The jasmine flowers that scent our tea

It is difficult to imagine the amount of work that goes into making the tea we drink. To produce one kilo of a top quality jasmine tea, for example, it takes 2.5 kilos of jasmine flowers, no less. With 100 flowers, you can make just 25 grams. So no fewer than 10,000 flowers, individually picked by hand, are needed to scent a kilo of tea. And the plucking of flowers in the time-honoured tradition, which I witnessed last week in southern China, sometimes takes place in scorching temperatures.

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

Scenting tea with jasmine

In China, the finest jasmine teas in the world are produced at the end of the summer. They come from Fujian province. The tea and flowers are combined at night, because the jasmine flower is special in that it waits until the evening to open and release its incredible fragrance.

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

Evening tea in China

Instinctively, this photo makes me happy, because in Asia I discovered the pleasure of drinking tea in the evening, or even at night. In some western countries many people are reluctant to drink tea after 5 o’clock, but in China people enjoy it at any time, even late at night.

Sometimes, your cup is bathed in the warm reflections of the neon lights.

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

The steep slopes of Darjeeling

Camellia sinensis grows very happily on steep terrain, as it doesn’t like water stagnating around its roots. In some regions of the world, like Nepal, or here in Darjeeling, the slopes are very impressive. As I travel around the countryside I often discover a little village clinging onto the hillside above a field of tea. Sometimes you wonder how the pluckers manage to harvest the leaves in such conditions.

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

The Toy Train of Darjeeling sets off!

This summer, a number of you will be heading off on your travels. The Toy Train, too, is preparing for a scenic journey, as it leaves the station in Darjeeling. In eight hours it will be on the Terai plains, two thousand metres lower.

Posted in Country : India, Places I like in Darjeeling 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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