A quality harvest
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
1w ago
Tea doesn’t harvest itself. It’s important to me to highlight the work of the people who pick the buds and the next two leaves from each shoot that make up a quality plucking. This delicate work, still done by hand in many countries, is particularly important because it is impossible to produce a good tea if the leaves are not picked carefully enough in the first place ..read more
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Trees that speak to us
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
1M ago
At a time when we don’t have a clear view of what’s going on in Darjeeling, where the plantations have been suffering for many years from a crisis that we would like to see end, I am travelling through other tea-growing areas of northern India. “Nature is a temple where living pillars let sometimes emerge confused words,” wrote Charles Baudelaire. And here, in the Kangra Valley, who wouldn’t feel its presence? Look how these trees watch us with a familiar gaze! I don’t know if you can hear them. They speak to me ..read more
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Wild and tamed nature
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
1M ago
This photo is a beautiful sight, in my humble opinion. Tea bushes grow amid dense vegetation. A rugged, sloping landscape, numerous trees of different species… There’s a harmony between the cultivated plants and wild nature. It’s easy to imagine the wealth of flora and fauna to be found in such a diverse environment. For the amateur photographer in me, there’s pretty much only one colour – at first glance. On closer inspection, what a multitude, what variety! What better way to celebrate spring than with this abundance of greens ..read more
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The cuttings nursery
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
2M ago
To make good tea, you need to know your tea bushes well. It’s a lot easier if you’ve tended them yourself from a young age. Many plantations – like this one in Satemwa, Malawi – take their own cuttings and then grow them in a nursery for eighteen months. Shaded to protect them from too much sun and too little humidity, the cuttings develop their root systems. Later, the young tea plants are planted out in the ground and begin their adult lives. Then it’s time to harvest the shoots, which are few and far between in the early seasons, but become more abundant as the bushes develop and branch out ..read more
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The Lion Dance in Hong Kong
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
3M ago
In Hong Kong, the Lion Dance is performed at New Year, when the animal is paraded through the streets and shopping centers of the island. It plucks the “greens” (represented by fruit or vegetables) hung out for it in the doorway of each shop, then “spits them out” one by one while keeping hold of the associated envelope. The latter contains money for the dancers who animate the lion’s body. The shopkeepers don’t hand over their money in vain: the custom is believed to bring good luck. No doubt their business will flourish after this auspicious gesture ..read more
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A tea researcher named Léo!
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
3M ago
“Ever since I was young, tea has been a part of my life, although I didn’t attach any particular importance to it. Everything changed on my 14th birthday, when a cup of Oolong, a Tie Guan Yin from Anxi, captivated my senses with its freshness and lily scent. It sparked a passion that only grew from there. As the adult world began to take shape before me, I wondered about my future. I was irresistibly drawn to tea, and at the same time my desire to explore the world led me to dream of distant horizons. Why not combine the two? After looking into it, I came across a blog written by François-Xavi ..read more
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Tea researching is a profession
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
3M ago
I’m not the only tea researcher in the world today. Léo also travels in search of rare teas. We’ve been working together for over five years. We taste all the samples that come in, we nurture close relationships with the farmers and try to promote them and help them when they need it. We train as many colleagues as possible to help them build up their knowledge of tea. That involves yet more sampling, and telling the stories of all our travels and what we’ve tasted along the way. There are only two tea researchers in France for now, but there’s no doubt that it’s a profession with a future, gi ..read more
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A better life
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
4M ago
All over the world, men and women work the land. When you’re right there with them, you realise just how hard their work is. Spending time with them makes you aware of how they live. It reconnects you with what’s important. Above all, it makes you want to talk about them, to highlight what they do, what they harvest, what they know. In short, to support them. Here, for example, we’re working with people to help them produce teas that are more flavourful and interesting. These teas will earn them more money. This will help them to live better lives, to raise their children more easily and to be ..read more
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Shade and green manure
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
4M ago
Tea bushes need light, of course, but they don’t like to be in direct sunlight all day long. They prefer some shade from time to time, especially at lower altitudes where temperatures can climb quickly. So growers plant a light canopy to keep their tea bushes happy and give them some respite. This cover is usually made up of plants from the legume family, whose leaves enrich the soil with nitrogen as they decompose. It’s a kind of green manure, and the tea bushes really appreciate it ..read more
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Preparing for tea
Discovering Tea
by François-Xavier Delmas
4M ago
Brewing tea isn’t the same as preparing for tea. While I brew my tea, I prepare myself for it. I slow down and take time to breathe. I let go of any worries and feel lighter. I focus my attention on a favourite object, a positive emotion or a beautiful view, like this one. A view of a garden. While my tea brews, and as I sip it, standing upright yet relaxed, it soothes me ..read more
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