Aged Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling

A few years ago, Mr. Rajiv Lochan of Lochan Tea sent me a few really big bags of samples.  I’ve had some in the intervening years, but never quite finished any of them despite my best attempt, mostly because I don’t drink black tea very often.   Since I’m on the road today, I pulled out the bag labeled Margaret’s Hope Black Tea, and had it grandpa style.  The tea, I must say, has aged very gracefully in the four years that it’s been under my possession.  I’ve always known that blacks often taste fuller with age, at least in the first year or two, but this tea, drunk in this way, was just really, really nice.  Long gone are the aggressive notes that you get with Darjeeling — that bitter bite that comes with the territory of drinking Darjeelings grandpa style is not to be found.  Instead, a very welcoming sweetness pervades the tea, coats the mouth, and slides down the throat.  The sweetness is not too different from the type of taste you get from a good, somewhat (but not very) aged puerh — a 5-7 years tea that’s turning the corner.  You can still taste the typical Darjeeling scent underneath, but this is much better than, say, a young 2nd flush.

This makes me wonder if I should stock up on some Darjeelings and just let them age.  Might not be a bad idea, actually.


Comments

Aged Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling — 7 Comments

  1. Your post encouraged me to try an old second flush darjeeling I had hidden in the back of my tea closet. The tea is a few years old and I had stored it in a fairly tight, double-lidded metal canister. In any event, I’m glad I tried this slightly aged tea because it tastes very good now, better than I remember it tasting when I first purchased it, somehow more refined. But maybe not…

    I also have a hong cha from the mid 80’s in my closet. It tastes remarkably clean for a tea with such age (perhaps due to relatively airtight storage conditions?), but the qi of the tea is surprising for a black tea,; it hits me in the face, making me blush at first and then moves down my neck and into my chest. Very relaxing and very yummy. I think I am a fan of well aged red teas.

    • Well aged blacks are actually pretty good — and yes, if you think a darjeeling is too harsh, letting it sit around seems to make it more drinkable over time.

  2. Around the same time as your sample, I put about a pound of summer Darjeeling in a clay jar. Double lid, glazed outside, but probably still pretty airy. It mellowed pretty nicely and I am still slowly sipping at it.

  3. I drink it by the gallons by cup to cup. I love the Darjeeling black tea leaves. I want some old aged if anyone has it contact me at frogers41@hotmail.com. I want it as old as you can get it. The older the better to me. I like it slightly air sealed. It brings out the most phobia if you have any. One good brisk full strength cup and go to bed. You are about to have one great dream!

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