Today’s review will focus on the FTGFOP1 King Clonal Musk 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea from the Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate in the Kurseong North Valley of the Darjeeling area of India. I have covered various details of the Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate in previous posts, so I will skip the redundancy in covering those details in this post. This sample was provided by Surajmukhi Tea.
The King Clonal, or Clonal King as other estates call it, from Margaret’s Hope is not one of the varieties of theirs that I have had before. As I have said many times, Margaret’s Hope produces my favorite Darjeeling teas, regardless of the season. Any time I receive a new variety from this beautiful tea estate, it will end up getting reviewed on this blog.
The sample packet has been opened, and the sweet, floral, yet uniquely robust aroma that Darjeeling “musk” teas are known for can be immediately recognized. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves vary in color from light copper-brown to black, with a generous portion of silver tips. The leaves are all medium sized fragments, and are machine rolled. There are a few stems in the mix. The tips are mostly whole and unbroken, and are covered in soft, downy-like hairs. The leaves crack easily, but do not crumble, and have a somewhat rigid texture. The aroma is very sweet and floral, with scents of grapes, chocolate, roses, light spice, and a light white musk hint. The aroma is impressive.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.
My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 195°F (90°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 minutes. Expect to get two quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves. For the second infusion, steep the leaves for 4:00 minutes.
Sorry, the photo of the infusion did not turn out as nicely detailed as it originally looked on the small screen. Anyway, the first infusion produced a liquor with a bright reddish-orange color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of roses, grapes, light chocolate, light caramel, and light white musk. The body is medium-full, with a caramel-like texture. The taste has notes of roses, grapes, chocolate, caramel, and light white musk. There is a mild astringency. The aftertaste carries the grape and floral notes, and even the essence left on the breath has hints of grapes.
The infused leaves have a fairly uniform copper brown color, some leaning to a green-copper, others leaning to brown. The leaves are all medium sized fragments. Most of the tips are whole and unbroken, and measure about 3/4 inch to 1 inch (18 to 25mm). The leaves have a soft, thin, smooth texture. The aroma has scents of roses, grapes, light white musk, and light chocolate.
Another strong showing from a product from Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate. The classic Darjeeling tastes of grapes and roses combined nicely with more unique notes of white musk and caramel. The smooth, caramel texture was very pleasant as well. A potent aftertaste leaves a lasting memory of the quality of the FTGFOP1 King Clonal 2nd Flush 2014 Darjeeling Tea. This product is a perfect example of why I am always excited to receive samples from Margaret’s Hope Tea Estate.
Thanks to Ankit Lochan of Surajmukji Tea for providing this sample. Cheers!