Doug Wall

Doug Wall

Posted on 01/26/2016


Photo taken on August 26, 2008



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Azores
Gorreana tea plantation


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Gorreana’s tea plantation

Gorreana’s tea plantation
We English always consider tea as our own invention. But tea was first discovered in China around 5,000 years ago and it wasn’t until European explorers began to explore the Orient that information about tea began to filter back to Europe. The first European to write firsthand about tea was the Portuguese Jesuit Father Jasper de Cruz in 1560.

But it took until 1610 for tea to gain a presence in Europe mainly because of the efforts of the Portuguese through their possessions in Asia, and the Dutch through the Dutch East India Company, by virtue of their establishing trade routes to the Far East.

We in England had to wait until 1662, when Catherine Braganza of Portugal married King Charles II and brought tea to the royal court of England for the first time. Not that many people could afford to buy it then even if it was freely available.

My photo is of Gorreana’s tea plantation in the Azores established in 1883. This plantation is the sole survivor of 14 that once grew tea in the Azores that reached peak production in the 1930's. The high cost of land, labour and electricity made it difficult for other business to survive. Gorreana put down their survival to a number of reasons including the premium quality of the tea, the mineral rich land, and the genius of Jamie Hintze in using the stream that flows through the estate to power the factory. Gorreana became an eco-friendly tea estate in the 1920's so that when electricity prices in Europe rose, Gorreana was able to continue to operate using green energy methods well before they were conventional means of power production. It has remained family owned and operated for 5 generations. Black and green teas are still produced using ancient techniques [and from what I saw on my visit, ancient equipment too] that have been passed down at Gorreana for over a century.

Gorreana boasts that it is the only commercial tea plantation operating in Europe. Although the nine volcanic islands of the Azores are scattered across the mid-Atlantic, about 1,500km west of Portugal they are regarded as part of Europe. Politically they are part of Portugal - the Azoreans speak Portuguese, have adopted the euro, send deputies to the Portuguese parliament and are represented in Brussels by their own MEP. Where they differ from the rest of Europe is in the pace of life, which feels rather like stepping back in time.

Bruno Suignard, Kreatives, homaris, Frank Roolooth and 8 other people have particularly liked this photo


24 comments - The latest ones
John Lawrence
John Lawrence
Fantastic pic and narrative Doug!
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to John Lawrence
Thank you very much John.
18 months ago.
Martin Humphreys
Martin Humphreys
Nice scene & great info Doug.
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Martin Humphreys
Thank you Martin.
18 months ago.
Keith Burton
Keith Burton
First rate landscape image............I really like the lines and different green tones.

Cracking description as well..........even as recent as Victorian times tea was kept under lock and key because it was so expensive.
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Keith Burton
Thanks for your comment Keith. Sugar was also expensive and often kept locked up with the tea. Even twenty years ago we kept the sugar in the office safe......because somebody was stealing it!
18 months ago.
Andy
Andy
Great landscape and history there.
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Andy
Thanks for visiting Andy and your kind comment.
18 months ago.
William Sutherland
William Sutherland
Gorgeous landscape and terrific info!

Admired in:
www.ipernity.com/group/tolerance
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to William Sutherland
Thanks William
18 months ago.
Frode Øen
Frode Øen
Great landscape shot.
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Frode Øen
Thank you Frode
18 months ago.
David BISE
David BISE
Splendide
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to David BISE
Thanks David
18 months ago.
Mitch Seaver
Mitch Seaver
Well done!
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Mitch Seaver
Thanks Mitch
18 months ago.
Don Barrett (aka DBs travels)
Don Barrett (aka DBs…
Thanks for the history, particularly of the early 'green' energy.
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Don Barrett (aka DBs…
Thanks Don. I bought some green tea too :-)
18 months ago.
Annemarie
Annemarie
beautiful image

congrats on explore
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Annemarie
Thank you Anne-Marie!
18 months ago.
Frank Roolooth
Frank Roolooth
Nice shot and interesting information.
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Frank Roolooth
Thanks Frank.
18 months ago.
Eunice Perkins
Eunice Perkins
Lovely shot, and thanks for the history of tea.
18 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Eunice Perkins
Thanks for visiting Eunice!
18 months ago.