In January of 2012, I will celebrate my sixth anniversary as a Tea Drinker. Those readers who notice the inappropriate capitalization of that object, read on. Save the red pencil for later, please. Tea Drinkers are those of us who own several tea pots, have at least an entire shelf devoted to tins and foil bags of whole leaf tea, relish the ritual of hot water / whole leaf / time, and are more than likely to bore the socks off of anyone who asks questions about tea. The tea drinker finds whole leaf too messy, preferring the sterility and distance afforded by the tea bag. The world is big enough for both Tea Drinkers and tea drinkers, and no matter how you swing, Lochan Tea has a tea for you.
Over the last six years, I have ordered tea from half a dozen online sources: Harney and Son, Teavana, The Tea Spot, T Ching, Mighty Leaf, and Lochan Tea. Each retailer has something special in the world of tea. Harney has an Earl Grey type – Paris Blend – that will forever be special because it was my first whole leaf blend. Teavana’s website was designed by and for those of us living with ADHD. Their Lapsang Souchong isn’t too bad either, if you like tea that tastes of campfire. The Tea Spot’s Earl of Grey is heavenly, hot or iced. T Ching, alas, is no longer in the whole leaf business. Mighty Leaf also has a nice Earl Grey, and several nice oolongs. The best of these, however, is Lochan Tea.
Lochan Tea is located in Siliguri, India. Besides growing, importing, and exporting great teas, they have long been advocates for increasing the educational opportunities for women. Positively involved in the politics behind tea, they were chosen to provide tea and gift bags for VIP’s at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Further, the family has “adopted” Sandy Bushberg as a brother. Let’s move on to their teas, which are fresh, delicious, and priced for the frugal enthusiast.
Lochan offers a variety of black, green, oolong, and chai teas. They also offer tea bags. My current favorite is Yunnan Gold (Jinnah), which is a mellow black tea. I am reminded of dark chocolate. Right behind Yunnan is Harmutty, similar to Yunnan, but finishing with a horehound flavor. What I am drinking as I write this is Duflating – I simply must email Ankit and ask him what it means – which is a perfect marriage of flavors between Harmutty and Yunnan. We have also enjoyed Giddapahar, Ti Kuan Yin, Gielle, and several others. Two chais, “Dream” and “Calming,” have also been savored.
No question about the quality of the teas, but what about shipping? Shipping charges are always the kicker when ordering online. GOOD NEWS! The tea prices are so reasonable that Lochan blows every other tea company out of the water, price per gram, after shipping charges are added. The tea is dispatched and on your doorstep within a week of payment. So, for all you Tea Drinkers – and tea drinkers – out there . . . BUY LOCHAN.