In Nepal, special measures are put in place on election days

Election in Kathmandu

This Sunday, people were voting in Kathmandu. Here, on election days, to ensure the process is peaceful and democratic, all car traffic is banned and the sale of alcohol is suspended. Also, around the polling stations, there are signs reminding you that it is strictly forbidden to carry a gun in the vicinity.


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

Spare a thought for Nepal

Nepal earthquake

It’s more than a year since Nepal was hit by a powerful earthquake. And since then, for many villagers, life has not improved. In this country that is very rural and particularly mountainous, the aid they were promised has not been forthcoming. Many people are living in their houses as before: they have placed a makeshift roof over the ruins, and life goes on. But what will happen to them after the monsoon, what will they have left after the rainy season that turns everything into mud?


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

Spring comes round again

Nepal harvest

After Darjeeling, we turn our attention to Nepal, China and Japan, to enjoy their new spring teas. In Japan, we return to the farmers we know, and we also enjoy discovering teas from others. In China, we are guided by the traditional appellations, which are attached to a particular village. In Nepal, we know which plantations are capable of producing the best teas at particular times of year. There is sometimes an added difficulty though, like here at Kuwapani. The planter, who was an employee rather than the owner of the plantation, has left. What will the results be like under his successor? We’ll know the answer in a few months’ time. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy tasting the new teas this spring has to offer!


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

Darjeeling teas and Nepalese teas: two schools

Nepal

Due to a way of thinking I don’t share, Darjeeling tea producers fear competition from their Nepalese neighbours. They think the latter are copying them and can sell their teas more cheaply, because of their lower production costs.

Yes, Nepalese teas sometimes offer good value for money, but they are not copies of Darjeelings. There are some passionate planters in Nepal who know that their country still needs to prove itself to gain recognition in the world of tea, and as a result, they try to be innovative. In Darjeeling, planters are in a more comfortable position due to their reputation that is often – but not always – merited.

So, they are two different worlds: innovation on one side, tradition on the other. By looking carefully and being highly selective, you can find excellent teas on both sides of the border. And it would be a shame to deprive yourself of either kind.


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

An encounter off the beaten track

blog-22-05-2015

This woman is 95. She lives on an isolated farm, with her husband. They live alone, on the mountainside, far from any other houses, with just a few chickens and a little land to cultivate. A tiny path leads to their house. It is so narrow you must place one foot in front of the other. I visited them last week, while walking in the mountains in eastern Nepal. I was with Andrew, the planter from Guranse who shares my love of long walks. She made us tea while we talked with her husband. She brought us the tea in a metal goblet and threw a handful of cereal into a small, separate bowl. We poured the milky tea, which was quite peppery, over the cereal, and ate. We drank the remaining tea. We talked for a long time with her and her husband, on their doorstep, beneath a beehive. They talked non-stop. She understood my mediocre Hindi but spoke only in Nepali. Andrew translated for me. When I managed to get a word in, I asked her questions. What was her secret for a long life? Eating healthy food; fresh, home-grown produce. And was not love also the secret of their longevity? She laughed and exchanged a tender, incredibly touching, look with her husband. They married when she was 11. He was 15. They love each other. They have been together more than 80 years. When it was time for us to leave, they took our hands, and they blessed us by placing their hands on our foreheads. And they asked us if, later, when they are no longer there, we could once, just once, think of them.


Posted in Country : Nepal 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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