A Cup of Cha Anyone?

I didn’t know that the Azores produced tea.  Much more so in times gone by than now but it was with great interest that I visited one of the two remaining tea plantations on the island of São Miguel, the capital island of the Azores archipelago.  The neat rows of tea bushes make an interesting subject for a photograph or two.

Much of the original 19th century machinery, developed by the British company Marshalls no doubt for use in Indian tea plantations, is still in use here.

I’m very much looking forward to trying the Pekoe, Orange Pekoe and Green tea blends that I purchased in the plantation shop.

The skies in the following pictures give a clue as to why the Azores islands are so lush with vegetation, we are however having a good mix of sunshine and clear blue skies as well as rather dramatic ones as moist air from the Atlantic condenses over the mountains.

Sao Miguel tea plantation by Adrian Theze35mm f/11 1/250 sec. ISO-100

SpacerTea Plantation, Azores by Adrian Theze24mm f/11 1/200 sec. ISO-100

SpacerAzores Tea Plantation by Adrian Theze14mm f/11 1/250 sec. ISO-100

SpacerTea Plantation by Adrian Theze70mm f/11 1/160 sec. ISO-100

SpacerDSC08100AFR41mm f/4 1/160 sec. ISO-800

SpacerDSC0809424mm f/4 1/160 sec. ISO-250

SpacerAdrian Theze Photo logo_2Spacer

52 responses

  1. Fabulous photos. And interesting too. Marshall’s machinery factory was the biggest employer in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire not far from where I live. My grandfather worked there for a while many moons ago. It’s all gone now of course. We have a shopping complex on the old works site – it’s called Marshalls Yard!!

    April 29, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    • That’s brilliant Suzy, thanks for the additional information. It’s amazing that this old machinery is still in use. They certainly don’t make things like that anymore! :-)

      April 29, 2016 at 6:24 pm

  2. Sue

    Wonderful images, Adrian! The terraces of the plantations are great, and the old machinery looks in fine fettle….

    April 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    • They do don’t they? Wonderful machines and a great place to visit. Thank you Sue!

      April 30, 2016 at 8:27 am

      • Sue

        Are we going to see any more images from this place, Adrian?

        April 30, 2016 at 9:17 am

      • I’ve a few more in the bank Sue and I plan to visit the other of the two remaining tea plantations this week! :-)

        April 30, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      • Sue

        Great, look forward to them!

        April 30, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      • :-)

        May 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

  3. Gorgeous photos for me it’s also.new.Tea in de Azores..never knew

    April 29, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    • Thank you Lou! I didn’t either! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:27 am

  4. That sea of green sure makes the body crave childhood and playing under the trees. Beautiful photos sir! And yes, I’m jealous you got there first. At least one of us gets to touch what is seen.💜

    April 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    • Thank you very much indeed! So pleased the photos engendered some lovely memories! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:30 am

  5. Stunning landscapes, Adrian. How wonderful that the old machinery is still in good working order. I’m sure it’s very precious to the people of São Miguel, as it helps to provide them their livelihood. How beautifully neat those tea plantations are! :)

    April 29, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    • Neatly clipped and all the clippings go to make the tea. It really is very beautiful Sylvia. Thank you! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:32 am

  6. Great impressions from the plantations, Adrian. They look so rich, lush and …. GREEN. :-) I hope the workers there have better conditions than ones in Sri Lanka, I’m sure they have. Enjoy your new blends, this must be very special for a tea lover. Almost like a wine lover visiting a vineyard. ;-)
    Greetings from the North x

    April 29, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    • I have absolutely no doubt the workers are much better looked after Hanne. I really am looking forward to trying the tea and as promised, I have a packet or two for the Fab Four of Cley to try! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:33 am

  7. Very nice Adrian.

    April 29, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    • Thank you Mike! I love the way these neat rows of tea blend so well with the rest of the landscape! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:34 am

  8. Looks very lush and green – and more fab clouds :)

    April 29, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    • Thank you Jude. The greens are quite dazzling, especially when the sun hits them! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

  9. Those clouds sure make for some terrific images. Credit due to the photographer, too, of course! :D

    April 29, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    • Thank you Gunta! I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to photograph this wonderful landscape! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:36 am

  10. Sally

    Am drinking a cup of tea while reading your blog. The greens in the images are startling. just to think all that went into the creation of this cuppa. Sally

    April 29, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    • Thank you Sally. We rarely think about where our staples come from and tea for me was no different. It’s been very interesting to get an insight into the whole process from tea bush to cup! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

  11. Fascinating, Adrian…. I had a co-worker many years ago who spent much of his childhood in the Azores…for some reason, I thought it was a desert landscape…had no idea it was so lush. Thank you for bringing the enlightenment. :)

