AZORES EDITION – EPISODE II: THE TEA FACTORY

fabrica cha gorreana

Hidden among green fields, in the region of Maia (Ribeira Grande) in São Miguel island, Gorreana tea factory is the oldest and currently the only tea plantation in Europe.

I was there in my last visit to the Azores islands. I wanted to see where did the production of this product on the island came from and how is still working today.

gorreana tea factory
The entrance to the factory

Amazingly, this factory, which is also a museum, still operates in full and if you visit it during working hours you can come across with the workers in their daily routines.

In the rooms, the still original 1840 Marshall machines continue playing their role and bags with the finished tea are still on the ground, waiting to be taken to the next step.

gorreana tea factory
The 1840 Marshall machines
gorreana tea factory
The 1840 Marshall machines
gorreana tea factory
An old picture of the factory

Gorreana is proud for not using chemicals in their plants, since the usual pests don’t do well in the climate of the island. So, 100% organic. Nothing like experiencing it in the tasting that follows the end of each visit.

gorreana tea factory
The variety of teas produced
gorreana tea factory
A piece of green tea

Outside, 32 hectares of plantation originate about 33 tons of tea per year in varieties of black and green. But only a small part of this production stays in the island. Everything else is exported to countries like Germany, USA, Canada, Austria, France, Italy, Brazil, Angola and even Japan, among many others.

gorreana tea factory
The plantations just outside the factory

gorreana tea factory

Is there any tea lovers out there? Leave your comment about what attracts you most in this product or tips on how to drink it. 😉

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25 comments

  1. How fun! I’ve never been to a tea plantation, but I’d love to go. Did you learn about the difference between black and green tea plants? What do they look like in-situ?

    I’m not a huge tea drinker – mostly use it for herbal remedies or when I don’t feel like coffee. But I’m fascinated by how things work and are grown!

    1. Hi Jema.The tea plant is the same, what diferes the black tea from the green tea is the transformation process. 🙂 I never thought about it, but there’s a lot of work put into the tea making process before it gets into our cup.

  2. It’s very interesting to learn the process of how tea is made from plant to cup! We got to experience this in Mae Salong, Thailand last year. I’d like to visit Azores too!

  3. I love tea! Hold or cold, natural or any other variant out there, I just feel pleased whenever I read anything about it and this certainly holds no exception. The Gorreana folks sure have it lucky with the weather at their side but that should hold as an influence for others out there.

  4. I’ve been to a tea plantation in Sri Lanka and it was wonderful to see the teas being produced organically. Would love to visit the Gorreana tea factory when I get there!

  5. I didn’t realize tea plantations basically don’t exist in Europe. I enjoy fresh green tea and I can’t think of anything fresher than tasting tea right after it is processed at the plant. Cool place to keep in mind when visiting the Azores.

  6. Tea plantation on Azores – I would never have thought. But thats what I love about such interesting posts like yours, that you can also learn often something completely new.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences, now I know what should be inn the Azores list in case we spend some more days there 🙂

  7. I love drinking tea, especially green tea, but I know next to nothing about it. Thanks for introducing me to the topic. I will do some research now 😀

  8. Organic stuffs are precious and when it is tea I would love to drink whole day. 🙂 I usually soak the tea leaves for minute in boiling water covered. That helps retain flavour too.

  9. So interesting! I’m always trying to enjoy tea more as it seems more internationally recognized as the caffeine of choice, but I’m a coffee drinker! One of our biggest regrets is not spending more time tasting & experiencing Tea Country in Sri Lanka, but we only have time for so much! Interesting that this is only tea plantation in Europe!

  10. I wouldn’t have thought there were tea plantations in the Azores. Somehow, the Azores Islands conjures up images of exotic beaches. The plantation looks like a good place to spend a few hours.

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