- Margaret's Hope Background
- Black Tea Preparation
Margaret's Hope has all of the characteristics we look for in a Darjeeling tea, but without the hefty price tag! Darjeeling tea is said to be the most expensive tea in the world. Margaret's Hope, however, is affordable. Who says we can't have our cake (pronounced "tea") and eat it too?
Margaret's Hope is a delicate, somewhat astringent cup with the distinctive Darjeeling ‘Muscatel’ character. Hints of currant create an almost wine-like taste. The infusion is bright tending light.
The bushes at Margaret’s Hope are almost entirely the Chinese Jat (genus) accounting for the green leafed tippy appearance of the manufactured leaf and the superb fragrance. Because the tea is grown at such high altitudes and in relatively cool weather the bushes do not grow quickly, and as such the production is limited. The best time of the year for quality is during ‘second-flush’ (end May - end June). During this time Darjeelings are incomparable to any other tea in the world. The fragrance and taste is a complex bouquet that reaches right out of the cup. Some would describe the taste as nutty; others find it reminds them of black currants, but most often it is described as similar to the taste and fragrance of muscat grapes.
Ingredients: Artisan Black Tea
Origin: Darjeeling, India
During the 1930’s the garden was owned by Mr. Bagdon who lived in London but visited the tea garden regularly. He had two daughters. The younger daughter named Margaret; who when she saw the tea garden fell in love with it, hoped one day she would have an opportunity to return. Sadly she fell ill on board ship during the return trip to England and died soon after. In her memory, her father changed the garden’s name to Margaret’s Hope. It is believed that she visits the estate bungalow from the western side, coming through the main guestroom and leaving from the study through the verandah to the tennis courts.
The are 3 main times of year for producing good quality Darjeelings: 1st flush - Springtime harvested teas from late Feb. to mid April. The young leaves yield a light tea with generally intense muscatel with ‘point’. A gentle afternoon tea.
2nd flush - Harvested in June, these teas are more fully developed. The liquor is bright and the taste full and round excellent muscatel. An superb afternoon tea that is especially good with scones and raspberry conserve.
Autumnal - Not always available depending upon the weather, they are typified by a round taste and coppery liquor. Excellent as a breakfast tea.
Water Temperature: Just off the Boil (205 degrees)
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 tsp. to 1 Tbl.(2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 2--4 minutes
Number of Infusions: 1
When measuring it is best to weigh your tea. (I use a small pocket scale. We have a few or you can get good inexpensive scales at Old Will Knotts) Measuring volume with a teaspoon or tablespoon is not accurate because whole leaf teas take up much more space than broken, graded teas.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." However, leaving the tea leaves in the water will result in an over-infused, bitter tea. If you want a stronger cup of tea increase the amount of leaf rather than the steeping time. If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.