Infusion time for first-flush Darjeelings

blog-26-03-2015

First-flush Darjeelings should be infused for between 3’30 and 4 minutes. The easiest way is to set your timer to 3’45. You have to be accurate when preparing this type of tea. If you want to retain a good balance between the aromatic bouquet, texture and flavour, you must stop the infusion in time. What you need is to give the aromas time to develop, while keeping the astringency and bitterness at a delicate level so they prolong the perception of aromas without overpowering them.


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

Tasting the spring teas

blog-20-03-2015

There are many teas to taste at this time of year. From now and for the next few months, I’ll be tasting dozens of teas every day, and up to 100 or 150 at times. I taste them “blind” because I don’t want to be influenced by my friendship with particular farmers. The name of the garden is hidden so that the initial selection is based solely on a sensory analysis. To express my preference, I make this gesture, shared by many planters: pushing the cup gently with the fingertips, palm facing upwards.


Posted in Professional tasting by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Tea and cheese pairing: Thé du Tigre and Roquefort

blog-12-03-2015

If you love cheese it can be good to have a change. Rather than drinking wine with cheese, how about trying it with tea? Combinations of cheese and tea arouse curiosity, and this week I’m suggesting a new pairing: Thé du Tigre and Roquefort. I’m not a big drinker of smoked tea but it has to be said that with a blue cheese as strong as this, the combination works very well. The warmth of the tea quickly melts the cheese in the mouth, and the woody, animal, smoky and milky notes mingle and complement one another. Try this sensual, creamy pairing and see what you think.


Posted in Tea and food pairing by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

A blue and green landscape

blog-06-03-2015

At school we all learnt to recognise colours, and because of this we can all agree that the dominant colours in this photo are green and blue.

For reasons that escape me, we don’t learn the same lessons about smell. This means that many people don’t know about the different olfactory families or how to name the smells they come across. This lack of knowledge stops us from using our sense of smell correctly and hinders the memorisation of olfactory notes. Question: why, in our country that is so proud of its gastronomic superiority, and is recognised around the world for its creativity in the field of fragrance, are we not taught about smells at school, at the same time as colours?


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

News of the first-flush Darjeelings

blog-27-02-2015

The weather can change very quickly in the Himalayan region. The sun might be shining, then in the blink of an eye you could be completely shrouded in a damp mist. This instability, which is very pronounced in Darjeeling, explains why the first teas of the year are sometimes harvested at the end of February, and sometimes in the middle of March.

I’ve just started tasting the first small batches from the new harvest, and for now they are nothing special. The earliest batches are rarely the best; they come from low-altitude plots.


Posted in Country : India 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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