ARCHIVE FOR April 2015

Des nouvelles du Népal

28 April 2015

Flash info. Nouvelles du Népal : nous avons pris contact avec nos fermiers partenaires auprès de qui nous achetons en direct nos thés : ils vont tous bien, n’ont eu aucun dommage matériel, les vallées où le thé pousse étant nettement plus à l’est du Népal.

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An assessment of the 2015 first-flush Darjeelings

24 April 2015
An assessment of the 2015 first-flush Darjeelings

When you harvest the terminal bud of the tea plant several times, the stem becomes stressed and stops producing a new bud. This phenomenon of dormancy, known as “banjhi” in Darjeeling, marks the end of the spring harvest (first flush).

If I had to give my assessment of this season in Darjeeling, I’d say we received batches of very varying quality, and few of exceptional quality. But I’ll conclude on a good note, with the choice of a Puttabong Clonal Queen DJ48 and a Margaret’s Hope Tippy Clonal DJ30. The first represents what Puttabong does best; the second is quite simply breathtaking.

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Tea is also about people and feelings

17 April 2015
Tea is also about people and feelings

Behind each “grand cru”, each tea, there is work, there are people. My work, as I see it, is not limited to tracking down the best teas in the world, it also involves getting to know the people who produce it. Drinking tea with them. Listening to them talk about their product. So when I’m in a Palais des Thés store and I look at that impressive wall of canisters, it’s not the names of the teas on the labels I see, but faces, like that of Vikas Gajmer, manager of Castleton (Darjeeling).

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Darjeeling spring harvests

10 April 2015
Darjeeling spring harvests

It’s not only the tea plantations that are busy at the moment. Yesterday I received no less than 120 different tea samples to taste. As ever, you need to be quick. If I want to make an offer on one of these batches I must have tasted them all in one or two days at the most. After that, it will be too late.

Of course, I don’t drink all the teas, I spit them out after turning the liquor around in my mouth while I analyse it.

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Leaf by leaf

3 April 2015
Leaf by leaf

It is difficult to imagine what tea processing involves in terms of expertise and refinement. Here, for example, the production process has been completed, and this woman is going through the leaves one by one to remove tiny stems and other imperfections.

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