One of the questions I’m asked most is whether the quality of the tea is declining as the number of Palais des Thés stores increases. The question concerns the finest quality, rare, small-batch teas. Let me answer it here. At the moment, we only select one premium tea for every hundred or more batches we get sent. Of course, not all of the teas we receive are worthy of selection, but many could qualify. However, we never ask a producer who has only made 50 kilos of an amazing tea to increase the size of their batch. This could compromise the quality. But there is nothing to stop us from selecting more batches and offering them in just a few stores. This means that the range of premium teas we offer will continue to evolve over time, but also in terms of where they are available. It is a pleasure to find different teas of such quality from one Palais des Thés store to another.
ARCHIVE FOR February 2023
In Malawi, the Satemwa plantation is celebrating its 100th anniversary
In Malawi, the Satemwa plantation is celebrating its 100th anniversary. It took me a long time to start exploring Africa – I was already busy in Asia. But after receiving many requests and to satisfy my own curiosity, to see if I could find tea as good in Africa as in Asia even though the plantations are much younger, I went there. I started in Malawi, a country of rare beauty: tea fields bathed in a different light, red earth, unfamiliar faces. The children were the same as I meet everywhere, running after me, bursting with energy and laughter. Alex, the planter for three generations now, has created a space in the impressive building to develop rare teas. It is the start of an exciting venture and a wonderful discovery for me. Happy anniversary to all at Satemwa.
Magnificent vistas as far as the eye can see
In Peru, to reach some of the tea plantations you must follow a long, winding, vertiginous mountain path that threatens to collapse at any moment. But your dedication will be rewarded by magnificent vistas that extend as far as the eye can see.
Tea isn’t blooming in Peru
In Peru, tea is so cheap and in such low demand that half the production is sold to florists. Tea branches stay in bloom for a long time. It is a depressing situation for the farmers, who are deprived of precious income because of a lack of expertise and demand. These would allow them to earn a decent living and develop their business. It is my role, and that of Palais des Thés, to help them produce better, even excellent teas, and to promote their work.