Nepal: exceptional teas and scenery

blog-07-11-2014

Nepal produces some very fine teas, but so few people know about them! You have to travel for hours, and sometimes walk, to reach the mountains where the tea is grown. On the way I admire the scenery, with the paddy fields carved into terraces. The farmers work using the old methods, with the help of a buffalo. Life passes slowly. You listen to the birds sing. They announce the harvest time.


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

Rock tea: a mysterious name

Rock Teas

Last week I wrote about “rock teas”, because I had just returned from that region of China. When you ask local farmers where the name comes from, some talk about the fact that the tea must be rocked at a particular stage during the processing. But others draw an analogy between the tea’s smooth flavour, its minerality and strength, and the amazing rocks around which the camellias grow.


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

Da Hong Pao: a legendary oolong

blog-24-10-2014

In China there is a very famous group of teas called “rock teas”. These semi-oxidised teas come from Wu Yi Shan, a mountain range in the north of Fujian province. The best known is Da Hong Pao. You have to taste it at least once in your life to realise what an exceptional tea this is. It has a rare strength and length in the mouth, yet remains subtle. It is fruity, toasted, woody and sweet at the same time.


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

The origins of “lapsang souchong”

blog-17-10-2014

Calling all smoked teas connoisseurs! It is here, in a Chinese regional park in the north of Fujian province, that all lapsang souchongs were produced for two hundred years. The origins of this tea date back to the 19th century, when a high-ranking Chinese army officer requisitioned the tea factory that stood here before this one, to house his regiment, leaving the farmer no choice but to dry his tea outside, over burning spruce roots. Which is how smoked tea came about.


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

Japanese shadows

blog-10-10-2014

For anyone interested in Japan, I recommend reading “In Praise of Shadows” by Junichiro Tanizaki. The author invites us not to view Japan through western eyes, but to take a wider perspective on what we call technical progress. He teaches us, beautifully, to look at the interior of a house. He talks about rays of sunshine that we in the West love to allow into our homes, while in Japan, they filter the light. This gives it a diffuse quality, rather than flooding everything with its intensity. It creates shadows, and gives things and people intimacy and mystery.


Posted in Country : Japan 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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