In the Azores, attempts are being made to produce delicious teas from hand-picked leaves and particularly delicate pluckings. Experiments are taking place on small plots nestled in the hills on the island of Sao Miguel. At the agricultural research institute, Clara takes her precious harvests through all the stages of tea production. She achieves remarkable results using a variety of cultivars. Although the quantity of tea produced is small at the moment, I’m looking forward to helping to spread the word about the incredible teas made by Clara and the island’s future farmers.
There are many weed control techniques used to keep down plants that grow between the rows of tea bushes. One of the most natural approaches is to let animals graze in the fields. In Southern India, you might come across a type of bison that keeps the farmers happy. Here in the Azores, on the Gorreana plantation, beautiful goats do the job.
Some tea fields overlook the sea, their green merging into blue. You see this in Japan, for example, as well as in other places around the world like here in the Azores. The blue of a lake that has formed in an ancient crater also makes me think of getting away. I’ve been surrounded by green for most of the year, and now it’s time for me to take some time off I’ll be replacing it with blue. Whatever the colour, I wish you a happy summer and I look forward to being back with you at the beginning of September for new journeys and adventures.
There used to be fourteen tea plantations in the Azores; today only two remain. Gorreana is an institution and tourists flock to the factory gates. Everything is original, and it’s not often that a European gets to see the various stages of tea production at first hand. Not far from there, Porto Formosa also welcomes tourists and, as is often the case in the Azores, offers a superb view of the ocean. These old factories mainly produce black tea, but also some green tea. The leaves are harvested by machine. As for the quality of the teas, let’s just say that they are very popular with visitors, who can relive their amazing vacation on this beautiful archipelago every time they brew a cup.
Tea has been grown on the island of São Miguel in the Azores for over a hundred years. It has a hot and humid climate, acidic volcanic soil, and a mountainous terrain. That’s all it takes for the tea plant to feel at home here.