Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Search Challenge (12/11/13): Tea, grown in Europe?

Tea... up close, in the fields

Hot on the heels of last week's discussion about volcanoes (and the bigger point of "how do you know when what you've found is true?"), let's have another difficult-to-prove challenge!  
(Sidebar:  The discussion about Popo took a really interesting turn with Fred's deeper investigation into the lahar flows.  I'll have more to say about that later this week.  But if you missed the thread, go back a couple of days and read it.  It's a fascinating discussion.  As I said... more on this on Friday.) 

But forward to today's challenge!

This challenge is from Regular Reader Miguel Viterbo who wrote in with this excellent set of questions: 


I was looking for information about Sochi, the Russian town where the 2014 Winter Olympics will take place, when I read about a tea plantation that's very close to the town.  It's often claimed to be "the northernmost in Europe."  

Well, as a matter of fact, most Portuguese believe that Gorreana, the tea produced in the (Portuguese) Azores islands, is the only tea plantation in Europe. 

I was there this Summer and learned that they claim to be the oldest remaining plantation in Europe, not the only one. Also, there is another tea plantation very close by. So, here are my questions for you:  
  1. Are there any other tea plantations and factories in Europe? What about North America? Can I have a list, or better yet, a map of tea plantations around the world?

  2. Is the Russian tea plantation near Sochi really the northernmost one in Europe? If not, which one is?

  3. By the way, under what name(s) is that Russian tea marketed? What is their website's url?
It took me a while but I managed to solve all the questions. The best results I found are a map and, on the other hand, a wonderfully huge list with all the tree plantations detailed and explained (not in English, though). It's not a difficult challenge but it deals with foreign languages and a subject that's appreciated worldwide.


To tell you the truth, I haven't solved these questions yet (so I'm taking Miguel at his word that there ARE answers out there).  

So let's Search On together! 


  1. Good day, Dr. Russell, fellow SearchResearchers

    [Plantaciones Té Europa] To find:

    Tea plantations in Europe (In Spanish) Link mentions: Gorreana Tea Plantation and Cha Porto Formoso

    Tea: The crisis of the Tea industry.
    Tea in the Azores

    Jardines de té en suelo europeo " Tea gardens in Europe"

    [Tea Sochi] To find Dagoyms and Sochi: The most northern-grown tea in the world. Results also mention most famous brand is Krasnodarskyi. Tea in Solokhaul Mentions: "Solokhaul Russia’s first tea plantation was founded in 1905 by Yuda Koshman...and The Krasnodar tea blend is now the most consumed Russian tea. In Solokhaul a small museum honors the work done by Koshman." Koshman House Museum

    [Tea plantations europe] took me to
    T is for… "The only tea grown in Europe" in which there is a comment made by Miguel Viterbo.

    The History of Tea – Its Influence & Spread Around The World

    [tea europe plantation history]

    An unexpected and serious competitor in the tea business? Mentions "Monte Verit `s, the world`s northernmost tea plantation" Also has link to a video of the plantion.

    [england tea plantation] Mentions Tregothnan
    Meet the producer of Britain's first native tea

    [Tea plantation north america]
    [Tea production by country]

    ea Producing Regions & Single Origin Teas Shows a map

    [tea production world statistics]

    Tea Statistics: Global Scenario

    [tea production by country]
    [worldwide tea production]

    Current Status and Future Development of Global Tea
    Production and Tea Products -2009-


    Are there any other tea plantations and factories in Europe? What about North America? Can I have a list, or better yet, a map of tea plantations around the world?
    A: Yes, there are many plantations in Europe. Tregothnan, Uk. Monte Verita, Switzerland, Sant-Andrea di Compito, Italy. Gorreana Tea Plantation and Cha Porto Formoso in Portugal.

    In USA: Charleston, South Carolina, Burlington, Washington and Fairhope, Alabama. Also small growers in Hawaii.

    Map with Producers: Which Countries Produce the Most Tea?

