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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: The English Tea Store’s Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling Tea

© 2011 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
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The Subject:  Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling
Company:The English Tea Store

Straight Tea Rating:

About the new rating designation.

Water temperature:180° F
Steeping time:3-4 mins.
Tea type:Darjeeling
Dry leaves:  Broken leaf, fragrant & planty

1st Infusion:  
Steeping time —  3 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Richly fragrant
Taste, plain —Fruity, hint of nutty, mild, not bitter, muscatel tanginess
Color, plain —Dark amber
2nd Infusion:
Steeping time —  3½ mins.
Aroma, plain —  Lighter
Taste, plain —Slightly tangy-er, some bitterness
Color, plain —Dark amber
3rd Infusion:
Steeping time —  4 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Faint
Taste, plain —Light muscatel tang, too faint
Color, plain —Lighter amber

There are quite a few tea estates in the Darjeeling region of India, and Margaret’s Hope is one of the better known. This tea does the reputation of that estate fair credit.

Hubby and I are a bit spoiled where Darjeeling teas are concerned. We have been privileged and honored to try some samples from a tea company in India. None of them are from this estate, but they are fresh and top quality. That sets the bar rather high, sort of like that brainy kid in class who skews the grade curve. (Sometimes that was me doing the skewing.)

The leaf pieces are broken leaf, clearly evident when dry, and are a dark green to coppery after steeping:

This is not a tea that takes milk. The muscatel flavor clashes with the milk’s flavor. You might need a sweetener, but I encourage you to give this and other Darjeelings a try without it. The complexities of the flavors and the changes they undergo as the liquid cools a bit are worth the experience. This comes from a tea drinker who until about a year-and-a-half ago hardly ever drank a black tea without milk. It pays to expand one’s tea horizons!

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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