Review: Lochan Tea Margaret’s Hope FTGFOP 1 First flush 2012, Darjeeling

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Lochan Tea Add comments
There are many stories about Margaret’s Hope tea estate, not necessarily in agreement with each other. A popular rendering tells us that in the 1930s the garden was owned by Mr. Bagdon, who sailed from England to India with his two daughters to visit the garden. The younger daughter, Margaret, fell in love with the estate and hoped some day she could return. But during their return trip, Margaret fell ill and died. In her memory, her father changed the garden's name to Margaret's Hope. Some versions of the story claim that her ghost still wanders the garden. Yet another telling suggests that Margaret was the estate owner’s wife and he simply named the estate after her.

Regardless of history, the tea bushes currently producing at Margaret’s Hope are almost entirely the Chinese Jat genus accounting for the green leafed tippy appearance of the leaf and its superb fragrance. The tea is grown at high altitudes and in relatively cool weather so the bushes are not able to grow quickly, limiting production.

This tea is a great example of Lochan doing everything right. I’ve had this tea many times previously, from other good suppliers, and it’s been consistently good but not a first flush Darjeeling I got wildly excited about. Perhaps 2012 is a particularly great year at the Margaret’s Hope estate, possibly this FTGFOP 1 is a better grade of Margaret’s Hope than I’ve previously experienced, but I suspect that the quality of this tea should also be attributed to good handling by Lochan. One clear example of this good handling is the tea's arrival in sealed foil packs that appear to provide the perfect environment for long distance transport.

Taste from first sip to last is complex and ever changing. Astringency is relatively mild for a first flush. The tasting experience felt very civilized, porcelain cups and fancy tea service. Taste drives to the back of the tongue and back roof of the mouth and is quite full and well rounded, with a mild floral component.

Lochan Tea serves as a merchant for this tea, which is not currently listed on the Lochan web page. Contact Vivek Lochan through the company web site if you’re interested in this tea.

— To purchase Lochan Tea Margaret’s Hope FTGFOP 1 First flush 2012, Darjeeling, 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: MaryAnn MaryAnn Reviewer
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