Have been in a contrary mood all day and while I was deliberating what I wanted to blog about, I happened upon Robert Godden's most recent post
He calls Margaret's Hope a gateway drug...ok, he doesn't say drug, but
it is in a way. His point is that you can get this tea almost anywhere. Even
if one doesn't know much about Darjeeling,
they can probably name this estate. And once you've tried it and got
accustomed to the taste of this Darjeeling, you'll be more likely to appreciate
the subtleties of an even better one.
I like the story he tells about the origin of the name.
I wrote about it when I was relatively early on my teablogging path, and
still in the throes of said gateway drug. Here's what I had to say:
I've wondered more about this little tale, and I'm glad The_Devotea has reminded me of it.
There's been a lot of talk lately in my circle of tea obsessive friends
about inexperienced/unknowledgeable teashop
assistants. Not just the way some of them are lacking the most
rudimentary facts about tea, but that they're willing to recklessly make stuff
up in order to sell more tea.
So I'm going to
play the part of the completely dumfounded teashop assistant answering the
question: Where does the name
Margaret's Hope come from?
See, this is the
story of a girl called Margaret, who desperately waits and waits to no avail. She's
says to herself, 'Why do I have to wait?' But there's no answer. No
matter how often she asks or for how long she waits.
Many years go by and she gets so busy with her daily life that she forgets
she's even waiting. She enjoys the small joys in her life, as well as the
big milestones. Every once in a while she has a quiet moment where she
remembers that gnawing feeling that used to be so strong.
But only after decades have passed and she's sitting quietly with her tea,
does she look back and realise she's had her answer all along. She'd
hoped that she made a difference, but it was when she wasn't trying so hard
that she had the most impact.
She'd tried to say the right things in her life, but it was when she said
as little as possible and let her actions speak loudest that she was most
Margaret's Hope was that it had
all meant something. That it wasn't yet another story of yearning and
reaching that was never resolved.
The customer looks at the teashop assistant and sighs. 'What
on earth are you talking about?,' he asks. 'I just wanted to buy some
tea. I didn't want some metaphysical journey. I thought it'd be
some simple story.'
Yeah, ok. Here's the
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.
'Perfect,' says the customer, 'I'll take that.'
I like the story he tells about the origin of the name. I wrote about it when I was relatively early on my teablogging path, and still in the throes of said gateway drug. Here's what I had to say: