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the metropolitan tea company darjeeling margaret’s hope tgfop

February 2, 2010

I am excited to be reviewing another Darjeeling, as I have quite a limited experience with this variety of tea. This is an estate tea from Margaret’s Hope in Darjeeling, India. This sample arrived a couple of weeks ago from The Metropolitan Tea Company.  I have been nothing but impressed with this company’s teas so far. I have been saving this one for a while as I recently did a review of another Darjeeling. So…

The fragrance from the dry leaf is earthy, with a little cracked black pepper smell without the spiciness. It smells slightly woody with a tinge of vegetal character.

The cup color of this Darjeeling is a bright amber-orange and has aromatic notes of honey, a delicate muscatel perfume,  and juicy, ripe stone-fruit.

The tannin is apparent immediately with this tea, not in an unpleasant way, but it’s clearly there. This Darjeeling is medium bodied with deep caramelized stone fruit character, a bit  grape-y, slightly leather-y and woody. I may have let this steep a little long as there is a little residual bitterness that is kind of getting to me. I added a little sugar and milk to round out the bitter taste and found it a lovely cup. Much easier to drink (or gulp)! I enjoyed it and appreciated it plain, but kind of loved it with milk and sugar.

After some great instruction from @vtknitboy, I steeped another cup, and it turned out great, no additions needed! It was complex and smooth-drinking, slightly astringent, and GOOD…

I try to drink most of my teas straight up so I can concentrate on the naked flavor profile, but my first cup needed a little smoothing out for my palate (the second, much better tasting steep needed nothing at all, it was amazing!). I’m sure all the Darjeeling groupies out there will love this tea!

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