First-flush Darjeelings should be infused for between 3’30 and 4 minutes. The easiest way is to set your timer to 3’45. You have to be accurate when preparing this type of tea. If you want to retain a good balance between the aromatic bouquet, texture and flavour, you must stop the infusion in time. What you need is to give the aromas time to develop, while keeping the astringency and bitterness at a delicate level so they prolong the perception of aromas without overpowering them.
There are many teas to taste at this time of year. From now and for the next few months, I’ll be tasting dozens of teas every day, and up to 100 or 150 at times. I taste them “blind” because I don’t want to be influenced by my friendship with particular farmers. The name of the garden is hidden so that the initial selection is based solely on a sensory analysis. To express my preference, I make this gesture, shared by many planters: pushing the cup gently with the fingertips, palm facing upwards.
If you love cheese it can be good to have a change. Rather than drinking wine with cheese, how about trying it with tea? Combinations of cheese and tea arouse curiosity, and this week I’m suggesting a new pairing: Thé du Tigre and Roquefort. I’m not a big drinker of smoked tea but it has to be said that with a blue cheese as strong as this, the combination works very well. The warmth of the tea quickly melts the cheese in the mouth, and the woody, animal, smoky and milky notes mingle and complement one another. Try this sensual, creamy pairing and see what you think.
At school we all learnt to recognise colours, and because of this we can all agree that the dominant colours in this photo are green and blue.
For reasons that escape me, we don’t learn the same lessons about smell. This means that many people don’t know about the different olfactory families or how to name the smells they come across. This lack of knowledge stops us from using our sense of smell correctly and hinders the memorisation of olfactory notes. Question: why, in our country that is so proud of its gastronomic superiority, and is recognised around the world for its creativity in the field of fragrance, are we not taught about smells at school, at the same time as colours?