Category : Country : India

The Margaret’s Hope garden celebrates its 150th anniversary

blog-27-11-2014

This week, the Margaret’s Hope garden celebrates its 150th anniversary, and I am invited to the event. It’s an opportunity for me to remind you that tea was only introduced to India very late, in the mid-19th century. It was the British who set up the tea plantations in the country, after stealing the seeds of tea plants from China.

Margaret’s Hope makes teas that are sometimes exceptional, such as Margaret’s Hope DJ40 Moonlight, and Margaret’s Hope DJ219 Pure Av2. They are two fine teas from 2014 that I hope will be back next year.


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

It also rains elsewhere in summer

blog-29-08-2014

If you are finding the temperatures a bit cool this month, take note that that Western Europe is not the only place where it’s raining. In Northern India and Nepal, July and August are rainy months. It can rain for days on end, but people carry on working unperturbed. Or they take a break for a natter with friends.


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

Knowing how to appreciate bitterness

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Bitterness is the only intelligent flavour, Olivier Roellinger told me as we tasted a selection of teas together, when I warned him that some darjeelings have a touch of bitterness.

It is a flavour that, unlike sweetness, needs winning over, taming. It can be off-putting, but when we know how to appreciate bitterness, it offers such richness, such delight!

And Olivier Roellinger talked to me about the famous Italian gastronomy, a fine example of a bitter cuisine.


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

The tea plant that didn’t stop growing

big tea plant in poobong india

Due to the harvesting of its leaves, a tea plant does not get bigger; instead its trunk thickens. So a tea field looks more like a bonsai forest. But left unchecked, Camellia Sinensis and Camellia Assamica can grow to a height of several metres. Here is Rudra Sharma, the planter at Poobong in India, in front of one of his wild tea plants.


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

Turning our backs on danger

monk sipping a fizzy drink near gas bottles

On a visit to a Buddhist monastery, I came across this monk sipping a fizzy drink, his back turned on a store of gas bottles. It made me think of the state of the world. We live as if there is no danger, as if it is possible to draw infinitely on the resources of our planet; we let water flow away, we pollute shamelessly, we don’t care about the rubbish contaminating our oceans… We are leaving future generations to deal with the consequences of our actions without considering the risk that one day, our poor, overpopulated, dried out, lifeless planet will explode in our faces.

 


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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