Ambootia Tea Garden was one of the first estates to be established and is one of the best known. It is now part of a group making it the second largest Darjeeling producer. Established in 1861 by the Darjeeling Tea Company of England, it was taken over in 1954 after Indian independence. As with a large number of Darjeeling Estates over dependence on fertiliser and pesticides whilst initially leading to increased production eventually led to what the Indian Tea Board referred to as a ‘sick garden’. This is where the garden can no longer make enough profit to support the workers. In 1992 it transitioned to 100% certified organic/bio-dynamic production and in 1994 was Fair Trade certified. Crucially, it made fair wages a priority, setting an important example in a country where an estimated 18 million people are paid unfairly. Ambootia gives its staff housing, food, fuel, footwear, protective clothing, winter blankets, and basic free medical treatments. To help the next generation, they provide free primary school education so that the children can go to school instead of working alongside their mothers. The company says it places strong emphasis on enhancing female economic empowerment. It has been years since we last had an Ambootia tea and welcome this lovely one into our range. I thoroughly enjoyed it.