Giddapahar was founded in 1881, and has been in the same family ever since. Surendra Nath Singh and his brother are the fourth generation to be running the estate. And since this garden was brought to my attention about six years ago, they have consistently produced some of the best (and most reasonably priced) Darjeeling teas I have seen.
Take a brief peek at the Giddapahar Tea Estate....
The entrance to Giddapahar Tea Estate, the smallest Darjeeling tea garden. The entire estate, factory, and owner’s home are built on slopes like this.
While small in size, Giddapahar looms large to tea merchants looking for the best quality. Pictured above are a couple of tea merchants from Siliguri, India and Taipei, Taiwan. The three of us met there, while looking for some special teas. In the background is the owner’s home, just a few short steps from the Giddapahar factory.
Having tea in the owner’s office at Giddapahar. Notice the pale yellow color of this delicate 1st flush Darjeeling, which was made that morning.
On the left, one of the owners of Giddapahar, Sudhanshu Kumar, and his factory manager behind the desk; enjoying a break and talking tea. Sudhanshu and his brother Himanshu own and run Giddapahar; it’s been in their family since the 1880’s.
A tea rolling machine at Giddpahar. This machine is close to 100 years old and made in Birmingham, England, it still helps make great tea today.
The heating chamber (and the factory manaager, who is also the only full-time employee of Giddapahar), which is used for “firing” the tea, the last step of traidtional tea manufacture.
Immersing myself in the incredible aromas of just made Darjeeling tea.
Himanshu Kumar, closely monitoring the tea during the manufacturing process. Behind him is a tea sorting machine (that shakes and sorts the different sized particles of tea). The folks at Giddapahar made this tea sorting machine themselves.
Close up of the tea sorting machine. You can see the chutes/funnels that siphon off the different sized particles.
The porch and the vista outside of the owner’s office. The Darjeeling mountainside is so steep here, that the slope drops off at about an 80 degree angle, but the entire slope is still filled with tea bushes that are hand-plucked by local workers.