About Silver Tips

The Silver Tips Story

Silver Tips Tea is the retail arm of Eco-Prima Tea, a wholesale tea import and distribution company, in business since 1995. Silver Tips Tea Room opened in November 1999 as a small, independent Tea Room serving about 100 varieties of tea, homemade soups and salads, both familiar and creative toasted tea sandwiches, and our wildly popular, “Afternoon Tea” complete with sandwiches, cakes, scones, preserves and cream.

After 18 years, the Tea Room closed on March 25, 2018 to focus on the wholesale and online business.
"We are grateful to our countless patrons and friends for their visits to the Tea Room over the years and we look forward to serving their Tea needs through our website."
- Silver Tips Tea Room

My own roots to tea go back to my childhood in Darjeeling, India one of the tea capitals of the world and home of “the Champagne of Teas.” My sister and I attended boarding school at the foothills of the Himalayas, surrounded by lush tea plantations. After graduating college, I went to New York to work for the United Nations and then later became an executive for a large communications company. My sister, meanwhile, had married Rajah Banerjee, whose family owned the beautiful and vast Makaibari tea plantation. Thus began my own journey back to the path of Tea! Tea was now firmly rooted in my family’s past, present and future.

Over the years, I visited Makaibari numerous times and each time learned a little more about the flavorful beverage I had taken for granted during my childhood. I discovered how tea bushes were pruned to a certain height for optimal picking, how the women plucked the top two leaves and a bud, how the leaves were weighed, how the fresh green leaves miraculously became black tea, and how the teas were sorted and graded. I learned that no detail is too small to escape attention, even down to the meticulous hand-crafting of tea chests on the estate.

Decades ago, Makaibari became a pioneer in the tea industry. Ahead of their time, my sister and brother-in-law turned to organic and biodynamic farming. They returned two-thirds of their land back to sub-tropical forest, which improved the health of their soil, brought back teeming wildlife and improved the lives of the people who shared this ecological system with them. Their tea has broken many world records and other farmers both local and international began to try to emulate their methods. The Banerjees have lectured on biodynamic farming throughout the world.

The Legend of Makaibari Tea Estate

Our founders grew up in the home of the “Champagne of Tea”: Darjeeling, India. From our tea-steeped roots to our family heritage in the Makaibari tea plantation, tea practically runs in our veins. We have a place in our hearts for specialty tea, and we invite you to experience unique blends with us. Find your favorite variety at our loose leaf tea shop!

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Impressed by what I had seen and learned at Makaibari, I decided, in 1995, to market my family’s biodynamic tea. Soon this venture grew to include all kinds of teas from all over the world! I began to realize that this new work was a continuation of my desire to make the world a better place. It was an extension of my UN and corporate work, but on a gentler plane and at a more relaxed pace. I could now help struggling farmers sell their tea and help expand the markets for tea in the US and internationally. I could offer fair-trade teas whose surcharges went directly to the farmers who grew the crops.

These were my hopes in 1999 when I opened my Tea Room and then, a few years later, launched a website. But I had no idea that my vision would be realized so fully and that I would have so much fun getting to meet, advise and chat with my customers about Tea.

Come visit us and share our love of Tea! You will soon see what makes Silver Tips unique:

  • First, a team of people who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and care about their customers. We customize samples and provide individualized service.
  • Second, the tea itself - fresh, seasonal, personally selected and directly sourced from the many corners of the world. We know the origins, can authenticate the source and deliver what we promise. If it is out of stock, we will tell you. If it is from a previous season, we will let you know.
  • Third, Makaibari, one of the world's great tea estates, is behind us and we will share the story of Tea with you, through photos and anecdotes.

Visit us and see for yourself!

Anupa Mueller & Your Friends at Silver Tips Tea