The Sumela monastery

In case you had of Turkey an image of a very hot country, I’d like to tone it down a bit. If tea enjoys being on these mountains lining the Black Sea, it’s exactly because here when you climb up a little, it’s much cooler and there are plenty of clouds and rain. “It rains all the time in Rize and if it doesn’t rain it snows !” have I often heard.

The Sumela monastery –whose picture can only be taken by patient people- is precisely located in the area where tea is grown. You can notice that nature looks close to the one found in the Alps. And these threads of fog remind me of the Himalayan foothills. So now you surely understand why tea enjoys it here !

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

Tea is in the bag

What a beautiful warm evening light illuminating these string bags filled with fresh tea leaves. This is happening in Dellawa (Sri Lanka). In a few minutes, these leaves will be taken to the top floor of the tea factory where they’ll undergo the first stage of processing: withering. A stage that can take up to 20 hours for this type of black tea and consists simply in remaining the leaves spread out in thin, long and well ventilated trays. Water will thereby be taken out of the fresh tea leaves.

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

Under the palm trees of Nantou, Dong Ding tea

In Taiwan, in the Nantou region for example, well-known for its Wu Long teas (Dong Ding, etc.), the tall and spindly trunks of the palm trees contrast with the rows of tea plants and give the landscape a very graphic appearance.

I have to admit that this impression is emphasized by the fact that I have been a little disrespectful to the posers in the foreground by chopping their head off…

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

Cheerful plucker looking like a tea missionary

On the Terai plain (area straddling Nepal and India), I’ve seen them use strange crosses to mark the height of tea plants. The cross is stuck into the ground and only the shoots growing above the horizontal bar are plucked. It makes this cheerful plucker look a bit like a tea missionary.

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

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…


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 : , , , , , ,

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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