Sunday, July 31, 2011


Chá, pronounced “sha” in Portuguese, is the name for tea. Believe it or not, but the Azores is the only place in Europe that produces it. Apparently, varieties were brought to the islands when Portuguese ships would return from China, Macau (a former Portuguese colony) and India. Tea growing has been part of the island's history since the end of the 18th century. The plants have now thrived in the accommodating Azorean climate.

The Gorreana factory is the largest tea producer on the island of São Miguel.

When visiting the plantation, the sight of rows and rows of tea plants is breathtaking. Not only are your eyes stimulated, but your sense of smell will be mesmerized with the sweet odour being released from the plants.

The leaves from these plants are harvested...

...and ultimately processed into a dried form, as seen below.

When added to boiling water, the tea takes on a light colour and a familiar sweet aroma. The taste is surprisingly mild.

There is something calming about tea, and I can definitely see why it is such a popular drink in that part of the world (and others, of course).

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