Category : Country : Sri Lanka

The art of picking leaves


To produce a high-quality tea, you must start by harvesting the leaves carefully; in other words, picking off the end shoot, the bud and the next two leaves. If you take off more leaves, the quality will suffer. So it is important to train the people doing the harvesting and to value their work.

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

Escaping the city


I don’t like cars. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to get out of town by train, escaping the crowds, and, through the open windows, feeling the factories, the dust and the noise becoming more distant. Gradually, nature takes over, like here, heading towards Kandy (Sri Lanka) and the tea plantations in the centre of the island.

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Tasting many teas


It is no more difficult to taste thirty or forty teas than to taste two or three. On the contrary: you move quickly from one to the next, you spit each one out, you concentrate so you can compare them, and very quickly you know which one you prefer.

Posted in Country : Sri Lanka, Professional tasting by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Tea auctions in Sri Lanka


When I set off to visit Sri Lankan plantations, I stop off first in Colombo to taste the teas being sold at auction in the following days. It gives me a good idea of the quality being produced by the different gardens. Each of these boxes contains a few tea leaves and is marked with the lot number.


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Small-scale tea producers in Sri Lanka

small_scale producers_Sri_Lanka

In the south of Sri Lanka there are many small-scale producers who grow tea and then sell the fresh leaves to one of the local factories. For them, tea represents one source of income among others, and they are not economically dependent on the price if it falls. They are tied by a yearly contract with a guaranteed price. They choose the factory they want to work with, and the factory is responsible for collecting the leaves. It is a fair system.

Posted in Country : Sri Lanka 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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