Monday, October 8, 2012

Zen Tea, Darjeeling TGFOP1 Margaret's Hope S.F.

Zen Tea Description:
The wonderfully tippy leaves infuse to a medium-bodied cup with elegant fruity flavor and nutty notes. Plants of the Chinese type Thea Sinensis are almost exclusively cultivated on this plantation. The slow growth of the shrubs at the cool, higher altitudes of Himalaya forms the basis for high-grade and fully aromatic qualities! A sparkling, fully aromatic tea from the beginning of the second flush period with a full, amber-colored cup. The bouquet is aromatic, spicy and with a hint of sweetness.

How did this estate get its intriguing name? In the 1930's, the garden was owned by Mr. Bagdon, who, with his two daughters, sailed from England to India to visit the garden. Enchanted by the beauty of this garden was deeply attached to the place. Before leaving for England, she promised to return but unfortunately died of a lethal tropical disease on board the ship, never to return. In her memory, her father changed the garden's name to Margaret's Hope.

My Review:
Sample supplied by Zen Tea. The leaf has a full range of colors, from nearly black to silver, with lovely shades of brown and even a bit of green. This is curled pieces of broken leaf. The dry leaf aroma reminds me of pipe tobacco. I used nearly a full scoop of leaf – about 1 1/2 tsp - in my press with 12oz water heated to a heavy steam. The steep was 3 minutes. The wet leaf scent was fruity and also imaged a very light coffee brewing.

The sip is medium bodied just as Zen Tea describes it. It is very aromatic and fruity without being overbearing. Zen describes this as having nutty notes. I wish I understood what nutty tastes like as I really don’t get that impression with this or most other teas. It has a strong woodsy aftertaste to me, but maybe that is what they call nutty. There is a sense of dryness like found in a fine red wine. You can feel a bit of astringency along the sides of the tongue. It is well behaved though and adds to the character and complexity of the cup. I am getting a strong mint like crispness that I feel, not only on my breath, but down in my lungs. I like it. Just slightly sweet. This takes sweetener well. I notice grape like fruitiness especially late in the aftertaste. Steeped two times.

This is a very nice cup. I had it as my first cup of the day and it worked perfectly for me. Most tea drinkers would probably consider this an excellent choice for afternoon tea.

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