Category : Country : Nepal

Labour shortage in Nepal

blog-21-11-2014

Nowadays, the main problem facing Nepalese tea producers is a labour shortage. A significant portion of the population has left to find work in the Gulf countries or in Malaysia. This means the tea is only plucked once a fortnight on some mountains, which compromises its quality. Luckily, the plantations that produce the best teas are less affected. This problem does not only concern tea. The whole of the country’s manufacturing and farming sectors have been hit too.


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Andrew Gardner: passionate about supporting Nepalese teas

blog-13-11-2014

I have just returned from Nepal, where I had the opportunity to spend several days with my friend Andrew Gardner, who came to join me in Ilam valley. He had planned a four-hour walk for me, to reach a village of small producers. Andrew has worked on several plantations, but you could say he was the first to make very good teas in Nepal. We owe the renaissance of tea in the country to him. He started by working at Jun Chiyabari, and he is now applying his talents at Guranse. He’s passionate about what he does.


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Nepal: exceptional teas and scenery

blog-07-11-2014

Nepal produces some very fine teas, but so few people know about them! You have to travel for hours, and sometimes walk, to reach the mountains where the tea is grown. On the way I admire the scenery, with the paddy fields carved into terraces. The farmers work using the old methods, with the help of a buffalo. Life passes slowly. You listen to the birds sing. They announce the harvest time.


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An isolated farm at the end of the world

blog-26-09-2014

During my childhood, I spent every summer in Brittany, on a small island without running water or electricity. I learnt to economise on resources. So I don’t feel out of place when I find myself at the end of the world, on a fairly isolated farm with no mod cons. I feel good. I don’t miss anything, other than what is superfluous.


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Nepal is leading the way in new teas

blog-08-08-2014

Among the “Grands Crus” I’ve tasted in recent months, among the many teas from every part of Asia, I have to say that the ones that have impressed me most are the teas from Nepal. Of course, I have been sent wonderful Ichibanchas, unique first-flush Darjeelings, exceptional Oolongs from Taiwan, and richly aromatic Long Jings. Nonetheless, what is happening in Nepal is unique. In the past decade, this country has been working hard to produce teas of a very high quality. And unlike what I see in other countries, where there is a tendency to perpetuate a highly respectable tradition, here people are trying to develop new teas, work with different cultivars, experiment with wilting and rolling methods, and so on. And often, with success.

 


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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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