The origins of our single origin Margaret's Hope Tea Darjeeling Second Flush
With its warm, floral aroma, this second flush Darjeeling black tea is sourced from the prestigious Margaret's Hope Tea Estate in West Bengal, India and produces a delightful amber-coloured infusion that makes for refined all-day drinking. It is available as loose tea leaves and but not our tea bags.
Picked in summer, Darjeeling district second flush teas are famous for their distinctive full bodied muscatel flavour, and this mildly astringent example is no exception. An FTGFOP1 (FTGFOP1 Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe grade 1) tea, it's medium in strength and is mildly fruity. Characterised by brown and silvery rolled leaves, it offers beguiling muscatel and spiced-plum flavours. You can add a splash of milk or honey to this tea if you like, but Margaret's Hope Darjeeling is also delicious drunk black as a vegan tea.
This particular tea is harvested from AV2 clonal cultivar bushes which several of the region's top estates have been cultivating in recent years. While this is largely to help protect the region's tea industry against falling yields due to climate change, the result here is an outstanding tea with plenty of floral and fruity complexity.
About Margaret's Hope Tea Estate
Margaret's Hope Tea Estate produces some of the most exquisite teas in India, if not the world. Located in the lower Kurseong subdivision of Darjeeling, the garden was established in the 1870s by a British man, one Mr Cruickshank, 30 years after the introduction of tea farming in the district.
Two rivers flow through the plantation where tea bushes -– mainly of the Chinese sinensis variety of the Camellia sinensis tea plant – grow at altitudes of 950-1,900m. This particular tea estate is famous for its natural beauty. As well as offering breathtaking views across to the Himalayas, the plantation is surrounded by ferns, trees, wildflowers, gushing streams, velvety moss, lichens and orchids.
The team at Margaret's Hope maintain the garden with environmentally friendly practices in mind, as evidenced by a thriving population of salamanders that occupy a lake within the garden.
As for the name of this wonderful tea? The story goes that when Cruikshank's daughter, Margaret, visited the tea garden, she fell in love with its stunning natural beauty and vowed to return. However, after Margaret died aboard the ship sailing her back to England, her heartbroken father renamed the garden Margaret's Hope, in her honour.
Alternatives to this delicious black tea
With its teas that range dramatically in flavour and style depending on flushes and different terroir, Darjeeling is a wonderful region for tea aficionados to explore. Our Darjeeling House Blend is another great option for all-day drinking, while Darjeeling Earl Grey offers the region's muscatel character with light citrus notes.
You can find out more about Darjeeling and what makes its flushes so special in our Tea Journal.