavor stood out on its own enough to make it remotely interesting. The tea was just oddly sweet and topped with awkward vegetal notes that neither fit with the tea’s other components nor created enough of a contrast to provide some much needed dimension.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Butter, Caramel, Earth, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Plum, Raisins, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Wood

5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

So I had planned to order 100g of this based on a recommendation from someone. I may play it safe now and start with a 10g sample first.


Sqt, it may have just been me, but I did not like this stuff at all.


Was this a 2017 or 2016 first flush? I had a second flush version of this tea a few years ago, and while it was too raisiny for me, I thought it was well made, if a bit assertive. I have samples of the 2017 first and second flushes, so I’ll have to dig them out for a review.


I can always get more if I like it… But I have crazy quantities of loose leaf hongcha at home at the moment so starting with a sample is probably smart.


Leafhopper, this was a 2017 first flush. I don’t know why, but it didn’t click for me. It might have something to do with the cultivar, the processing, or the brewing process.


I also may have just been off when I tried this tea. Who knows?


Thanks! I’ll have to try my 2017 samples and see what I think, though of course, people have different tastes. And yes, buying sample sizes is usually the way to go.

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