    Is the Russian tea plantation near Sochi really the northernmost one in Europe? If not, which one is?
    A: No. First is at Tregothnan Estate, UK. Tea Plantation Second, at Monte Verita, Switzerland. Third, Dagomys Tea

    By the way, under what name(s) is that Russian tea marketed? What is their website's url?
    A. Krasnodar Tea Brand

  2. I think Anne and I just lost our entire post! So I'll to recreate what we did. We started out by doing a search for tea plantations Europe. This search led us to the InnTravel site which talked about the Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall England. We did a search on the estate and from their website found they do grow and sell tea. There were many other sites describing this tea plantation. One of the sites from this query was Beaudrytea a wiki site which listed several other European tea production sites including one in Switzerland and one in Italy. To get more information on the site in Italy we did a query this query led to a book result- The New Tea Companion: A Guide to Teas Throughout the World. This was a treasure trove of information. The book listed every tea plantation in the world. The sites in Europe were the Azores site of Gorreana, Azerbaijan, Italy, Switzerland, and the Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall UK. We found that tea is grown in South Carolina.
    The tea grown around Sochi is grown by about 6 different companies. We found out that some of the tea is grown in the Nikita Botanical Garden. Doing searches for Nikita botanical garden tea or tea production yielded nothing so we switched our query to tea production Krasnodar (the area of Russia where the botanical garden is located). That yielded the name of the company Matsesta. Their url is By translating the site into English we found the tea is marketed under the name Macesta tea. One other interesting site we found doing a search for Matsesta was the Sochi Magazine site which had this site located on a map. By zooming out we were able to very clearly see that the UK site was definitely the most northern site of all of the tea plantations in Europe.

    We found this map of worldwide tea plantations on google maps. It isn't that comprehensive however. We actually had the most trouble finding the map. As a tea drinker I loved this search challenge. I am sorry this isn't as detailed as what we originally had but did the best I could to recreate what we originally found. Most of our original info came from blogs.Then we corroborated the answers by checking on websites for the actual site, checking with information in the book, and other websites.

    1. Sorry for your loss! (But this is a nice recovery.)

      It would be interesting to know how you found that first tea map. (The one you mentioned having the most trouble finding. Why was that step hard?)

  3. Panoramio photo of Tea plantations Coordinates: 43° 44' 0.35" N 39° 40' 28.15" E

    Google Translate dagomys tea in Russian Дагомыс чай

    [Дагомыс чай] found Map in Google and there URL Visited Street view, added directions to Monte Veritá and Tregothnan.

    In Link video of plantation

    [tea plantations worldwide maps]

    Tea Map of the World

    1. Hi Ramon, Your link to "Tea Map of the World" is the most complete list of tea producing countries. I wish they had provided more details. When I look at my notes your process of doing the search was much the same as mine.

      Debbie G -Sorry to hear you lost your original findings but you've certainly recovered good information.

  4. I sadly don't have time to look at this properly but I did find this site

    I had no idea there was a UK grown tea.
    But whether Cornwall is further north than Sochi I don't have time to calculate.

    1. in Wales, no less - the Preseli Hills PembTeaCo
      … meanwhile, in upstate NY - coming in 2014
      easy to get lost reading the tea leaves - got caught up in the ale, addiction, silver, opium, blood, etc. of it all… a very complicated tale for a simple cup.
      Thought it was interesting that it is cultivated in Nepal, beginning to approach commercial production quantities.
      The Chinese/Indian/Dutch and especially the Portuguese elements are all intertwined in fascinating ways… FDR ⌘F [Delano] even gets rolled into the tea saga
      even a Victorian thread for Dan - tea trade imbalance
      the Portugese connections:
      Catherine of Braganza
      1883 Gorreana teas, Hermano & Margarida Mota

      also found these helpful:
      rolled coffee into the search
      Charles II
      rolls temperance, tobacco, slavery, currency tranfer into the mix
      … there's more, but my kettle in coming to temp - all very addictive. A tip of the boina to Miguel for the search impetus

  5. Are there any other tea plantations and factories in Europe?
    Yes, The Azores and Cornwall, England

    What about North America?

    Teafarm is an organic farm in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. We are experimenting with growing tea (Camellia sinensis) on our slopes

    Can I have a list, or better yet, a map of tea plantations around the world?
    Nope. I have the dumbs today can't figure out how to do this

    Is the Russian tea plantation near Sochi really the northernmost one in Europe? If not, which one is?

    No. The Tregothnan Estate near Truro in Cornwall is much farther north than Sochi. 7 degrees of latutde farther north in fact

    By the way, under what name(s) is that Russian tea marketed? What is their website's url?

    DAGOMYS, Krasnodar


    Thats it for me


  6. Query [sochi russia]
    Sochi at Wiki links to Dagomys tea plantation near Sochi.
    Note the coordinates for Dagomys near Sochi is 43.656389, 39.651667.

