There’s a spring tea for everyone

Flowery tree

For those who wish to try spring – or first-flush – teas, here are some tips. Darjeelings harvested in March and April develop sustained floral notes accompanied by a touch of astringency and bitterness. For brioche and floral aromas combined, try Nepalese first-flush teas, which are harvested from the start of April. Those who enjoy chestnut, mineral and vegetal notes would do well with new-season Chinese teas (the rarest and most sought-after and therefore the most expensive are those known as pre-Qingming teas, harvested before Chinese Tomb-Sweeping Day which takes place at the beginning of April). Lastly, for fans of iodine, cut grass and steamed vegetable notes, Japanese Ichibanchas are a pure delight. They are harvested between the end of April and the middle of May. Of course I haven’t covered them all here, and there are other countries to discover, but if we are talking about springtime and nature reawakening, and if you want teas that evoke gardens and rising sap, these are the ones I think of first.


Posted in Spring by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

Iced tea: a sugar free, healthy and refreshing drink

Last Friday, I spent my whole day in my tasting room. This room is usually cool, but here it was so hot that after having tasted a large number of Darjeeling 2nd flush, I felt like having a cold tea. I prepared myself two different teas, because I like making comparisons: a Thé des Songes and a Thé des Sables.

The recipe of iced tea is extremely simple: put 15 grams of tea in one litre of water, let it brew for 30 minutes, then filter the tea with the help of a tea strainer or a filter and it’s ready! After that, up to you to leave the carafe or the bottle in the fridge, if you want an iced tea rather than a cold tea. When serving, and as a suggestion of garniture, a few ice cubes with summer fruits taken in the ice (blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants): it’s nice and delicious.

To help you choosing the delicous teas to drink cold, here are some of my favourites: Bancha Hojicha, Grand Jasmin Chung Feng, Genmaicha, Tie Guan Yin, Thé des Sables, Thé des Enfants, Thé du Hammam, Thé des Songes Blancs, as well as most flavoured teas with citrus fruits or berries…

Enjoy!

P.S.: on the picture, just behind the carafe full of Thé des Songes, one of the tea trees I received when I was in Japan last April. I take great care of it and it returns it good: it has already doubled in size!


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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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