A refreshing mist

Tea plants are like you. In hot weather, they appreciate a refreshing mist. The tea plant belongs to the Camellia family. These plants like water, as long as it doesn’t sit around their roots. This means that tea plants feel at home on sloping ground, preferably in mountainous regions with a warm, humid climate. On flat ground, they require drainage.


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

Holding the soil in place

Farming methods change over time. Tea bushes sometimes used to be planted following the slope of the ground, resulting in vertical lines like those visible on the left of this photo. Today, young bushes are planted in horizontal rows, to reduce soil erosion. In heavy rain, the water runs off more slowly and the tea bushes hold the soil in place.


Posted in Producing tea by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

300 years old and it still has all its leaves

A grown up wild tea plant
Here’s what a tea plant looks like when it has been left to grow, rather than being kept low so that its buds and shoots can be picked easily. From what I’ve been told in this far-flung corner of Vietnam, this camellia could be about 300 years old. I’m no expert in dating trees, but what I do know is that some very good teas are made using leaves harvested from these tea plants… (to be continued).


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

Yaad Bahadur Limbu, “tea father” of Soyam

blog-05-12-2014

In his village of Soyam, Yaad Bahadur Limbu is known as the “tea father”. He was the first to plant tea in the village, and today, tea is its main source of income. Everyone is involved. To reach Soyam, you must cross a suspension bridge and then climb for several hours. You pass terraced rice paddies and fields of millet, and cross farmyards. When Soyam’s villagers harvest the tea leaves, they are transported on horseback. This requires four or five horses. They take the same path as the one that had me huffing and puffing, and they cross the same suspension bridge. Each horse wears a pack saddle allowing it to carry a load of 100 kilos. The caravan takes five hours to reach the factory, and must return to the village the same evening. It is a long expedition.


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

Manual skills are still essential in tea production

Tea-production-nepal

In most tea-producing countries, the best teas are plucked by hand. This means that growing high quality tea often requires the participation of many men and women. Not only is harvesting the leaves a meticulous task, but sorting them just before they are packed and dispatched is also done by hand. The work demands incredible patience.

After rice, tea is the agricultural resource that employs the greatest number of people around the world.

 


Posted in 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.

Articles classified by themes

Blogs on tea in English

Blogs on tea in French

Cooking

Links to Le Palais des Thés

Past travels