    April 30, 2016 at 3:01 am

    • It’s funny how we get these images in our minds of places only to find them to be quite different in reality. I knew very little about the Azores myself beyond the high pressure that develops here each summer and is generally responsible for find summer weather way to the north in the UK. It’s been wonderful getting acquainted! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 8:40 am

      • Looks like you’ve had a great time. :)

        May 15, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      • Sorry for such a late reply to your comment Scott. I did indeed have a fabulous time! :-)

        May 25, 2016 at 5:36 pm

  12. Wow!! Pretty amazing shots, Adrian.Your work is filled with emotion and breathtaking beauty. Thanks!!

    April 30, 2016 at 9:45 am

    • Thank you so much Isabel, that’s a lovely compliment! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 6:53 pm

  13. Brilliant pictures! I love the dramatic skies and the lush greens, and especially that old withered tree in the second picture!! Wish you a wonderful weekend! Sarah :)

    April 30, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    • I hope you have a wonderful weekend also Sarah! Thank you very much for your comment! :-)

      April 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm

  14. There’s something about a well lit foreground combined with dark, cloudy skies that makes for great drama. Nice shots!

    April 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    • Thank you very much Dave!

      May 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

  15. Fabulous images Adrian. The grounds are quite something.

    May 3, 2016 at 1:48 am

    • Thank you Edith. A great photo op to be sure! :-)

      May 8, 2016 at 12:38 am

  16. My geography of the Atlantic is not very good so I had to look up what latitude the Azores are on. Turns out it is almost the same as the Balearics and Madeira is considerably further South. I would never have thought tea would be grown in the Azores and I wonder whether ti is also grown in Madeira along with their famous wine. The skies are certainly dramatic and rainfall looks like it could be a regular feature. Delightful landscapes too, Adrian – so unlike anything in the UK

    May 3, 2016 at 7:16 am

    • Thank you Andy! Tea in the Azores was a big surprise to me but given they grow tea very successfully in Cornwall, I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised. A mild and humid climate would appear to suit the tea bushes perfectly. A climate I guess is matched in northern India and Sri Lanka. I’m not sure about tea in Madeira but I guess it’s possible. I enjoyed the visit to the plantation and I’ve certainly been enjoying the tea I bought there since! :-)

      May 8, 2016 at 12:37 am

      • Tea grown in Cornwall? Now you really do surprise me!

        May 8, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      • Hi Andy, yes there is a tea plantation at the Tregothnan Estate just outside of Truro. The estate is open the the public and you can visit and see how the tea is grown and processed. Worth a visit next time you’re in the West Country! :-)

        May 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm

  17. Those tea plantations look great. I particularly like the one with the crocked tree. What a landscape!

    May 4, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    • Thank you Otto! The plantation certainly provided scope for lots of photographs. I did plan on returning but didn’t manage that in the end. I still have a few images to process from the visit however. I loved the way the neatly clipped tea bushes seemed to blend so well with the natural landscape. That tree was a real gift! :-)

      May 8, 2016 at 12:33 am

  18. I like to see this nice landscapes…it is nice to see that some places have great landscapes…

    May 5, 2016 at 7:56 am

    • Thank you very much! It is a very beautiful world we live in and we really need to treasure it and protect it! :-)

      May 8, 2016 at 12:31 am

  19. I really like the contrast of organic shapes of nature and the straight lines of cultivation by humans. (oh, the clouds you captured in that 3rd one are intriguing – perfect accent – such energy shown there)

    May 6, 2016 at 12:27 am

    • Thank you very much! The weather was certainly very dynamic on more than one occasion. The day at the tea plantation particularly! :-)

      May 8, 2016 at 12:30 am

  20. Wonderful, as usual. I’m so very taken with the myriad greens.

    May 13, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    • Thank you Elena. The greens in the Azores really were quite stunning.

      May 15, 2016 at 10:27 am

  21. I’ve been fascinated by tea estates for quite some time…and it has made me enjoy a great cup of tea as well. I must say, your photography of these landscapes are something inviting, very well done.

    May 14, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    • Thank you Randall. There’s something very special about those neat rows of tea bushes. I enjoyed photographing this plantation very much. Sadly I suspect the workers here are treated considerably better than those in other parts of the world. As an Englishmen, tea has always been my prefered beverage. I’m glad to hear you appreciate a good cup of tea also! :-)

      May 15, 2016 at 10:16 am

  22. Fascinating – I’m glad you complemented the landscapes with the workers and machinery – all excellent photos!

    May 16, 2016 at 12:57 am

    • Thank you Lynn! As an Englishman I naturally love tea and it was a real pleasure to visit this plantation and to see how the tea is produced. :-)

      May 25, 2016 at 5:35 pm