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 : , ,

A wonderful surprise from Nepal

blog-13-02-2015

Andrew Gardner, a pioneer of Nepalese premium teas, sent me this photo of one of the plots on his plantation. He has named it after me. It’s a wonderful surprise.

This gesture from Andrew has really touched me. Andrew knows my favourite varieties, and he has planted them here. Thank you, Andrew, for the quality of your teas, your passion, your optimism and your enthusiasm.


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

A meeting with Daniel Rebert, pastry chef

blog-23-01-2015

There is nothing I enjoy more than thinking about what tea I will drink next. For me, the pleasure of tea begins as soon as I lift the lids from my canisters, inhale the scent of the leaves and decide which one is best suited to the moment, mood and season.

From time to time, this exercise moves beyond the close confines of the teapot, when considering which tea will go best with a particular food. A few days ago, the journalist Laura Annaert arranged a meeting between the well-known pâtissier Daniel Rebert and myself at the Royal Monceau Hotel in Paris. She wanted to listen to us both as we decided on suitable pairings between Daniel’s creations and my selection of fine teas. Together, we tasted a Butterfly of Taiwan, a Qimen Imperial and a Shiraore Kuki Hojicha at different temperatures. We compared the textures, the toasted and toothsome notes, and the aromas of leather, cocoa and wood, while enjoying delicious millefeuilles, biscuits and chocolates. It was a very fruitful discussion!

(photo: Victoire Avril)


Posted in Tea and food pairing by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , ,

The Margaret’s Hope garden celebrates its 150th anniversary

blog-27-11-2014

This week, the Margaret’s Hope garden celebrates its 150th anniversary, and I am invited to the event. It’s an opportunity for me to remind you that tea was only introduced to India very late, in the mid-19th century. It was the British who set up the tea plantations in the country, after stealing the seeds of tea plants from China.

Margaret’s Hope makes teas that are sometimes exceptional, such as Margaret’s Hope DJ40 Moonlight, and Margaret’s Hope DJ219 Pure Av2. They are two fine teas from 2014 that I hope will be back next year.


Posted in Country : India, Places I like in Darjeeling by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Olfactory journey for the Césars

Olfactory journey for the Césars

At the end of February I was invited to lead a tasting session for some actors, most of whom had been nominated for a César award. Throughout the day, they arrived at a suite in a Paris hotel. Among them was also Kevin Rolland, Olympic Gold medallist at Sotchi (see photo), as well as television presenters and journalists. I enjoyed introducing them to some Grand Cru teas such as Dong Ding, Tawaramine, Dan Cong and Jukro. And I surprised them with Pu Erh. Many of them really appreciated this astonishing tea. They stuck their nose into the infused leaves, which reminded some of a walk through the forest, others of a stay on a farm. An olfactory journey.


Posted in Palais des Thés 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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