Category : Country : Nepal

Spring harvest in Nepal


Every year, the first-flush Darjeelings open the season, followed by the spring harvests in Nepal, then China and Japan. I have now started tasting the first samples of Nepalese teas. They come a few weeks after the Darjeelings, due to the harsher climate. Yet the two regions are not so far apart, barely a few days’ walk, and you could pass from one country to another without noticing it unless you pay attention to the signs.

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A break for tea

A break for tea

At the moment there is much talk of the violence in Ukraine; tomorrow it will be somewhere else. Violence, blood, weapons: it is as if man cannot live without them. The quality of this photo is not good, I took it quickly, in Nepal, during a visit by the army to the tea plantation where I was staying. That was a few years ago, when the country was experiencing a bloody conflict, but at that particular moment, despite the fighting, the soldiers wanted to put down their weapons and enjoy a good cup of tea.

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Keeping tea

The optimal storage period can vary a great deal from one tea to another. Green teas from Japan and China do not last long, and just a few months after harvest the difference in flavour is noticeable. The same goes for first flush Darjeelings. On the other hand, what are known as dark teas, the famous Pu Ers, get better with age. Lastly, many black teas as well as the most oxidised of the Wulongs often retain their qualities for years. Like this Nepalese plucker whose smile, charm and generosity are impervious to the passing of time.

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Fill your baskets with tea

This charming Nepalese tea plucker is setting off with her basket to harvest the young shoots of the tea bushes.
She reminds me of you all who, at this festive time of year, are out looking for things that will make your loved-ones happy.

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Wild orchids growing around tea plantations

Spending your life in the tea fields does not prevent you from wandering around the tea plantations and raising your eyes to admire the nature around you. Here in Nepal, wild orchids grow right on the tree bark. Alongside them live many other delicately coloured flowers and mosses.

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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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