Goodricke celebrates the 150th Year Anniversary of Margaret’s Hope Tea Garden
After 150 years, the exquisite flavour of Margaret's Hope reminds us of a wistful tale.
Situated in north Kurseong at an elevation ranging from 950 meters to 1830 meters, the 150-year-old famous Margaret's Hope Tea Estate was once called Bara Ringtong. At the beginning of the 20th century, legend has it, the then-manager of Ringtong, Mr Bagdon, rechristened it to Margaret's Hope.
The wistful name refers to a great tragedy that befell Mr Bagdon in 1927.
Mr Bagdon, who was the first to plant tea on the southwest ridge of the Balsun River, had a daughter called Margaret. According to the tale, Margaret came all the way from Britain, visited the estate and fell in love with its sublime beauty. She was so taken by the region that she made up her mind to settle at the picturesque Bara Ringtong for good. But, much to her dismay, she had to return to England accompanied by her mother.
However, fate had other plans for Margaret and her hapless father. On her way back to England, during a tortuous four-month journey, Margaret took ill aboard and died on the way. Mr Bagdon continued his duties as the manager of the estate, but was overcome with grief. Sources say he had a vision of his departed daughter, while taking a walk through the estate and remembered how she had hoped she would live there one day. This singular experience inspired him to call the estate Margaret's Hope.
The Margaret's Hope estate is now spread across 586.16 hectares. Although set up in the 1830s, the garden became commercially viable only in 1864. Today, the garden's high-altitude tea buds are harvested in spring and are prized by connoisseurs all over the world.
After 150 years, Margaret's Hope continues to produce its renowned first flush (spring) tea, which has a flowery aroma and golden colour. Its second flush produces a mellow cup with a muscatel character and bronze colour.
About Margaret's Hope Tea Garden
The garden's 100% China bushes offer a second flush that produces a mellow cup with a fine fragrance Darjeeling enthusiasts find the tea ideal in the morning The estate is one of the oldest tea gardens in Darjeeling The estate still uses traditional methods to produce its tea The garden produces 0.25 million kgs of tea per annum The Margaret's Hope Tea Estate is accredited under:
- FSSC 22000 (Defining requirements for processes to control food safety hazards)
- UTZ (Australian certification ensuring that social, environmental and economical criteria for tea production have been met)
- Rainforest Alliance Certificate (For conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods)
- ETP certificate (ETP is Ethical Tea Partnership, aiming to improve lives of tea workers)