Newly wed Chinese couples love going to Suzhou

The city of Suzhou is full of character. Many Chinese tourists come here to find some old-world charm. In the historic part of the city, canals run alongside the narrow streets, and many newly wed Chinese couples come here to make pictures. In fact you cannot walk more than a few paces before coming across a pair of young newlyweds posing under the watchful eye of the professional photographers, who are eager to capture their models in the right pose. This pretty bride exudes happiness as she smiles for the cameras.

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

Making Bi Luo Chun requires dexterity

Like many prestigious green teas from China, Bi Luo Chun is processed in a large wok. I have just left the shores of Lake Taihu where it is grown, and am now in Suzhou.
A certain level of dexterity is required to make Bi Luo Chun: the temperature in this large pan can reach up to 180°C, hence the need for the cotton gloves.

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

My niece Aurélie launched Le Palais des Thés US

Twenty-five years ago I created Le Palais des Thés to turn my passion into a job, and to share with other enthusiasts the pleasures of tasting the world’s best teas. Since she was little, my niece Aurélie has always seen me with a cup of tea in my hand and has listened to my stories of distant travels to the plantations of China and Japan. A year ago, Aurélie, who has grown up to be a great connoisseur of tea herself, decided to start an exciting new venture and a fantastic challenge. Accompanied by Cy, her husband, she has decided to move to the United States and write a new chapter in this family story, by launching Le Palais des Thés in North America.

I am hugely proud of my niece and I know she will succeed – I have seen how passionate she and her husband are. They have a pioneering spirit.

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Bi Luo Chun: one of the rarest China teas

Bi Luo Chun is one of the rarest and most prestigious China teas. Here, my friend Waterqian – one of the few farmers to produce the highest quality Bi Luo Chun – is showing me how much must be taken off the stem during the harvest: a small bud with just one leaf. This type of plucking is extremely rare. It explains the very high price of this tea, whose name means “Spiral of Spring Jade”. In one day, each worker only harvests around two kilos of fresh leaves which, after processing, will produce just two hundred grams of tea.

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

Mid-April, my attention turns to China

Every year, in mid-April, my attention turns to China. This is the time when production starts of the magnificent China green teas such as Long Jing, Bi Luo Chun and Bai Mao Hou. Right now I’m not far from Suzhou, on the shores of Lake Taihu.

Every day I do my best to sleep in the middle of the tea fields. And this is the kind of view I get when I wake up.

Posted in Country : China 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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