Friday, 18 June 2010

Margaret's Hope? Brew it again.

Ordered a Darjeeling a few weeks ago, and it finally arrived earlier in the week. Did a brief search about the plantation where it's grown and decided to write a bit about what I found.

The plantation owner had two daughters. One of them, Margaret, loved it there so much and hoped to one day return. Sadly, she died and the plantation owner was understandably devastated. To honour her, he named the plantation and the tea that was grown there after her and her dreams of returning to their land. To this day, Margaret's Hope tea is associated with high quality tea from Darjeeling.

The shipment I got is a second flush, which means it's from the crop of tea that's picked and processed around June each year (before the rainy season). Normally, second flush Darjeelings are stronger and have much more body. Only because I started getting a little obsessive about Darjeeling earlier this year, was I able to appreciate the delicate flavours of a first flush. Until then, I was only able to get excited about tea from this region from the second flush category. Like this one.

I've mentioned here on a few occasions that there's far more Darjeeling sold on the global market than they could ever actually produce. As a result of that fact, every single time I try a new tea that's supposedly from here, the cynic in me wonders if this one was really grown somewhere else entirely.

One site I was reading mentioned a second infusion of Margaret's Hope. I do multiple infusions with green, white and Oolong tea, but have not had good experience with brewing black tea multiple times. I'd given up even trying. But that was until now. I brewed this tea again, and it was better the second time. Much better.

As I've already said, it's a strong and tasty choice. The floral taste you get in many first flushes only shows up the second time around with this tea. But that flowery taste is unmistakable. Just in case you're still feeling out different black teas: if you like really strong Assams, then normally a tea from Darjeeling will disappoint you. This might be a great place for you to start.

I could write about Darjeeling everyday and never run out of something to talk about. Whether you'd bother continuing to read about it is an entirely different question.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting, I rarely encounter black teas that are good for multiple infusions, but some of them are and it's always refreshing. But I've never had a black tea like this one which I liked better on the second infusion.

    This has, however, often happened with me for oolongs.