Leaf Type: Black (Darjeeling)
Where to Buy: Darjeeling Tea Lovers
MARGARETS HOPE MUSCATEL comes from one of the best known gardens MARGARETS HOPE TEA GARDEN. The dry leaves are black and dark chocolate in colour with fresh floral notes to the nose.
Learn more about this tea here.
I love Darjeeling, as I’ve attested to on numerous occasions right here on this blog. And with all my years of drinking tea, and even in the few years that I’ve been writing for this blog, it still surprises me how different one Darjeeling can be from another. But there is one characteristic that I look for with all Darjeeling teas: Muscatel. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the few Darjeeling teas that I’ve tried with little to next-to-no muscatel qualities, but, I am still just a wee bit disappointed when I come across a Darjeeling that doesn’t offer the muscatel character that I seek.
But when I do find the muscatel – this is something to celebrate! And this 2012 Margarets Hope 2nd Flush has muscatel! So much so that they even add the Muscatel to the name of the tea on their website, making this officially: Margarets Hope Muscatel 2012 2nd Flush, according to the Darjeeling Tea Lovers website. So, if you’ve ever read a review of Darjeeling and noted the taster mentioning “Muscatel” and you find yourself wondering … “just what is this ‘muscatel’ anyway?” I recommend getting yourself some of THIS tea and trying it. This tea IS muscatel.
There are those who prefer to call it “grape-like” … but I think that muscatel represents so much more than just the muscat grape. It is a wine-like character that is fruity and sweet, possessing the flavors of not just a fermented grape but also a hint of black currant. It possesses the dryness that one often associates with a fine wine. But it is still more with its hints of musky spice and wood and subtle earth tones. To call it “grape” seems to miss the point entirely. It is far more than the simple grape.
This tea has a fuller body than I normally associate with a Darjeeling, which I typically consider a lighter tasting tea. Now, this tea is indeed lighter than say an Assam, but it has a fuller body than some of the lighter Darjeeling teas, it’s smoother, not quite as crisp and “bubbly.” It’s almost like a Ceylon – body/texture wise – but with the delectable fruit notes and sweetness of a Darjeeling.
A truly remarkable Darjeeling experience – this one may be my favorite yet from Darjeeling Tea Lovers!