Ever since time immemorial people traveled from the orient to occidental lands along trade routes to carry the stories of Tea for various causes of business, religion, and personal gains. Horses, camels, and boats were used to carry tea but the storyteller was always constant – the human beings.
One such man is Jeff Fuchs, who traveled over the Himalayas from Xishuangbanna to Kalimpong and mostly walked it. Tibetans on the roof of the world helped this chapter of history to be written most romantically because the terrain was tough and challenging which needed a higher degree of courage and not many found it possible.
His book and film are a very inspiring search and research in tea growing areas of Yunnan which extends to Sichuan, Guizhou, and further tea growing areas around Yangtze up to Taiwan around the 30-degree latitude which has sweet green teas.
Now to push back is Darjeeling which crystallized around Kalimpong and has the right lands for isolating the most favourite strains of Tea. Traditional Dian Hong is the sweet base of this aromatic tea which waits to remove the astringency to become an ultimate of Jin Jun Mei.
Right minds enamoured in the art of Tea have roamed in these lands like Dan Robertson and Austin Hodge or have settled there to study the subtleties of puer like Olivier Snider and Brian.
Robert Fortune has left the work unfinished which I take morally to do as the service to this crop which provided employment to millions and has existed for millions of years.
Life provided Rajiv Lochan opportunity to experiment with tea, and that he did in Darjeeling and China, and now working on a project to find original tea cultivars which were brought from China to India to establish a parallel tea industry to cater to the needs of Imperial trade in early 1800s. After serving as a tea planter for 23 years, he started a tea business, which has helped him find more and more about tea, and finally made him into a tea researcher. Deciphering Chinese tea scriptures is the only key to success. Born in 1953 in Aligarh, in northern India, he planted about 1000 hectares of tea for his company which he served till 1997 and for his own small plantation, which he is using as an experimental plot in non-tradional tea growing area of Bihar, the land of Buddha. Promoting Indus Foundation to look after the educational needs of local children, who should grow to be better citizens, is the social aspect in his mind. www.doketea.in www.lochantea.com www.indusfoundation.com