A visit to the Gorreana tea plantation

Back in São Miguel, we rent a car again. We start off taking the scenic route along the north coast, driving to Nordeste — a quaint, little town on the North-Eastern tip of the island, for lunch. Nordeste was only recently connected to the new fast road network, and it shows — the little town has some old charm, and a population that appears to take real pride in their hometown. (As for the lunch, we ate at Restaurante Esplanada, where we were served by the rudest staff we have yet come across in these islands).

After lunch, we hit the road again, and this time we go to the Gorreana tea planation and factory. The place is operating as usual, but is open to visitors. We expect to have to pay a fee to enter, and that we will be given a tour. We are wrong.

The first thing that strikes us, besides the heat, is the openness and indifference of the staff. They don’t say much to you, but point you in the direction of the tea processing and off you go!  No charge, no explanation!

Walking, by ourslves, through the factory floor — we  pass the guy who roasts, the ladies who sort, some machines-that-we-cannot-quite-tell-what-they-do, and some staff-that-we-cannot-quite-tell-what-they-are-up-to. First we feel like intruders, but some are friendly and will explain what you do if only you ask, and let you take pictures. (Others just move out of the way).

Sorting out the bad tea from the good — with suggestive tips box

Outside, there are rows and rows of tea plants, that we also can walk through — and in the distance we can see people working in the tea field.

The factory also provides free tasting of the four types of tea they make (one green tea, three black). They have a tasting and canteen area, where they also sell other local goods. (I really recommend the pineapple sorbet!)

Needless to say, we end up buying a load of tea to take home.

Gorreana tea — green blend


Tea leaf


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