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 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 :

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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