Walking around the plantations

blog-15-05-2015

I never visit a tea plantation without taking a walk around the surrounding villages. It’s a chance to observe how people live, to meet the locals, perhaps to sit on someone’s doorstep and chat. And to be an object of curiosity for groups of children, who are often laughing!


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

Malawi: a wonderful discovery

blog-08-05-2015

Asia is not the only producer of good teas – Africa too, if you know where to look. I have just returned from Malawi. The countryside is exceptionally beautiful. Breath-taking. And the people of that country are so gentle, attentive and spontaneous, it’s quite incredible.


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

My thoughts are with Nepal

blog-01-05-2015

I often travel in the Himalayan region, I’m very fond of those mountains and the people who live there. I have great affection for the Nepalese. I have many friends in Nepal and Darjeeling. I feel at home in these regions. I could live there, have my home there, my friends, my life. Happily, my friends who work in the tea fields are safe, but they are very worried, they are waiting for news of their loved-ones who live in the centre of the country. They fear the worst.

And then there are all those victims who have perished, thousands of people, and the immense pain and sadness of their families. I hope these flags flying in the wind will look after their souls, transport them, embraced and supported by our prayers, that our prayers will give them some warmth… I hope these flags will express our love for those departed souls, flying in the wind.


Posted in Country : Nepal by François-Xavier Delmas

An assessment of the 2015 first-flush Darjeelings

blog-23-04-2015

When you harvest the terminal bud of the tea plant several times, the stem becomes stressed and stops producing a new bud. This phenomenon of dormancy, known as “banjhi” in Darjeeling, marks the end of the spring harvest (first flush).

If I had to give my assessment of this season in Darjeeling, I’d say we received batches of very varying quality, and few of exceptional quality. But I’ll conclude on a good note, with the choice of a Puttabong Clonal Queen DJ48 and a Margaret’s Hope Tippy Clonal DJ30. The first represents what Puttabong does best; the second is quite simply breathtaking.


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

Tea is also about people and feelings

blog-17-04-2015

Behind each « grand cru », each tea, there is work, there are people. My work, as I see it, is not limited to tracking down the best teas in the world, it also involves getting to know the people who produce it. Drinking tea with them. Listening to them talk about their product. So when I’m in a Palais des Thés store and I look at that impressive wall of canisters, it’s not the names of the teas on the labels I see, but faces, like that of Vikas Gajmer, manager of Castleton (Darjeeling).


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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