Azores

São Miguel Island: Gorreana tea plantation

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Let us begin with a very unusual traffic jam. If it wasn’t for local drivers we would had spent an hour driving behind the cows. There was maybe 200 of them walking on this road. They were not in a hurry.

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This is what I love about the Azores: tourists are not the most important. They have to realize that and adjust to the rhythm of the island’s everyday life even if it means slowing down, waiting and then driving on the road covered in cow’s manure. We could smell this adventure all day long. I hope our car rental company will not charge us extra for car wash. Love it!!!!

And then this:

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Finally we arrived to the only tea plantation in Europe. IMG_9108

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The Gorreana estate was founded in 1883 and is now one of the last of several estates that once thrived on São Miguel; 50 ha remain, producing 30 tonnes of tea annually. The first plants were introduced in 1874, grown from seeds brought directly from China, later also from India. Tea plants have thrived so well in the Azores that an especially aromatic variety has developed.

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The leaves, or rather the young shoot tips, are harvested between March and October by a simple machine operated by three of four men; previously they were hand-plucked by women and girls. (David Sayers, Azores)

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The leaves are then processed in old but beautifully engineered machines:

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This machine puts the tea into tea bags:

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Finally these women put the bags into boxes:

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I would like to end this post with some beautiful views of the northern coast of Sao Miguel:

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São Miguel Island: from Povoação to Nordeste

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São Miguel Island: Lagoa do Fogo and Ribeira Grande

11 Comments

  1. Miner
    March 16, 2017 at 7:40 am — Reply

    Thanks, Joanna. Your photos are so beautiful as usual. And I love the text, with is full of info and with just the right amount of humor. Thanks for sharing them.

    Remember your posts of our trip to Jerusalem? I meant to write about our BatKol experience. Can I use your photos? With your credit of course.
    Thanks and best regards.

    Best,
    Miner

    • March 16, 2017 at 10:52 am — Reply

      Miner, how nice to hear from you!!!! You can always use my pictures from Jerusalem. They are on my first blog. The link to it should be at the bottom of this one. Let me know if you found them. I started this blog two years ago, after Bat Kol. I can see that your heart is still in Jerusalem. Thank you for staying in touch.

  2. Christina
    March 16, 2017 at 10:48 am — Reply

    One word….amazing! The tea plantation is so interesting…hope you bought some for yourself! So glad to see both of you enjoying this island so much!

    Love Christina

    • March 16, 2017 at 10:59 am — Reply

      Thank you darling, I bought some for myself and for you too and for your husband of course!!!!

  3. Chandra
    March 16, 2017 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    Hahaha very fun travel companions!

    • March 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm — Reply

      They are everywhere. Thousands of them. Each restaurant offers excellent dishes with beef. And it’s cheap!

  4. Pulcheria
    March 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    Love seeing the landscape with the ocean views. Abundance of fresh air🤗.

  5. Bozena Stoch
    March 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm — Reply

    I znowu przepieknie… mam nadzieje, ze herbata dobrze smakuje!

    • March 17, 2017 at 4:46 am — Reply

      Pyszna!

  6. Basia
    March 16, 2017 at 10:00 pm — Reply

    Hahaha how did Tata like the cow traffic?

    • March 17, 2017 at 4:45 am — Reply

      He was quite patient. What helped was the local car, the driver knew how to make the cows walk on one side. We just drove right behind him.

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