How It's Made
Tea is made from the dried leaves of the plant “Camellia Sinensis”, a small tree of the Theaceae family. All tea comes from this plant and its hybrids. The difference in teas is based on leaf selection and processing. At Chá Gorreana only the top three leaves of the plant are used in tea production. The machinery grades the tea leaves as they are processed. The top leaf is used to make Orange Pekoe, the second leaf for Pekoe, and the third leaf for Broken Leaf tea. I am an Orange Pekoe tea drinker but did not know that it was made from only the top leaves of the plant.
Interestingly, black and green tea are both from the same plant. The difference is that black tea leaves are exposed to air and thus fermented. Our tour guide explained it this way, think of peeling a banana and leaving it exposed to the air, it blackens. Green tea is not left to ferment and is processed differently than the black tea.
I would recommend a trip to this tea plantation on your list of things to do on São Miguel Island.
Great video below with aerial footage showing the size of the plantation.