Who here would get excited by free tea? Like there’s just always free tea for you to help yourself. Not excited? What about mint green tea ice-cream for only 1 Euro? Okay that might get the rest of you. Well either way, I enjoyed both of those at the Gorreana Tea Plantation on São Miguel Island in the Azores, Portugal last month.
Europe’s only tea plantation
Yes, you read that right! This is the only one in Europe. They have been in business since 1883, according to their website. They make three types of teas: a green tea (which you can find always brewed and always free in the plantation cafe), a black tea and canto tea. Their plantation sits on the lush green island away from the pollution of the larger cities of Europe. They proudly do not use any chemicals to farm their tea. In 1874 two tea experts from China introduced the concept to the folks on the island and the idea has since become quite popular. Europeans from all walks of life have Gorreana in their pantries, according to the website. Today the property spans about 32 acres in the town of Ribeira Grande on the Island of São Miguel. So of course we explored the land a little bit.
But first … ice-cream.
Okay so after that and a few cups of tea, we headed outside. The views on the plantation are quite stunning. On one side, you get views of the sea mixed with the tea fields.
On the other side, the land just stretches …
So I’ll admit that I got the weather all wrong for the Azores. I have never been one of those people who checks the weather forecast each day (although I really should be). I saw pictures of the Azores and imagined weather like Hawaii or the Canaries. So I packed a lot of sundresses like this one. While I look super happy here, little did I know that it would soon start raining.
What was my saving grace? The fact that I had packed for four months. My trajectory leaving Spain for the summer was this: Spain – Azores, Azores – Lisbon, Lisbon – USA and finally USA – Czech Republic (where I am blogging from right now) where I am working as an aupair all summer. The next time I will see sunny southern Spain will be a few months away. So I prepared for all the kinds of weather. And I’m glad that I did.
But this dress looks great in photos, right?
How to get there
I’m sure you’re wondering that, especially if you are planning an upcoming trip to the Azores. I wrote about all that in a past post here: Affordable getaway to the Azores. Getting around the island can be tough. While there is a public bus system, it is infrequent and stops running early.
We rented a car and did not regret it! The freedom we had was amazing. We just looked at the map and decided where we wanted to go! I used Ebates to score a good discount on a rental. The great thing about Ebates is that you get a rebate every time you make a purchase through it. All you do is log onto your account and shop on all the sites you normally do (like Groupon, Expedia, hotels.com, Walgreens, Best Buy and so many more). Each one will tell you what percentage of a rebate you get. I book a lot of things for traveling (hotels, rental cars, flights). I now always use Ebates love it!
Try some Gorreana tea yourself
The neat thing is that you don’t need to travel to Portugal to experience this amazing tea. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your home (which means you can just stay in those cow pjs or whatever you might be wearing). You can order Gorreana tea right off of Amazon!