Artisanal production

In Myanmar (Burma), the production of tea remains highly artisanal. People make both green and black tea. I haven’t found anything special in my tastings so far, but I’m continuing my research.
Here, in the Hsipaw region, the main tea producing area, villagers take the plucked tea leaves home and process them in front of their houses. This is what the local rolling machines look like. They are worked by hand.


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

A different way of enjoying tea

In some countries, people don’t just drink tea, they eat it.
Like here, in Burma, where they ferment tea leaves in bamboo tubes before serving them drizzled with sesame oil. This dish is served as part of a meal, but it can also be offered at the end of some family and religious ceremonies.


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

En route for Shan State and the mountains of the Golden Triangle

My quest to unearth the world’s finest teas often finds me travelling familiar roads, whether in China, India, Japan, Nepal or Korea. However, sometimes I need to take a different route.
Exploring new areas is part of my work as a tea researcher; here I am en route to the north of Shan State and the mountains of the Golden Triangle. I’ve heard it said that the main tea producing region of Myanmar is in Namshan.
I’m ready for my adventures of discovery!


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

“Home-roasted” tea

This tea seller I met at Heho market keeps very busy. The whole time I was sitting beside her, customers were constantly coming and going, and she couldn’t even spare a couple of minutes to gulp down the bowl of noodles placed to one side.
She mainly sells a black tea which her customers then roast in a pan before drinking it.
This is typical of Myanmar tea: you roast your own tea at home to give it what they call the “taste of fire”. Sometimes toasted sesame seeds are added.


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

The different marriages of tea

I hear that there is much talk of marriage at the moment in France, and the opportunity has arisen for me to tell you what I think of it.
If there is one marriage I cannot recommend, it is tea with a slice of lemon. The effect of the acidity alters the tannins and the aromas, and the result is not particularly harmonious.
On the other hand, if we look at practices around the world, tea is open to many marriages: with mint leaves in Morocco, cardamom pods in Afghanistan, rancid yak butter in Tibet, jasmine flowers in China, a drop of milk in Britain, and with a little of all the spices in India.
Vive la différence – and vive l’harmonie!


Posted in Country : China, Country : India, 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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