Category : Country : India

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 Darjeeling Toy Train knows how to take its time

Darjeeling Toy Train

I have written before about the Darjeeling Toy Train, and this is its home. Its adventures continue as I write my blog. Sometimes it crosses my path, at other times it runs alongside me. It moves in its own way and at its own pace. It knows how to take its time. It covers the 80 km that separate Jalpaiguri from Darjeeling in eight hours, at an average speed of 10 km per hour – perfect for those who appreciate life in the slow lane.

 


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

First visit to Poobong

First visit to Poobong

Vertiginous slopes and lingering mists form the scenery of Darjeeling. Out walking, a tea plucker appears in the thick fog. She climbs amongst the tea plants with astonishing agility. Poobong, a long-abandoned and inaccessible plantation, is gradually coming back to life. I am visiting it for the first time.


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

Rolling Darjeeling leaves

Rolling Darjeeling leaves

When you read tasting notes on Darjeeling teas, you learn that the leaf can be more or less rolled, depending on the batch. This is what the rolling looks like. As soon as the leaves have finished wilting, on the upper level of the building, they are dropped (see photo) into this container, which has a press. Rolling, as it is performed in Darjeeling, takes just a few minutes. It prepares the leaves, by lightly crushing them, for the following stage: oxidation.


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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