Durgi - Tea Plucker at Makaibari

As you wind up the Pankhabari road towards Makaibari Estate in Darjeeling, you are mesmerized by the immense beauty stretching all around you. Steep hills lined with green tea bushes, women plucking leaves, winding trails through tea plantations and bamboo trees everywhere. The romance of the area fills the air. You can imagine living out your days here surrounded by the serenity.  As you enter Makaibari territory, you notice everyone greeting you with smiles as you drive by.  This is a couple of years ago and I am with Rajah Banerjee, 4th generation owner and his wife, Srirupa, my sister.  We are family and so are all of Makaibari's workers.  Some have been there all their lives.

Durgi (pictured above) is no exception.  She...

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 Nov 01, 2018  |  Written by Anupa Mueller

October is Fair Trade Month

You’ve probably all seen these labels on products in the grocery store and in specialty markets:  Fair Trade, Fair for Life, World Fair Trade, Fair Trade Federation.  What they have in common is a focus on the worker with the aim to promote equitable trade. It seeks to help producers in developing countries and covers coffee, cocoa, tea, wine, sugar, bananas, flowers and even handicrafts. It has 4 key goals:

  • To pay farmers a decent, living wage.
  • To create direct trade links to farmers, bypassing exploitative middlemen.
  • To provide access to affordable credit.
  • To promote sustainable practices, such as organic farming, that help protect the environment.

In the tea industry, Makaibari Tea Estate was used as a model in the early 1990s to test and develop fair...

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 Sep 30, 2018  |  Written by Anupa Mueller

Makaibari's Intrepid Manager - Mr. Das

 Mr. Das Makaibari Tea Estate - Silver Tips Tea Online Tea Store

The title, Manager, Tea Estate, seems so unassuming.  In actual fact though, the Manager of a Tea Estate is, in equal parts, king, champion, shepherd, COO and tea master.  At most tea gardens in India, the highest ranking person is The Manager.  He wields absolute authority and is the arbiter of quality and taste.  At Makaibari, with the beginning of the 2018 season, Mr. Sanjay Das took over the mantle of Manager, for the first time, without Rajah Banerjee's daily guidance.  Rajah, 4th generation owner of Makaibari, stepped away as Chairman as of March 2018.  

Mr. Sanjay Das Compost Pile - Silver Tips Tea Online Tea Store

Mr. Das learned from the best. Although he has over...

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 Aug 29, 2018  |  Written by Anupa Mueller

Are you drinking real Matcha?

Matcha Green Tea Powder with Bowl and Whisk - Silver Tips Tea

You've heard about all the buzz around Matcha and you're ready to jump in.  But hold on! How do you know you're getting the real thing?  All manner of people and companies are trying to cash in on the Matcha phenomenon and you may end up in a powdery blur. Here are some simple guidelines to ensure you are getting the real thing:

First - origin:  It should be Japan.  Although China and Taiwan do produce matcha, the original Japanese Matcha should be in your cup.  Not only are the origin tea leaves perfectly suited to the manufacture of Matcha, green tea from this region...

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 Jul 13, 2018  |  Written by Anupa Mueller

Matcha - a Superfood

Matcha Green Tea Powder - Silver Tips Tea

This is the heyday of  When we started our tea company over 20 years ago, Matcha was not even included in our tea catalogue. The only Japan teas we carried were the well-known Sencha, Bancha, Genmaicha, Gyokuro and a few others such as Houjicha.  About 4 years ago, the world of Japanese tea in the U.S. changed significantly.  Along came Matcha – a finely ground powder of specially selected tea leaves.  Never mind that it had been used in Japan for centuries.  It came into prominence here with an . Well-known media giants such as CBS news, The Huffington Post, Bon Appetit and trade magazines, began giving it coverage. It is now widely available by the pound, in smaller canisters, in to-go...

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 Jul 09, 2018  |  Written by Anupa Mueller
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