A Nepalese plantation in the middle of nowhere

For the first time, a few weeks ago, I bought a lot of a spring tea from the Kanchenjunga Tea Estate. This Nepalese plantation, situated in the middle of nowhere – two day’s travel across the Terai Plain – is one of the most promising in the country.

While there, you can admire the incredible steepness of the slopes as you realise how difficult it must be to harvest the leaves on such a gradient. As for this narrow path which snakes around the side of the mountain, and along which I have seen villagers walking, laden down like mules, it is the only route for the inhabitants of other hamlets located a few days’ walk from here.

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

Mealtime in a Chinese tea factory

In Chinese tea factories, at mealtimes, everyone puts aside their work, arranges the tables and prepares for the festivities. Eating is one of the favourite pastimes of the Chinese. It is often a moment of conviviality and relaxation, a simple occasion shared by all. It ends with a tea, and sometimes a nap.

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

The West Lake, a Chinese tourist hot-spot

Many of you will be preparing for the holidays, so here is a view of the West Lake, a Chinese tourist hot-spot. Situated in the middle of the city of Hangzhou, this lake is a dream destination for our friends in China.
Happily, it is possible to enjoy this view while tasting a remarkable, freshly-harvested green tea, as Long Jing is located just a few kilometres away. This proximity to the birthplace of the most famous Chinese tea has its part to play in Hangzhou’s excellent reputation.

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

The “zhong”: two ways of using it well

In China, there are various ways of using the “zhong”. This recipient – also known as a “gaiwan” – can be used as a cup in which the tea infuses. You drink directly from it, retaining the cover and leaving a slight gap to hold back the leaves.

The “zhong” can also be used as a teapot for “gong-fu”, in which several short infusions are prepared. After each one, every last drop of tea is poured into a reserve pot, from which the guests’ tiny cups are filled.

Everyone then gets to taste a tea with particularly concentrated aromas, and to observe the changes in the liquor’s texture and fragrances, infusion after infusion.

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

Tea pluckers bringing out their umbrellas

With the weather we’ve had this June, there has been no need to worry about sunstroke. This is not the case everywhere. For example, in Darjeeling this season, when the pluckers have brought out their umbrellas it has been to protect themselves from the sun, not the rain. The women have good taste in their choice of bright, varied colours, making this landscape very similar to a cup of Darjeeling itself. Its floral, flowery, vegetal notes are a real treat for the palate.

Posted in Country : India 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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