São Miguel: Tea Plantations

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Typical beautiful Azorean scenery

 

I was really excited to learn that São Miguel is home to the oldest tea plantation in Europe – Gorreana. When we arrived I discovered that there is actually a second smaller tea plantation – Porto Formoso. The two are the only tea plantations in all of Europe! I was even happier to learn they both had free entrance and we could explore and sample the teas!

We started with Gorreana, the oldest of the two tea factories. It’s family owned and operated since 1883. When we arrived it was beautiful and sunny, but quickly the rain began pouring! Inside we were able to enjoy the introductory video, explore the old equipment, and taste a few teas. But after a while of waiting we decided to brave the weather and walked through the plantations. So much lush, emerald green!

 

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More cows than people in the Azores

 

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Roadside hedgerow of hydrangeas

 

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Arriving at Gorreana

 

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Cha Gorreana

 

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Exploring the building

 

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Sorting through the dried tea leaves

 

 

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View of the tea plantation from inside

 

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Mmm…pineapple cakes and tea before heading out!

 

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After going for a walk in the tea plantation of Gorreana, we headed down the road to Porto Formoso which originally started in 1887. The factory produced tea from the 1920s until the 1980s and reopened in 2001. Because the factory is much smaller, you can’t really walk through the plantation – so the big draw is their tea room. It is much cosier and comfier than Gorreana which was more like an open cafeteria. You also get a guided tour and at the end you have the most beautiful view of the ocean and the tea plantation from their terrace!

 

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