Start of the “second flush” harvest in Darjeeling

For the past two nights it has rained in Darjeeling and the surrounding area. By early morning, the sky is clear and the first rays of sun fall on the wet ground.

It is the ideal weather for “second flush” teas as the harvesting begins.

Posted in Country : India, Places I like in Darjeeling by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags :

Serving tea in a glass

In China, it is customary to prepare certain teas by steeping them directly in a large glass. You then watch the leaves unfurling in the hot water as they rise and descend, appearing to dance…

It’s a simple yet joyful spectacle, and the perfect prelude to the tasting itself.

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

The different faces of China

People talk a lot about how China is modernising, and it’s true that the country has developed at an incredible rate over the past 30 years. Nonetheless, nothing delights me more than to travel around China’s countryside and small towns. Taking a detour down a cobbled backstreet, I came across some villagers. They sit on their doorstep, a bowl of noodles in one hand and a pair of chopsticks in the other, and chat away for hours. This is the more gently-paced side of China.

Posted in Country : China by François-Xavier Delmas

Visiting fine tea plantations in China

Among the best-known green teas in China are names such as Huang Hua Yun Jian and Yongxi Huo Qing. A couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to visit the villages that produce these two rare, delicate teas. I have a weak spot for the first one in particular.

It is difficult to imagine the number of hours it took me to get there, over mountains and passes, before finishing the journey on foot along a path of stone and mud. It just proves that the finest teas are worth it.

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

Infatuation with black tea in China

For centuries, the Chinese drank mainly green tea, leaving black tea to foreigners. However, in the past year or two they have become infatuated with black tea. They call it Hong cha, due to the colour of the infused leaf, which is red; the best known here is called Jin Jun Mei. Of course, prices have rocketed, which happens every time our Chinese friends start a new trend.

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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