The attention paid to tea plants between autumn and spring

The attention paid to tea plants between autumn and spring - Discovering Tea

If you have a garden of any size, you know that between autumn and spring, aside from when the ground is frozen, there is always work to be getting on with, such as pruning. In the tea fields, too, this period is put to good use: every tree is examined and given the necessary care. As with a fruit tree, the plant is assessed before the winter pruning is carried out. This cutting back, which is not performed every year, helps the shrub to put on new growth.

Posted in Tea plant by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Gary, a true connoisseur of teas from south-west China

Gary, a true connoisseur of teas from south-west China - Discovering Tea

Every year my friend Gary, who lives in Kunming and runs a tea store there, sends me lots of pu erh samples. Raw pu erhs, cooked pu erhs, pu erhs in cake form or loose, pu erhs of every age, from very young to very old. I always look forward to receiving them. I’ve known Gary for more than 20 years. He was young when we met and was working for the state organisation in charge of exporting Yunnan teas. He has an excellent knowledge of all the teas produced in south-west China. Tea is his life.

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

In China, the tea market has changed

In China, the tea market has changed

The process of buying tea in China is not what it used to be. Only 20 years ago only the state had the authority to export tea, and every Chinese tea was given a specific reference. Expert tasters would travel the whole country, visiting each tea factory and tasting each tea before giving it a reference number. For example a Grand Yunnan Imperial was given a grade of 6112.
Things have changed a great deal since then. Today those Chinese experts have gone, no doubt to the private sector, and domestic consumption has increased dramatically. Demand now outstrips supply, pushing prices up. And nobody thinks to remember how it was done 20 years ago.

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

Feng Huang Dan Cong: one of the rarest teas in China

Feng Huang Dan Cong - Discovering Tea

Feng Huang Dan Cong, or Phoenix Tea, is one of the rarest China teas. Just a handful of farmers, including the Huang family, seen here, whom I was delighted to photograph, process these large leaves whose lingering bouquet evokes flowers, fruits, wood and spices by turn. If you love fine teas you should taste this at least once in your life.

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

Eternal snow of Kanchenjunga


For my Parisian friends who are finding this month of January a little mild, here is the cooling and eternal snow of Kanchenjunga. This massive mountain extends from the ancient royal kingdom of Sikkim to Nepal and Tibet, just a stone’s throw from Darjeeling.

Posted in Country : India, Places I like in Darjeeling 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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