Iced tea: a sugar free, healthy and refreshing drink

Last Friday, I spent my whole day in my tasting room. This room is usually cool, but here it was so hot that after having tasted a large number of Darjeeling 2nd flush, I felt like having a cold tea. I prepared myself two different teas, because I like making comparisons: a Thé des Songes and a Thé des Sables.

The recipe of iced tea is extremely simple: put 15 grams of tea in one litre of water, let it brew for 30 minutes, then filter the tea with the help of a tea strainer or a filter and it’s ready! After that, up to you to leave the carafe or the bottle in the fridge, if you want an iced tea rather than a cold tea. When serving, and as a suggestion of garniture, a few ice cubes with summer fruits taken in the ice (blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants): it’s nice and delicious.

To help you choosing the delicous teas to drink cold, here are some of my favourites: Bancha Hojicha, Grand Jasmin Chung Feng, Genmaicha, Tie Guan Yin, Thé des Sables, Thé des Enfants, Thé du Hammam, Thé des Songes Blancs, as well as most flavoured teas with citrus fruits or berries…

Enjoy!

P.S.: on the picture, just behind the carafe full of Thé des Songes, one of the tea trees I received when I was in Japan last April. I take great care of it and it returns it good: it has already doubled in size!


Posted in Iced tea, Recipes by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , , , ,

Ye Yingkai, producer of Fujian teas

Ye Yingkai, pictured beside me, is a great connoisseur of Fujian teas. His story is singular, as he started out working for the State Corporation in charge of tea exports in his province, before forming his own company. He then acquired a farm, fields, in order to produce his own tea. Parallel to that, he hunts out great Tie Guan Yin, rare Da Hong Pao, as well as extremely fine jasmine teas.

He has been working with Le Palais Des Thés for nearly 20 years, and of course he’s a great friend of mine.


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

Green tea from a wide angle

Of course, from a wide angle, it looks both a little easy and spectacular. Here, it extends the building, shortens the individuals and spreads tea just the way it is required. Spreading the leaves is in fact exactly what has to be done after plucking to avoid fermentation. All the leaves in the baskets are put together and spread into a thin layer just like this women wearing a white headdress has just done. And since green tea (a Bai Mao Hou, “Hairy White Monkey”, to be precise) is going to be made here, armfuls of tea leaves will soon be roasted in a big wok.


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

White tea withering

White teas are one of the Fujian district’s (China) main specialties. The most well-known ones are named Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) and Yin Zhen (Silver Needles).
The manufacturing process of white tea is quite simple, as it can be summed up in two words: withering and firing.
Traditionally, white tea is withered in the open air, just like here on these large bamboo pans which have been placed according to the course of the sun. This procedure will last from 48 to 60 hours. It is thus better to take the colour of the sun in consideration before plucking the leaves, in order for the harvest not to be ruined by the rain!


Posted in Country : China by Marie-Emmanuelle Petit | Tags : , , , , , , , , ,

In the Nepalese mist…

In the mountains of Nepal, people still believe in the Yeti. I’ve not had the opportunity to meet the Abominable Snowman myself, but I’ve heard plenty about him from the villagers. What I do know is that he is not abominable and is not always the size that people claim. Around the Kanchenjunga Tea Estate (Nepal), the yetis, of which there are many in the region, are not even a metre high.

I wonder if the magic of the Himalayan landscapes might have a part to play in all this. The filaments of mist flanking the mountains, the trees that appear and disappear with the changing winds, which are so full of humidity they feel as thick as cotton, the paths that fade into the clouds… When the sky merges with the ground, it is easy to lose your bearings.


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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