Makaibari Tea Estate
- Established in 1859, oldest garden in Darjeeling.
- Elevation - 1500 metres.
- Harvest season: March - November
- Certified Organic, Biodynamic and Fair Trade
Makaibari Tea Manufacture
- The Makaibari harvest starts with the first flush in March and continues till November. The first day of the season, “Paila Pati” (first leaf) is usually celebrated with special gifts and blessings. Read more here about the estate manager and how tea is manufactured for us.
- Workers pick 90 acres of tea fields daily, covering the entire farm in 6 days.
- All the bushes are picked once a week from the commencement of harvest till its close in late Fall.
- Typically, about 200 women and 100 men pick the leaf daily.
- Makaibari employs about 600-625 workers each year. Together with their families, about 1100 people live at Makaibari.
- Makaibari produces Black, Green, Oolong, Silver Tips and White Tea.
- Tea grades include FTGFOP1S Leaf, TGBOP1 Brokens and GOF Fannings
- Limited Production teas are produced when conditions are ideal. These may include Silver Tips Imperial, Crystal Flush or Silver Tips Muscatel.
BBC Travel Gallery
India's rare tea picked under a full moon - by Kalpana Prodhan, September 2018
Enjoy BBC's Travel coverage of Silver Tips Imperial Tea - CLICK HERE!
Awards and Accolades
- Introduction of bio-gas units (methane) which provide a renewable fuel thus eliminating the need to cut down forests for firewood.
- Pioneering women’s participation in management.
- Providing benefits exceeding those mandated by the government, e.g., application of biodynamic gardening techniques.
- Introduction of permaculture in 1975 with forests, leguminous shade trees, indigenous fruit trees, ground creepers, vegetation and finally, tea.
- Certified biodynamic by Demeter in 1991
- Certified Fair Trade in 1992.
- Joint Forest Management Application – total integration of the forest with living creatures to create a wholistic living environment.
- Award-winning Silver Tips, breaking private and auction records.
- Consideration by World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Campaign with the Gift of the Earth designation for the introduction of Integrated Forest Management to the farm.
- Presented with the Organic Food Award from Britain’s SOIL Association for the Demeter Darjeeling Tea Makaibari.
- Awarded with the highest price ever paid for an Indian tea at auction - $1850/kg. for Makaibari Silver Tips Imperial.
- Certified Organic in 1988.