    Query [georgia russia tea plantation]

    I used Georgia only because of a hunch. Miguel’s name was specifically listed with the “Georgia” font which I thought may be a clue but it paid off.

    GGG Tea Company is located on the west coast of Georgia. It is south of the plantation near Sochi.
    Coordinates 42° 26.546', 42° 23.362' making it south of Sochi/Dagomys.

    I found this travel website quite interesting based on one of the commenters.
    Miguel Viterbo had posted comments back in Aug 2013 on this site regarding tea plantations. This link lists little known plantations in countries UK(Tregothnan Estate near Truro in Cornwall) and Switzerland (Monte Verita near Ascona, at the northern end of Lake Maggiore) and Italy’s (Lake Orta to Lake Maggiore).

    Miguel mentions the Russian website (used Google Translate Russian to English) and the current plantation name Dagomyschay. The website claims “Dagomys subtropical Black Sea coast of the Caucasus region - the northernmost region of the globe where commercially cultivated tea culture”. Is this true?

    The plantations Miguel mentions in Portugal from Wikipedia
    we have two tea producers The region is best known for the tea factories that exist in the vicinity of one another: the Fábrica de Chá Porto Formoso, within Porto Formoso, and the neighbouring Gorreana tea factory in the neighbouring parish of São Brás.

    Searching for a ‘complete’ list of tea plantations for Europe and North America proved more difficult than you would expect because-
    . use of different descriptions for tea producers such as plantations, factories, estates, garden, farms (small family to huge commercial) & even hydroponics operations.
    . lists found placed emphasis on “major” tea producers often ignoring smaller producers such as Portugal and Georgia.

    1) Answer - Unless we gather names from several sources, create our own database and then create our own map we can’t be sure all plantations have been included. See partial lists below that support my argument. So I haven’t created a list or map of plantations.

    2) Answer - Based on plantations in UK, Switzerland and Italy I don’t believe that the most northern tea producer has been identified. The claims of the “most northern plantation” doesn't seem credible.

    3) Answer - Krasnodar tea which is from the Krasnodar Kray district in Russia is likely the brand name and the website url that I believe Miguel is referring to is

    Here are lists of tea plantations but I was unable to find a complete list.

    Query [Krasnodarsky Tea]
    From Wiki article we learn that “the distinct brand of Krasnodarsky Tea, which is the most prominent Russia-grown tea and is one of the northernmost teas in the world.”

    From Rate Tea website we find plantations in the US in South Carolina, Washington, Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

    Thanks to Miguel for providing us with this challenge.

  7. Well done, fellow researchers. — And thanks for the basque compliment, remmij. ;)

    My first search was [ europe tea plantations ] - very close to what Ramón, Debbie and Anne, and probably all others did. So I quickly landed on the Inntravel blog. (When, later on, I submitted a comment, I didn't realize they were a commercial company nor I was thinking to present this as a challenge, yet. I might not have written that comment otherwise. Anyway, it didn't help that much, apparently. And no one from the company thanked me…)

    I am a list maniac and I know there are tons of other people like me out there, ready to make lists out of anything. So once I found Dagomys and Tregothnan (and I already knew about Gorrana), I figured out that, if there was a thorough list of tea plantations in Europe, those three names would have to be there. So my next search was a simple [ dagomys | dagomis | krasnodar gorreana tregothnan ]. Turns out the only two pages showing up are the best I could get: a list (in Romanian) and a map (title in French). It helps that I can read Romance languages (that is, those two plus Spanish, Italian and Portuguese). I don't know any Romanian but I can derive some because of its similarity with these others on the same branch. Anyway, I used Google Translate to help me understanding that "Ceaiurile din Intreaga Lume" means "Teas of the (Entire) World". Later on, I would use the available Website Translator plugin to get the full translated into English.

    The harder question is in fact which tea plantation is the northernmost. At least Tregothnan is at higher latitude than Dagomys. Further north there's Eden Project but I wouldn't call that a tea plantation ( check ). Pembrokeshire, in Wales (or, more precisely, the Preseli Hills, as remmij found out) is, according to the map guys, not ready yet; remmij's news story is from 2009; but follow the link on the map and tada! they're selling: Then again, what do they mean by "blended by hand"? Here's what you can read on the "About" page: "Hand blended in Pembrokeshire using imported and locally grown ingredients." Wait a minute! I bet that those "local ingredients" are dried lemon, rose petals, Bergamot orange oil and so on. No tea, probably. From the map's marker description: "At present we’re in set up stage with an aim for us to be 100% locally grown by 2015. Beyond this we have a target of 2019 to have our tea gardens matured and able to offer a full range of single estate teas from Pembrokeshire."

