Nepal: exceptional teas and scenery

blog-07-11-2014

Nepal produces some very fine teas, but so few people know about them! You have to travel for hours, and sometimes walk, to reach the mountains where the tea is grown. On the way I admire the scenery, with the paddy fields carved into terraces. The farmers work using the old methods, with the help of a buffalo. Life passes slowly. You listen to the birds sing. They announce the harvest time.


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

An isolated farm at the end of the world

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During my childhood, I spent every summer in Brittany, on a small island without running water or electricity. I learnt to economise on resources. So I don’t feel out of place when I find myself at the end of the world, on a fairly isolated farm with no mod cons. I feel good. I don’t miss anything, other than what is superfluous.


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

A time to talk with bloggers

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I love spending time with tea producers, but I also really enjoy talking to our customers or, as I did this week at our Rue Vieille-du-Temple store, with bloggers who had come to discover and taste our latest creations: Les Jardins. I spoke about how gardens were a source of inspiration; the joy of walking through a favourite garden in different seasons; how these new infusions can be enjoyed hot, at room temperature, or iced. Of course, we also talked about “grand cru” teas, and food too.


Posted in Palais des Thés by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Making tea requires great precision

Making tea requires great precision

Making tea requires great precision. Scales are used to check the weight of the leaves, then there is a kettle with volume markings , sometimes a thermometer, and a timer. When I’m on a tea plantation, I like to photograph the different measuring instruments I see, like here, in Nepal.


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

In China, the tea market has changed

In China, the tea market has changed

The process of buying tea in China is not what it used to be. Only 20 years ago only the state had the authority to export tea, and every Chinese tea was given a specific reference. Expert tasters would travel the whole country, visiting each tea factory and tasting each tea before giving it a reference number. For example a Grand Yunnan Imperial was given a grade of 6112.
Things have changed a great deal since then. Today those Chinese experts have gone, no doubt to the private sector, and domestic consumption has increased dramatically. Demand now outstrips supply, pushing prices up. And nobody thinks to remember how it was done 20 years ago.


Posted in Country : China, Professional tasting 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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