Emotions

The world through the window

20 November 2020
The world through the window

In these times of Covid-19, the tea researcher looks at the world through his window. Deprived of travel, he consoles himself by tasting the teas he continues to receive from different plantations, and sometimes selects one.

In these times of Covid-19, the tea researcher dreams of his future trips, the people he’ll meet, the things he’ll discover. And so he divides his time between these two occupations, tasting and dreaming.

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Dilapidated

6 November 2020
Dilapidated

I chose this photo today not to illustrate the appalling situation hotels are in due to Covid-19 and the lack of tourism, but for the pleasure of taking you to the streets of Kolkata. The city might be dilapidated but I love it. It was built on tea, among other things. Kolkata is a port, and tea companies still have their headquarters there today. The most important auctions in the country are held in the city, and all the teas from Assam, the northern plains and Darjeeling leave India from its quays.

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Happy holidays

21 August 2020
Happy holidays

You won’t get to know the fishermen of Inle Lake this summer. Balanced right at the end of their dugout canoe, they make a rotational movement with their leg wrapped around the oar and guide the fish in a mysterious way towards the net they hold in one hand.

Viewed from the perspective of a traveller like me, and judging by the frequency of their catches, the ease and poetry of their movement repeated thousands of times contrasts with its apparent efficacy. I hope you enjoy your holidays. If you try this fishing technique for yourselves, wherever you are, let me know how you get on.

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Simplicity

7 August 2020
Simplicity

Tranquillity, calm, silence, relaxation, slowness, shade, freshness, water, deep breaths, a feeling of wellbeing… Away from noise, crowds, bright lights, movement… Turning inwards, concentration, contemplation, wonderment…

Waiting for the tea to steep, lifting the cup to your lips, taking the first sip.

The simplicity of tea.

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Sensory exposure

17 July 2020
Sensory exposure

Right now it’s best to minimise your potential exposure to a vicious virus. Much better to be safe at home, drinking delicious teas. Admire the look of the liquor before shutting your eyes and swilling it around your mouth. Pay attention to the sensations, aromas and textures in your mouth, the flavours on your tongue and palate. Then, once you’ve swallowed, you’ll be transported by the lingering finish.

Staying at home is a wonderful opportunity to expose your senses to gastronomic experiences.

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Without a roof

10 July 2020
Without a roof

In Nepal, among people who are finding lockdown challenging are those who still have no roof over their head. In remote villages of this ancient Himalayan kingdom, I still come across isolated hamlets where the houses remain in ruins and have never been rebuilt since the last earthquake, despite all the international aid.

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Green and rosy

3 July 2020
Green and rosy

On the radio, I keep hearing that the Greens have done well in France. So I listen more closely. Green is my colour. Tea fields are green, tea leaves are green, the nature surrounding the tea plantations is green. Everything around me is green when I walk among tea plants, in an infinite variety of shades: yellow green, jade green, luminous green, matt green, dark green, pale green and everything in between.

In these landscapes I love so much, surrounded by green, I’m happy, I’m at peace. Everything looks rosy.

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Celebrating “déconfinement” in France

14 May 2020
Celebrating “déconfinement” in France

To celebrate “déconfinement” in France, I’m taking you to Malawi. I expect not many of you have been to this country in East Africa, and, from my experience, not many people can find it on a map either. The south of former Nyasaland is dominated by beautiful mountain ranges, as well as high plateaus covered with tea plants.

Today, I’m offering you a new way to travel in the post-Covid era. No need to take a plane or get a visa. There’s no time difference. You can view the photos of this blog on a big screen and travel from one country to another, even sipping a tea from the relevant country at the same time. Try it!

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Holding on to the benefits

17 April 2020
Holding on to the benefits

We must look for the positive in everything. If we examine the extraordinary times we’re living through while the virus is raging, we can see that, among all the negatives, all the pain of those who have lost loved ones, there are some rare but incredible positives. People are looking out for one another in a true community spirit. There are plenty of kind and spontaneous gestures. We are all suddenly aware of the essential work that many people do. Some people have more free time for other things instead of consuming, time to realise what is important to them, what it means to be alive. We are breathing air that has never been so pure, appreciating the rare silence and the sweet melody of birdsong, even in city centres.

Can we learn something from this experience, and hold on to these benefits after lockdown?

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Hoping for better times

10 April 2020
Hoping for better times

What’s the point of a tea sourcer who can no longer source tea? What’s the point of a tea sourcer who can no longer spend time with farmers and has no samples to taste, who watches springtime unfurling through the window of his tasting room that usually receives around 100 samples a day at this time of year, compared with just a handful for the whole of the past week? What’s the point of a tea sourcer who can’t offer his customers rare batches to taste, because they can’t be served in stores, or sent out by post?

Although I feel alone, I’m trying to look on the bright side. In my tasting room I’m lucky enough to have an endless selection of premium teas, all bought over the past year. I taste them and hope for better times, and think of you all.

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