Combining leaves limits flavour variety

Tea fields in Japan

I have a regret when it comes to Japanese teas. My Japanese friends know it and share it. It is this: in Japan, few farmers produce finished tea. They are not usually set up to do this in terms of equipment. Most farmers focus on growing the best possible tea and harvesting it at the optimal time, but then they immediately sell the fresh leaves to co-operatives, who finish the production process. However, these co-operatives don’t keep the batches separate so they can process them individually. They put all the tea harvested by different farmers together. This results in a certain uniformity of flavour, whereas if each farmer took care of the production process right to the end, we would undoubtedly get a wider variety of flavours and aromas.


Posté dans Country : Japan par François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Little Adam’s Peak

Little Adam's Peak

I was incredibly fortunate, when I woke yesterday without knowing exactly where I was, to discover this sublime view from my bed. I’d arrived in Ella late the night before, from Ratnapura, and without the moon I couldn’t get a sense of the landscape. I was woken at 5am by the birds singing, as well as the shrill cries of the squirrels, who were celebrating daybreak in their own way. I went out onto the terrace to enjoy the sight, and I stayed there, taking it all in. This mountain is called Little Adam’s Peak.

I hadn’t been to this beautiful country for a year, and I’m happy to see that in the mountains in the centre of the island, a few factories that used to make teas industrially with a rotorvane machine, which is very rough on the leaves, are now at least trying to make teas the orthodox way, a method that is more respectful of the leaves. They are just attempts, I know, but it’s a promising sign and it’s a pleasure to see that tea planters want to try out new methods, make better teas; that they are curious, and want to improve their quality.


Posté dans Country : Sri Lanka par François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Transporting freshly harvested tea: a crucial stage

blog-14-08-2015

There must be as little delay as possible from the time the tea is harvested to the moment it reaches the building for processing. This is because the fresh leaves, wrapped in bags for transporting, immediately start to ferment with the heat and humidity.


Posté dans Country : Malaysia par François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Vermiculture: a very common practice

You don’t need panda excrement to launch into organic tea production. In my last post I mentioned these loveable mammals in the light of the highly-publicised start-up by a Chinese entrepreneur. But vermiculture, on the other hand, has been around for a long time and is used on many tea plantations.  So what is it? Quite simply, it involves raising earthworms by feeding them on a mixture of cow dung and chopped-up leaves (see photo). A few weeks later, the earthworm castings are collected and spread onto the soil. The use of this rich compost eliminates the need for fertilisers. In addition, the compost contains worm eggs, which then hatch into worms themselves. Once they have grown into adult worms, they will help aerate the soil and aid irrigation. As well as burrowing tunnels, the worms feed on leaves that have fallen to the ground, and speed up their decomposition.

So earthworms are a great asset, providing ongoing benefits for the soil.


Posté dans Organic tea par 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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