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.
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.
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.
Pairing tea and cheese: the example of goat’s cheese Fresh goat’s cheese is one of my favourite cheeses, and I like going to the farm to choose mine. I prefer to accompany it with tea rather than wine. More precisely, a Premium Bao Zhong served at room temperature. To prepare it, first steep the tea for six minutes, then remove the leaves from the pot and leave it to cool for 30 minutes. Serve in small clear liqueur glasses. It will make an interesting change for your guests, and you will love the pairing: the tea does not overwhelm the subtle flavour of the cheese; on the contrary, it accompanies it, as the tea’s vegetal and floral notes make way for the milky, delicate animal qualities of the cheese. They make a fine match.