The “zhong”: a good means to assess a tea’s potential

There are many ways of drinking tea. At home you can use a teapot, a mug, a “kyusu” or a “zhong”, to name a few…

When I visit farmers I discover other methods of preparing tea, sometimes using different equipment. So I adapt my approach to the tasting according to the method used. Here, with our producer of Dan Congs, the teas are infused three times in a row, in a zhong, and each infusion is poured immediately into one of the bowls set out in front. We taste each of the three liquors, and can then easily assess the tea’s potential to be prepared using the “Gong Fu Cha”.

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

A familiar little train on my blog…

The little train of Darjeeling is a familiar sight on my blog. It comes and goes whenever it pleases, without so much as a by-your-leave. And it doesn’t just do this on my pages either: look how casually it makes use of the road when it fancies! Other vehicles have to watch out when this train is about.

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

India: heavy rains cause landslides

During the months of July and August there are heavy rains in Darjeeling, and many landslides occur in the weeks following the downpours. Sometimes you see a pretty little village that appears to be suspended over a ravine.

The tea plants you see in the foreground and on the slope itself are near Lingia.

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

An ingenious solar-powered insect trap

During the warm, humid seasons the leaves of the tea plant attract all sorts of insects. You must either keep away the bugs or eliminate them if you don’t want your crop ruined. Rather than using products that degrade the quality of the tea, are not good for the environment and are also costly, farmers often come up with ingenious solutions. Here, near the Village of the Monkeys (China), they have created a solar-powered insect trap.

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

Plucking tea from full-sized tea plants

There are few places in the world where tea is harvested from full-sized tea plants. On most plantations the camellia bushes are maintained at waist height. However, in regions where Pu Ers are produced, as well as here on Feng Huang mountain (China), the leaves of large tea plants are considered to have a superior aromatic quality.

If you have never tasted them, I suggest you try Dan Cong Wu Long as well as the oxidised Dan Cong – both are exceptionally subtle. They come from these large tea plants and were plucked by Mrs Huang, pictured here hard at work.

Posted in Country : China, Tea plant 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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