Black Tea Adventure


Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

Black Tea Adventure

Postby Herb_Master » Nov 22nd, '11, 13:17

It would be wrong to say that I was a Black/Red tea virgin, all those cups of tea with milk and sugar - family, friends, school during the 50s and 60s and rugby club after the match to replace blood sugar levels in the 70s and 80s, not to mention hot and sweet when camping out or climbing mountains in the 90s and 00s - But since I started on Oolong 4 or more years ago, I have not been tempted to try Hong Cha the non - western way, or even without milk and sugar.

A bag of samples from http://www.teatheatre.co.uk/ has come into my possession. Matthew had given them to his website designer [who does not frink tea :roll: ] they were passed on to me. Matthew urged me to try some of them and tell him what I thought.

No Dan Cong or Yan Cha samples - so I opened the Margaret's Hope 1st Flush Darjeeling.

No sign of it on the embryonic / incipient website and my views on it are not greatly worthy so, I post here! :o

I was not going to add milk or sugar :lol:
I browsed these pages for a little help - and despite favour for western style brewing, I opted for a Gaiwan and multiple infusions.

- - - - - - - - -
The dry leaf had a slight mustiness, but some interesting aromas poking through.

Only 2 gm so I chose a 75ml Gaiwan. I have long since stopped bothering with temperature with Oolong (boil or just off nearly all the time), so because it seemed important to many posters here, I paid some heed after a fashion.

1. 1 minute after boil, 1 min 20 secs
Nice fragrance, but a bitter edge
- re checking a couple of posts here, I think I jumbled 2 recommendations and that this should have been shorter -
Interesting enough for me to be keen to push on.

I was shocked by how green the leaves were :roll:

2. 1 minute after boil, 1 min 5 secs
Superb fragrance, bitterness negligible and supplanted by some interesting spicy edges and a good bacbone structure that supported the fragrance well. A layered experience in the mouth.

3. 30 seconds after boil, 1 min 25 secs
A Fantastic Fragrance, but a slight green, bitter edge returning.
The winning factor on this infusion was a pronounced aftertaste lingering long. I had not noticed any aftertaste on the infusions 1 and 2, but may not have been paying attention. Now there were soft tannins backing it all up, but a strange taste in the tannins and my mind is still unsure whether or not they appealed to me.

4. 20 seconds after boil, 2 min 30 secs
A softer version of 3, more like a mellower version of 2 except a uniform palate rather than layers. very easy to drink. No strange tannin tastes, but something that reminds me of opening the tea caddy back in the 1950s :lol:

There seems to be plenty of life left in the leaves, but I am sated.
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Re: Black Tea Adventure

Postby chado.my.teaway » Nov 22nd, '11, 16:48

I like black tea so I'll write my opinions.

I drank this tea but, SF.

It's interesting.

The history of this garden dates back to 1830, then as a small plantation was one of many similar in these beautiful areas of Darjeeling. The contemporary name of the garden - Bara Ringtone survived until 1927. The garden was a magical place for the garden owner's daughter. Sorry for her was to go on a trip to England, and therefore promised that it will surely go back there ever again. Unfortunately, Margaret's daughter fell ill with a deadly tropical disease on his way to England. Father to commemorate changed the name of her beloved garden, "Margaret's Hope."

Tea from the garden is a delicious, full of high taste and rich aroma. Flexible with great possibilities of taste, typical Darljeeling the second harvest (July and August), with characteristic muscatel tones.

I think 2 grams/75ml it is too many, so it was bitter. I always use 2,5/130ml and its delicious.

Try 1st brew 1,30, 2nd - 3, 3 - 5/6. For me its excellent.
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Re: Black Tea Adventure

Postby yshuto » Nov 30th, '11, 21:41

Margaret's Hope 1st Flush has been a perennial favorite of mine for over 10 years. For me, it epitomes the taste, fragrance, and aroma of Darjeeling teas. The 2011 First Flush from Mariage, true to form, is excellent.

I usually prepare 400cc of the tea at a time. 7.0 grams of tea leaves, water at 195F, and 4 minutes of infusion. The Mariage website states 3 minutes. The label on the bag from Mariage states 4 minutes. I also use a very small amount, 1/4 teaspoon, of highly refined sugar to bring out he full flavor of the tea.

The tea has a slight astringency but in no means would I call it bitter. It blends well with the taste of the tea and brings out depth. Slightly light in taste, light in color, with lots of complexity in the taste. if you like more robust teas, then try a Second Flush Darjeeling.

Enjoy!
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