Gorreana, a family business located on the Portuguese island of São Miguel, owns the oldest and largest tea plantation in Europe!

The family-run Gorreana tea factory, nestled on the Portuguese island of São Miguel in the Azores, is a true treasure trove of history and tradition. Indeed, it holds the title of Europe’s oldest tea factory still in operation. At the heart of its history is a visionary entrepreneur, Ermelinda Pacheco Gago da Câmara, who founded this family business in 1883. For five generations now, Gorreana has been cultivating tea, preserving the Eastern traditions and ancestral methods of growing the Camellia sinensis tea plant, introduced to the island by the Chinese-born tea master Lau-a-Pan and his interpreter Lau-a-Teng. The secret behind the exceptional quality of the family-owned factory’s tea lies largely in the unique natural conditions offered by the Azores, located hundreds of kilometers away from industrial pollution. The humid and rainy climate, mild temperatures as well as the acidic and volcanic soil have allowed the production of exceptional green and black teas. Gorreana’s longevity is partly due to the mechanization introduced by Jaime Hintze, husband of heiress Angelina Gago da Câmara. Among other things, the installation of a hydroelectric system to power the engines has enabled modernization of production, thus overcoming the economic crises of the 20th century. Today, Gorreana operates plantations covering an area of 32 hectares, producing approximately 40 tons of 100% organic tea every year. Some of the production is destined for the local market in the Azores, while the rest is exported to many countries, including mainland Portugal, Germany, the USA, Canada, Austria, France, Italy, Brazil, Angola and Japan, much to the delight of tea lovers around the world.

Read the article: ‘Europe’s most beautiful tea labyrinth on the Azores – curiosities about tea and the Chá Gorreana tea plantation’

Discover the history of Gorreana…