Icare Makaibari Tea

Icare Makaibari Tea

The world has been enjoying tea for more than 5,000 years. But only since 1995 has biodynamic, Fairtrade certified tea been available. That year in Tea, a famous India hillside village known as a breeding ground for progressive ideas, Prabha Tea started to package special teas from a special place.

The Makaibari tea in India's Darjeeling province is the world's first certified biodynamic estate and the last owner-managed estate in the district. Here, 66% of the acreage is undisturbed rainforest where tea grows in harmony with the area's natural ecological system. All our black green and white teas are made especially at Makaibari for our discerning customers who appreciate the special taste and quality of our teas. Our herbal teas also come from biodynamic growers and are renowned for their clear jewel like liquors and unique health giving properties.

After a day's induction - with tea-tasting sessions and a guided tour of the factory to see how luscious, freshly plucked leaves are processed into green, white, oolong and black teas visitors get some hands-on experience. Those who prefer to be in the tea gardens can choose between planting tea bushes, plucking tea ("two leaves and a bud" is what you need to break off each time) and tending the nursery. Those who enjoy more vigorous challenges can try milking cows or cleaning cattle sheds. And at the end of a hard day, you relax with a home-cooked meal made with locally grown organic produce, then drive home with a cuppa brewed from leaves you plucked the previous day.

Makaibari ("Corn Fields") is the oldest garden in Darjeeling, in North East India. Established in 1859, it extends over 1575 acres of hills, valleys and forests at the foothills of the fabled Himalayan Mountains. Over 4500 feet in altitude, this tea garden is the jewel in what is called the Golden Mile of the most famous tea growing region in the world. It is still farmed by the original founding family. Rajah Banerjee, the current owner, is the 4th generation scion of this tea dynasty.

Makaibari is an idealistic, inspiring plantation. Imagine a place surrounded by mountains and valleys, where one thousand acres of forest thrive, where leopards and panthers live, where the hornbill nests, where seven villages live in harmony, growing the finest tea in the world. This is Makaibari. It is the proud caretaker of wild life and a diversity of fauna and flora. It is the advocate of sustainable agriculture and a destination for students, sightseers, tea devotees and all those seeking the pure air of the mountains and the simplicity of its life. In tea annals, Makaibari commands a mystique, a higher sense of purpose, a deeper complexity in its tea with no short cuts, an emphasis on quality and true authenticity.

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.

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.

Limited Production teas are produced when conditions are ideal. These may include Silver Tips Imperial, Crystal Flush or Silver Tips Muscatel.

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