An olfactory journey in the streets of Hong Kong

Walking through the streets of Hong Kong is an olfactory journey. In this city where street food is sold on every corner, the many stalls – there’s one every ten metres or so – give off copious, diverse and unusual smells: duck skin crackling over the heat, sizzling lumps of fat, garlicky vegetables frying in the wok, caramelised pork. There are fried noodles, fritters and dim sum of all kinds.

With all the greasy smoke, the stalls overflowing with delicious food, it’s a real wake-up for the senses. Whatever the time of day or night, it makes you want to dig into a big bowl of steaming noodles.

Nowhere as much as here, in Hong Kong, in this city that never stops and that dazzles with a thousand neon lights, have I ever had such a strong sense that man was put on this earth to eat.

Luckily, there are also tea houses where you can take a seat and follow the owner’s advice, and taste with him a few leaves of Pu Er, delicately broken off an old tea cake. Then you can take time to savour your tea, and think about this island and its hyperactive inhabitants who consume with such frenzy.

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

The lifespan of a tea plant: between 30 and 50 years

Everything comes to an end. When a tea plant no longer produces many leaves, it is replaced. The lifespan of a tea plant is quite variable, generally between 30 and 50 years, although China claims to have some that are a thousand years old.

The trunk and roots of the tea plant burn well, and heat the oven in which the tea leaves are dried after oxidisation, for example.

Posted in Tea plant by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

Here we are in the Year of the Dragon

So here we are in the Year of the Dragon. Symbol of the Emperor, symbol of power, the Dragon is a highly desirable zodiac sign.

May this year unfold under favourable auspices, may it bring you prosperity beyond your dreams, the red signs say. It’s a tradition in China to hang long banners on the doors at the time of the new year, with messages of good wishes.

Posted in Country : China by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags :

A planter’s estate typical of the British era

When the British were in charge of tea production they created vast estates and put in place systems to manufacture large quantities of tea. On each estate they built a bungalow, which might be small or large, for the planter. Today, in India and Sri Lanka, for example, you still see these buildings that are typical of the British era. I am often invited by planters to stay in their bungalows, like this one in Amgoorie (India), which is generally considered to be one of the finest.

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

Sipping boiling hot tea, a true winter pleasure

When you’re feeling cold, what could be better than going home, putting the kettle on and warming your fingers a few minutes later around a cup of steaming tea?

Under a beautiful winter sun, here I am sipping boiling hot tea overlooking the High Atlas mountains.

Posted in Country : Morocco 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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