The story behind this first flush Darjeeling is as lovely as the tea itself, although a bit more tragic.
This tea estate is named for the original founder’s daughter, Margaret. In 1870, Mr. Bagdon, Margaret’s father, was the first to plant tea on the southwest ridge of the Balsun River in Darjeeling, India. He named his tea estate Bara Ringtong. Young Margaret fell in love with the natural scenery of the area, with the Himalayan Mountains rising out from the Kurseong Valley.
With plans to soon return, Margaret and her mother left for their home in England while her father stayed in India to oversee the tea estate. Sadly, Margaret fell ill on journey and passed away.
Her father was overcome with grief, especially as he couldn’t leave India. Mr. Bagdon decided to rename his tea estate after his daughter so that she would never be far from him. It is believed that Margaret still visits the estate bungalow from the western side, coming through the main guestroom and leaving from the study through the verandah to the tennis courts.
To this day, Margaret’s Hope tea estate is still one of the most renowned in the Darjeeling region. It produces tea with a flowery aroma and the taste of young muscatel grapes. So the next time you enjoy a cup of this fine tea, remember Margaret.