Tea: a simple, delicious and comforting drink

There are many ways to make tea and to drink it. Some ceremonies must be learnt, like the Japanese Cha No Yu. Other rituals have rules that are no less specific, like the British, Chinese, Moroccan, Tibetan and Russian customs, and many others. But we should never forget that for a quarter of the inhabitants of our planet, tea is the most simple drink there is. It is consumed without fanfare, anywhere, at any time of day or night; it is the most obvious thing in the world, both delicious and comforting; it is served in the street; it is tea, plain and simple.


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

Autumn landscape in Darjeeling

For those dreaming of travelling through beautiful scenery, the month of October fulfils that promise in the regions south of the Himalayas, like here in Darjeeling. After several months of intense heat, storms and torrential rain, a clear sky reveals the highest peaks.


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

The autumn colours of rooibos

The tea plant is an evergreen and its leaves do not change colour when the cold weather pervades after the summer. So, to bring you some seasonal autumn colour, I have chosen an image of rooibos leaves drying on the ground, spread out in very thin layers, oxidising after being watered.


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

Teas from the Margaret’s Hope garden

The Margaret’s Hope garden is one of the best known in Darjeeling. Its reputation is justified by the quality of its teas and also because, from time to time, this plantation products batches of a truly remarkable quality. Of course, you have to taste many samples before finding a rare gem, but that is exactly what my work entails: drinking large quantities of different teas every day.

Last spring I bought a batch from Margaret’s Hope that I am sure you remember if you were lucky enough to taste it. The planter called it White Delight. And I have just chosen a Margaret’s Hope DJ512 which has such an incredible floral bouquet it is worth the detour too. For connoisseurs, it comes from the varieties P312 and AV2.


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

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 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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