|Rajiv Lochan and family|
Many people believed this site in Bihar wasn't appropriate for a tea garden, and said the land wouldn't produce quality tea. Rajiv and his family have worked hard to prove the naysayers wrong many times over. Rajiv and his family tirelessly ensure a quality product at Doke. The hand-processed teas at are at the top of many tea drinkers' favorites lists.
Rajiv is often traveling around the world, spreading is passion and knowledge for tea. Lucky for us, he took some time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions. Even through a few words over email, his dedication and knowledge is quite clear. Here is out interview:
I’ve read so much about Doke, and how you are a unique estate. Please tell us a little bit about the farm, and its values.
www.doketea.com will tell more and its uniqueness comes from its location in Bihar which is a non-traditional tea growing area in India.
How did you get involved with tea, and when did you start Doke?
By a quirk of fate I landed in tea immediately after my formal schooling in 1974 and in 1998 I started Doke when the local government invited us for investment there.
You are extremely passionate about tea. How do you bring this passion to the consumer?
thanks for finding us so and we bring this passion to our consumers by the completeness of our involvement with everything related to consumer himself and tea.
What teas does Doke produce, and how did you decide to process these particular types of tea?
We mainly process black, green & white teas - lots of experimentations and our association with China helped us decide what to do with our green leaf.
Your business model is ecologically friendly. Tell us how you are respecting the environment and the individuals working on the land.
It was a luck that the outlet of a hydro-electrical plant got discharged into a dry riverbed which flow thru our tea garden which entirely changed the micro-climate there.
Tell us a little bit about the teas you offer through Lochan teas- how do you choose what to sell?
We mainly offer all the Indian teas and Darjeeling is our passion - we choose by the needs of the customers - being basically sourcing agents.
I see that Doke hosts students to have a hands-on experience at the farm. Tell us a bit about this program and what the experience is like.
Since 2004 we got involved with this and basically French student internees are enrolled into this which is completely free and we enjoy doing this.
I read that you are an ‘ambassador of tea’ to China. What do you learn in your trips to China, and how do you apply this knowledge to your company?
Ha ha, not really, but we enjoy being bridge between these two major tea producing countries..the keen observation done in China to the leaf is applied by us during manufacture.
What has inspired you lately?
America - right from Canadian top to the Chile’s lower bottom - has a vast potential with its 1 billion people for healthy tea drinking - and it is a revolution.
What are your own personal tea rituals?
Ripe Pu’er is my personal favourite and drinking it in its traditional Chinese way is my tea ritual.
A huge thank you to Rajiv for answering a few questions for us. Keep an eye out, because this is the time of year for the first flush teas to start popping up! You can learn more about Doke by visiting their website. Tealet has visited the region and has some great information here.