Review: Canton Tea Co. Margaret’s Hope Silver Moon

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co., Darjeeling Tea, Single Estate Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A lot of Darjeelings, regardless of flush, have a very brisk introduction in flavor, spice and grape dominating. This eased its way in."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.9/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10, Sophie gave it 7.8/10, Raven gave it 8.7/10, Katie gave it 7.9/10
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Anyone with access to the BBC (or BBC America, to we Yanks) has likely come across the modern update known as Sherlock. I didn't catch wind of it until Masterpiece Mystery on PBS started airing it. The second episode of the re-imagining opened with a gongfu-style tea ceremony. I found this so intriguing that I did what any right-minded tea nerd would do. I tweeted about it. To my surprise, Canton Tea Co. responded to the tweet with, ""The Yixing teapots in the Sherlock Holmes show were ours. Very exciting to see them on the small screen." I found this so unbelievably cool, I told my mother - who was also a new fan of the show.

What does this have to do with a second flush Darjeeling? Absolutely nothing. But the fact that Canton Tea Co. were prop-providers for a major BBC series fascinated me. But on to the tea...

Chances are, if you've had a nameless Darjeeling with no estate listing, it was probably a Margaret's Hope. They're one of the most well-known tea estates of Darjeeling. It was founded in 1827 as a small tea plantation under a different name. The titular "Maggie" moniker wasn't branded until 1927 when the owner named it after his daughter. Since then, they've become a premium producer of black, green and white teas. I've tried at least three Margaret's Hope Darjeelings and - for the most part - approved.

The appearance of this echoed how I thought a second flush should look, various shades of brown. I was a tad surprised to find some bits of uncharacteristic green twisties in the mix, but I welcomed the inclusion. The aroma was brisk and bold, molasses sweet ringed with spice and beer-like malt. I was in for a treat, or so I hoped.

Brewing instructions recommended 1 tsp per cup of 203F-heated water for three minutes. I copied that to the letter. Since it was a second flush, it could be treated like any black tea. While I was slightly wary of the three-minute infusion rule, I adhered to it for the sake of authenticity; yet suspecting a slight bitterness as a result.

The infusion darkened to a bright gold, more in line with a first flush than a second. I was expecting amber, but this was a pleasant surprise. Mouthpiece aroma was generically black tea-ish with a hint of spice. The taste was surprising in its smoothness. A lot of Darjeelings, regardless of flush, have a very brisk introduction in flavor, spice and grape dominating. This eased its way in. It was sadly lacking some of the muscatel comparisons that are usually requisite with Himalayan teas. However, it had a floral presence similar to a Ceylon with a feather-touch of Indian allspice that compensated.

It's no Sherlockian mystery that I liked it.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Margaret’s Hope Silver Moon, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff Reviewer
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