Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TeaGschwendner Margaret's Hope Autumnal Darjeeling

This is the first tea I've tried from my trip to TeaGschwendner in Rockefeller Center. I love Darjeeling teas, but have only had one other Autumnal version. The Autumnal flush is harvested in October and November, which yielding large leaves. These leaves produce a full bodied cup, but with less of the delicate flavors that are found in first and second flushes.

According to Darjeeling Tea Xpress, The Margaret's Hope tea estate was established in 1830. The estate did not get its current name until 1927. According to the site, the plantation owner's daughter fell in love with the garden, and vowed to return and visit. But she tragically died from a tropical disease on her travels back to England, never to return to the garden. Her father changed the name to Margaret's Hope in her memory. Such a touching story!
The leaves are long and wiry, and have a lovely sweet grape-like muscatel aroma. After steeping the liquor has that darjeeling scent of sweet muscatel, reminding me a fragrant apple blossom. There is also a faint woodsy smell, as if I was walking through damp leaves and twigs. The taste is subtle, very different from the scent. Autumal Darjeelings are known to be lighter in taste, so this does make sense. The muscatel and woodsy notes are there, but in the background. A faint astringency lingers. The tea becomes more full bodied farther down in the cup.

I have one more Darjeeling to try that I picked up from the store, but this one is a second flush. I look forward to tasting the differences!

TeaGschwendner Margaret's Hope Autumnal Darjeeling ~***1/2 ~ three and a half out of five stars

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