Category : Country : China

Pu Er also requires wrapping with care

I know that your main objective at the moment is to wrap your purchases so they are ready to go under the Christmas tree in a few days’ time. Well, in China there’s a tea called Pu Er which requires wrapping with just as much care. Pu er can be bought loose, but it is mainly found in the form of a compressed cake. Having been left to dry on racks, each cake is wrapped in a sheet of printed rice paper, as you can see in this photo. The protected cakes are then wrapped in groups of seven in a dried banana leaf. The tea is then ready to embark on its journey and arrive with you after the festivities, which is just at the right time: in China, Pu Er is said to lower cholesterol. Rightly or wrongly, it is sometimes known as the “fat-eating” tea.


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

Selecting the best tea requires patience

In China as well as in India, when it comes to making high quality tea, no effort is spared in ensuring that only the best leaves are selected. Here, in Fuding (China), these workers are checking all the leaves of the Bai Mu Dan that has just been produced, one by one. It is a painstaking task that requires a great deal of patience. Only when this stage is finished can the leaves be packed into chests and shipped to the buyer.


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

The delicate art of withering white tea leaves

In the past, the withering of tea leaves took place in the open air, but nowadays it increasingly happens in a heated, well ventilated room. This system offers greater control over the ambient conditions. Here, in Fujian (China), the temperature and humidity levels are carefully regulated, and the room benefits from a sophisticated ventilation system. Which means the leaves of this Bai Mu Dan can gradually lose their water content.


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

Camellia : a shrub with a tough foliage

In many countries, the men and women who pluck tea leaves wear a type of sleeve made from a light canvas, which covers part of the arm.

Camellia is quite a tough shrub, and at the end of the day, without this protection, which can be worn directly on bare skin or over the top of a garment, the pluckers’ arms would be covered in scratches.

I expect this young woman from Yunnan, who looks rather stylish beneath her straw hat, would agree.


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

Zhaji : a hamlet that has kept its soul

Every time I go to China, I wonder what else will have changed in the cities and countryside that I know. The rapidity of change in the country takes your breath away, as you gaze upon a street you no longer recognise, or a forest of skyscrapers that in less than a year has grown faster than a copse of bamboo.

But off the beaten track, there are still hamlets that have kept their soul. Here, in Zhaji (Anhui province), nothing has changed for a very long time, and every evening after his meal, Mr Li walks beside the river before returning home for a last cup of the famous tea he produces.


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.

Articles classified by themes

Blogs on tea in English

Blogs on tea in French

Cooking

Links to Le Palais des Thés

Past travels