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Tea and Tales: A Visit to Darjeeling's Oldest Tea Estate

The sun was just starting to peek over the mountains as I drove up to Makaibari Tea Estate. I had been looking forward to this visit for weeks, ever since I had learned that it was the oldest tea estate in Darjeeling.

Makaibari Bungalow, Makaibari Tea Estate
Makaibari Bungalow, Makaibari Tea Estate

I was greeted by the estate manager, who showed me around the factory. The factory was built in 1859, and it is still used to make tea today. The process of making tea is fascinating, and I was amazed to see how much work goes into each cup.


After the tour of the factory, I was taken to the tea gardens. The gardens were lush and green, and the air was filled with the smell of tea. I learned that Makaibari Tea Estate is known for its production of black tea, and I was eager to try some. We sat down in a small tea room, and the manager poured me a cup of tea. The tea was rich and flavorful, and I could taste the difference between it and the tea I was used to drinking. The manager told me that Makaibari Tea Estate is a special place, and that it is more than just a tea estate. It is a living history, and it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the people who work there.

Tea being packed in Makaibari
Tea Packaging, Makaibari Tea Estate

I left Makaibari Tea Estate feeling inspired and refreshed. I had learned a lot about the history of tea and the estate itself, and I had experienced the magic of making tea in the mountains of Darjeeling. I knew that I would never forget my visit to this special place.


Here are some of the fascinating stories behind the establishment of Makaibari Tea Estate:

  • The estate was founded in 1859 by a Scottish planter named William Cameron.

  • Cameron named the estate after the Makaibari River, which runs through it.

  • The estate was originally owned by the Cameron family, but it was sold to the Williamson Tea Group in 1955.

  • Makaibari Tea Estate is known for its production of black tea, and it is one of the few estates in Darjeeling that still uses traditional methods of tea making.

  • The estate is also known for its commitment to sustainability, and it is one of the first tea estates in India to be certified organic.


I am still in awe of this place and I hope you enjoyed this story about my visit to Makaibari Tea Estate. If you are ever in Darjeeling, I highly recommend visiting this special place.

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