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.


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

The autumn Darjeelings are arriving!

At the moment I’m tasting some delicious teas from Darjeeling. The autumn harvest (third flush) is early, and I have just chosen a Phuguri DJ168 as well as a Margaret’s Hope Pure Clonal DJ512; both are quite exceptional. They should arrive in France in about 10 days. As connoisseurs know, and to simplify a little, autumn Darjeelings are generally more woody than summer Darjeelings (second flush), which in turn are fruitier than spring Darjeelings (first flush). Whatever the season, though, these teas grow on mountains that offer breathtaking views.


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

Small plantation in the south of Sri Lanka

From one country to another, one region to another, the organisation of tea production varies. Sometimes I visit huge plantations that cover whole mountainsides. But many independent farmers grow their own tea plants around their house, like here in the south of Sri Lanka.


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

Political turmoil in Darjeeling

Don’t you think this landscape evokes calmness and tranquillity? Yet I took the photo in Darjeeling, a region that has been in political turmoil for more than 30 years. At regular intervals the local party calls for strikes in the hope of achieving some autonomy in the Indian Union, and the creation of a new state, Gorkhaland. Nowadays, all roads in the region are blocked, and the shops are shut.


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

A very special tea plantation

Some tea plantations are really worth a detour. The one pictured here is situated on a tiny island off the coast of China. It is deserted apart from a handful of inhabitants and a few wild sheep. The island has an atmosphere of profound and palpable harmony.


Posted in Country : China 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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