    Answers on my next post. (Continues.)

  8. So here's the answer to my 8 questions (sorry for being so many, I never thought Dan would use them verbatim!)

    Are there any other tea plantations and factories in Europe? Yes, in Cornwall (England, UK), Switzerland, Italy, as you've found out, but also in France, Georgia and Turkey.

    What about North America? Didn't double-check all the plantations featured on the map but the general answer is undoubtedly yes.

    Can I have a list? Yes, someone in the Tea and Coffee Shop "Ethiopia" (in Chișinău, capital of Moldova, whose main language is Romanian) is extremely dilligent or resourceful, having written this extensive list:

    Or better yet, a map of tea plantations around the world? Well, some list maniac has created and has been updating this world map of tea plantations for the past 6 years:

    Is the Russian tea plantation near Sochi really the northernmost one in Europe? No.

    If not, which one is? At least Tregothnan is at higher latitude. And most likely that's still the northernmost tea plantation.

    Under what name(s) is that Russian tea marketed? Дагомысчай (Dagomyschay) is the company (the group, to be precise), Краснодарский чай (Krasnodarskiy Chay) is the brand, as you can see on all the products ( ). Krasnodarskiy means "from Krasnodar". Dagomys is the name of a district 12 km from Sochi center; Sochi, the town, lies in the Krasnodar Krai (region, administratrive division).

    What is their website's url?

    Now Debbie and Anne have found another tea company, Matsesta! This means the last two questions were wrongly put. They also claim that "The tea grown around Sochi is grown by about 6 different companies"! Unfortunately, I have to sleep now and couldn't find them.

    I thought this would be easier for everybody than it showed to be but it turns out that I was kind of lucky on my search thought.

    Now here's a bonus: a map of Europe showing how "tea" is in each local language, colored by etymology. Turns out there's only "te", "chay", "herba thea" and our very Portuguese "chá", without the final Y, because it was imported directly from the Cantonese, without having been corrupted by Persian in between.

    Searchy greetings!

  9. Hello everyone! Have a great day! It is very interesting to see all the data about Tea. I still have to visit the links provided and it looks great.

    After reading Miguel posts, remembered listening in some place that Tea is a very special product. That is, not all infusions can be named Tea. It needs to be a special kind.

    Yesterday at night, I was thinking about Northernmost plantation. Maybe they call it that because it is in Russia as a country not as an specific point.

    About Usa plantations. [Usa tea plantations] found Where tea is grown in the United States Site mentions : Alabama, South Carolina, Hawaii, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. Also mentions other states that are trying and even says Canada is working on that Teafarm: Canadian Tea Garden, Sochi Russian Tea Plants . Site has links to websites and articles.

    [dagomys tea plantation] found map that already was posted by Miguel

    Tea plantation in Dagomys Has images and mentions: "Translated from the Circassian, the word "Dagomys" means "cool, shady place. But, according to scientists, the name Dagomis purchased by the name of the former owner of the land on the banks of the river and raises to the ethnonym - Ubykh genus Dagomuko and restores its complete form Dagomyps -" Dagomukovyh river. " "

    RUSSIAN TEA mentions the History, problems and situations of Russian Tea. Also mentions a re-branding. Finally says: "One of the jewels of the Dagomys-chai plantation is the Sochi Tea House."

  10. I enjoyed this search and also found the Tregothnan references. I also discovered that New Zealand produces tea:
    and see that NZ is included on the map at that Miguel found.
    Is NZ the southern-most tea producing country I wonder?

  11. Hello! I was watching a Tv Show last night and found Tea related to USA. I know that you must know this already but for those like me that don't here it is.

    This Day in Boston History: Happy 240th Anniversary, Boston Tea Party
    342 crates of tea were emptied into the harbor
    December 16, 1773, The Sons of Liberty. Boston Tea Party Facts

    1. Interesting... This is one of those things that you learn as a schoolkid in the US -- it's part of the folklore/history that's repeated many, many times. As a consequence, it's one of those things you assume everyone else already knows about. But that's NOT the case!

      Part of being a good teacher is to understand the boundaries of what's commonly known... and who knows it. I should have mentioned this for all of the non-US folks. (Of course, all that tea was imported... it wasn't grown locally!)