A break for tea

A break for tea

At the moment there is much talk of the violence in Ukraine; tomorrow it will be somewhere else. Violence, blood, weapons: it is as if man cannot live without them. The quality of this photo is not good, I took it quickly, in Nepal, during a visit by the army to the tea plantation where I was staying. That was a few years ago, when the country was experiencing a bloody conflict, but at that particular moment, despite the fighting, the soldiers wanted to put down their weapons and enjoy a good cup of tea.

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

Small-scale tea producers in Sri Lanka

small_scale producers_Sri_Lanka

In the south of Sri Lanka there are many small-scale producers who grow tea and then sell the fresh leaves to one of the local factories. For them, tea represents one source of income among others, and they are not economically dependent on the price if it falls. They are tied by a yearly contract with a guaranteed price. They choose the factory they want to work with, and the factory is responsible for collecting the leaves. It is a fair system.

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

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 : ,

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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