The art of tasting tea with or without milk

At the Amgoorie Tea Estate, tea is tasted both with and without milk. This is because some of the tea produced by this plantation is particularly full-bodied, and is appreciated by British consumers. So by lightening each cup with a cloud of milk, we are tasting the tea in the same way as the customer.

While adding milk is sacrilege for the finest teas, it is natural for more powerful brews. The milk reduces the astringency and sensation of bitterness.

Posted in Country : India by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , ,

Japan : drink the best teas with complete peace of mind

I have chosen this photo of a lovely landscape, taken at Wasuka near Nara, to tell you that it would be a shame to miss out on the Japanese spring teas, the famous ichibancha, this year. Le Palais des Thés has sent all batches of its Japanese tea to be analysed by a laboratory, which will check whether their radioactivity levels comply with European standards. Only once we have received the results can we start distributing the teas to our various stores. In the stores, you will be able to ask to see the laboratory test results for the tea you want.

So you will be able to drink the best shinchas with complete peace of mind. Japanese farmers have suffered enormously this year due to the tsunami, and we must not abandon them, or their deliciously delicate teas!

Posted in Country : Japan by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , , , ,

In Amgoorie, the factory is remarkably clean

The factory at the Amgoorie Tea Estate (Assam) has a remarkable size. It is the pride and joy of the planter there, Amar Nain, who designed it. The light, clean space make a change from the rather dilapidated, dimly lit buildings I often visit.

On the floor are pyramids of teas of different grades, waiting to be packed after a final quality check which is carried out by hand, leaf by leaf.

Posted in Country : India by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , ,

Assam, one of the the rainiest regions in the world

Assam is one of the regions in the world with the highest rainfall. So it’s no surprise that it’s so green here, from these tea plants growing so densely they look like a carpet, to the trees that shade them from the sun.

Despite the abundant rains, this region enjoys plenty of sunshine, which means the tea plants need protecting from the direct sunlight more than elsewhere. Hence the density of the trees.

Posted in Country : India by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

In Assam, tea fields adjoin the paddy fields

For years, I dreamt of just one thing: to go to Assam and see the famous tea plantations. And here I am! The political situation has greatly improved, and it is now possible to travel around this state in the north-east of India, which is generously watered by torrential rains and by the Brahmaputra floods. Here, the tea fields adjoin the paddy fields. However, a slight difference in level separates them so that the water does not stagnate around the roots of the tea plants, but drains away into the paddy fields.

Posted in Country : India by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , , ,

The author

François-Xavier Delmas is a passionate globetrotter. He’s been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. As the founder of Le Palais des Thés, he believes that travelling is all about discovering world cultures. From Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle, he invites you to follow his trips as well as share his experiences and emotions.

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