How a Parisian’s Passion Led to a Global Tea Empire
Text by Britt E. Stafford • Photography Courtesy of Palais des Thés
François-Xavier Delmas spends much of his time traveling the world. But rather than frequenting popular tourist spots, François-Xavier often visits gardens and plantations, searching for the finest teas for the international company Palais des Thés.
Prior to opening the original tea shop on a backstreet in Paris, France, with a group of friends in 1987, François-Xavier’s knowledge of the plant and beverage was practically nonexistent. Desiring to provide high-quality teas to the people of Paris, François-Xavier decided he wanted to source directly from the countries of origin, rather than using a wholesale connection. This personal mission sent him around the world and introduced him to a cast of characters from tea farmers to producers crucial to the cultivation of his now-present love for tea. His experiences and exploration of the tea world endowed him with in-depth knowledge of the tea regions, terroirs, and techniques, as well as created close ties with those who dedicate their lives to growing the best teas.