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Margaret's Hope First Flush Darjeeling

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There’s a reason we return to Margaret’s Hope year after year…


Picture the scene: as the first spring rains spread across the Himalayan foothills, the Darjeeling tea gardens start to turn green in a flush of colour – the earliest harvest of the year is referred to as the ‘First Flush’ and is considered one of the finest teas to be produced worldwide.

Grown at a dizzying 4200ft, this year’s Margaret’s Hope First Flush was picked between the 19th and 23rd of March. We’ve chosen a batch made picked from the original China bushes grown in 3 small plots in the tea garden: Nehore 1 & 2, (named after the tea farmer who planted the bushes) and Lamba Dara (meaning ‘hill top’). The estate itself is named after the daughter of the estate’s founder – she visited the estate in the 1920s, but tragically died on the boat back to England.  

The 2016 First Flush has the fresh, effervescent quality that many compare to champagne and the muscatel fragrance we’ve come to associate with the estate. However, we were surprised by the new, herby quality which freshens up the typical sweetness – our tea farmers put this down to the moss and wild flowers which grow around the high altitude tea bushes, adjusting the mineral balance of the soil (we see the same thing in ‘mineral’ flavoured teas like Big Red Robe oolong). You might like to compare it to this year’s First Flush from Badamtam Estate: the Margaret’s Hope variety is lighter in colour with a delicious briskness to the finish, while the Badamtam is a deep peachy colour with a hint of apricot sweetness. We’d suggest Margaret’s Hope with cucumber or smoked salmon sandwiches, Badamtam with Bakewell Tart.

Our tea taster, Bethan, recently travelled to Darjeeling. Check out her blog to find out more about the picking process, the landscape and why First Flush is a risky business – it all depends on the weather…

We've given our Margaret's Hope First Flush Darjeeling the number 865, to mark the founding date of the world-famous estate in 1865.



  • Tea Type

    Black Tea

  • Tastes like

    Explosively aromatic, with a fresh, herby taste

  • When to drink

    As the finishing touch to a special occasion

Brew the perfect cup

Add one teaspoon (around 2g) of loose leaf tea per cup and always use freshly drawn and boiled water. Allow to brew for 3-5 minutes according to taste. Can be enjoyed with or without milk.

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We've given our Margaret's Hope First Flush Darjeeling the number 865, to mark the founding date of the world-famous estate in 1865.

A note from Whittard

“At the moment I’m really into white tea blends, like Chelsea Garden and White Chocolate Tea. Both are amazing with anything creamy. Fondant fancies add a touch of kitsch!”

- Kat, Regent Street Store Manager
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