Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017 FTGFOP1 HS – click picture to enlarge
Tea from India at Siam Tea Shop
The sustainable trend to more quality with tea on the western market increasingly bears sweet fruit in India, too. Year after year, the mayor tea estates in Darjeeling and Assam compete for each season’s best “First Flush“, “Second Flush” or “Autumnal”. However, not only quality comes from India at new levels today, but also completely new diversity of India’s tea portfolio. Black tea, for example, the classic of Indian teas, suddenly comes around in the most diverse appearances. The spectrum reaches from the modern, flowery first flush to full-bodied, dark roast second flushes to earthy and malty “autumnals”. One example for a second flush combining traditional DJ black tea processing with said quality approach is our Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017.
Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017 – The Indian Second Flush Season
Most of us might know the term “second flush” only from India. However, this doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be any “second flushes” – summer pickings – in other tea regions, too. Though the spring picking generally enjoys the highest prestige among tea lovers for most types of tea, summer pickings do have their own favorable features. This applies in particular to India, where in summer the flowery notes of the spring picking give way to ever deeper sweetness. To support and highlight this sweetness at its best, Darjeeling tea gardens generally process their second flushes to classic black tea. As a result, most friends of Darjeeling tea will have a place for both in their hearts – and in their cupboards. And there are even tea lovers, who prefer the sweet dark roast of a black second flush from the floweriness of the first flushes.
Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017 – The Estate / Tea Garden
Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate locates in the northern part of Darjeeling’s Kurseong Valley. There, it stretches across altitudes between 950 and 1830 meters, covering a total areal of 361 hectars. The tea garden’s official establishment, originally under the name “Bara Rington”, dates back to 1867. However, according to some sources, first tea plantings at the southwest bank of the Balsun River reach back to the 1830s even. Anyway, the originally planted China tea bushes are still prevailing at Margaret’s Hope today.
At the the beginning of the 20th century, the tea garden’s operator was a London-based Briton. Mr. Bagdon regularly traveled to Darjeeling, in order to visit his tea garden. Once, in 1927, it happened that his wife and two daughters accompanied him on such trip. Particularly Margaret, the youngest daughter, immediatly fell in love with the estate and surrounding landscape. When the homeward journey approached, Margaret became very sad. Supposedly, her greatest hope and wish was to be able to once return to this place.
However, fate had other plans. During the the long passage, Margaret fell ill with a severe tropical fever, which she finally succumbed to before the ship even reached England. Henceforth, her father was bowed down with grief over the loss of his youngest daughter. Thus, he started spending even more time on his Darjeeling tea estate, where years later his daughter’s ghost allegedly appeared to him. This vision finally moved him to change the name of the tea garden. In order to erect a memorial stone for his daughter’s greatest wish, “Bara Rington” became “Margaret’s Hope”.
click picture to enlarge
Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017 FTGFOP1 HS
Already during the first weeks of the SF season 2017, the political unrest around Ghorkaland’s indepence bid overshadowed the picking and processing of Darjeeling’s main harvest. With the ensuing general strike then, production then came to a complete halt. In addition, the Indian central government ordered the shutdown of all public offices and institutions. Along with this came the closure of all communications and trade channels, such als postal services. Therefore, little second flush came about in this year, and even less has reached the western market.
Only thanks to best connections directly to Darjeeling, SiamTee has managed to still save the year for friends of Darjeeling Second Flush tea. So, I finally even got to sample quite a range of 2017 DJ SF’s. As a result of these samplings, I have selected the 3 Darjeeling Second Flushes that I rated as the best. Among these, Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017 FTGFOP1 HS is rather the “exceptional” one…
Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017 FTGFOP1 HS is the estate’s summer pickings highest leave and quality grade. In 2017, it surprises with powerful brut notes. This said, much of the floweriness and sweetness of the estate’s this year’s second flush appears to have given way to mineral and earthy notes. In a way, it even reminds us of Doke’s Rolling Thunder Oolong, and thereby suiting quite similar occasions. Nevertheless – or maybe even just because of – its rather surprising taste profile, Margaret’s Hope SF 2017 FTGFOP1 HS definitely counts among this year’s best Darjeeling second flush teas.
Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017 –Preparation
As a standard, pour 200ml water of a temperature of 90°C – 100°C over 4g Margaret’s Hope Second Flush 2017 FTGFOP1 HS. Then let infuse for 3-5 minutes for a most delicious first infusion. After another 3-5 minutes infusion of the leaf material, a full-value second infusion emerges that falls back only little behind the first one.