Darjeeling Tea Estates: L-M


Lebong & Mineral Tea Estate

This is a 315 hectare tea estate located at Teesta Valley having implemented bio-organic farming and producing back, green and white Darjeeling tea. In the early 1800s, the estate was known as Harrison Tea Estate named after its British proprietor. The estate changed several hands during the century. It actually comprised of two estates, Lebong division and the Mineral Springs estate. In early 1900s it was registered as a company for the first time. 
However after India's independence, the British owners quit the garden and left the country. It was then taken over by the Nepalis who tried to cultivate tea. But it did not work and the estate at one stage became almost defunct. 
After decades, the estate has been reclaimed by Sanjukta and Vikas Cooperative who along with pioneering organic tea planters from the nearby Selimbong Tea Estate have been able to turn it around. In the farming land of the estate, they also grow oranges, maize and ginger. 

Lingia Tea Estate

Lingia is owned by the Chamong Group. The bio-organic tea estate is located about 30 kms west of Darjeeling town and lies at an elevation ranging from 3,000 to 6,000ft. 'Lingia' is derived from a Lepcha word meaning "Triangle of 8 peaks". The plantation at the garden originally started in 1867 by two German missionaries. The total estate area is 220 hectares out of which 141 hectares is under tea plantation. 
The estate changed hands over time and the Chamong group took over the estate from Williamson Magor company in 2001. The garden produces black and green tea. Original China bushed have been planted in the garden. 
Chamong Tee Exports Pvt. Ltd. 
2, N. C. Dutta Sarani, Sagar Estate, 5th Floor, Unit 1, Kolkata – 700001, India 
Phone : +91(33) 3093-6400, Email: [email protected] 

Longview Tea Estate

As the name suggests, the estate comprises of a long stretch of tea gardens. As you drive towards Pankhabari, you will see this never ending tea estate on both sides of the road meeting the mountains at the far end. The estate has 506 hectares of land area under tea plantation and boasts of being the largest single producer of Darjeeling tea (about 10% of the total Darjeeling tea production comes from this estate which amounts to about 0.7 million Kgs per year). 
The garden originally belonged to a pioneering British tea planter C.G Adams who opened it in the year 1873. Wyandhams of Australia owned the estate until 1953. It is now owned and operated by Longview Tea & Agro Ltd. It produces black and green Darjeeling tea. In 2008 the entire factory got burnt by a devastating fire. However the company has been able to recover and put the production back on track. Nearly 2000 workers are employed in the estate. 
Longview Tea & Agro Ltd. 
15, College Street, 1st Floor, Kolkata: 700012, India. 
Phone:+91-33-22570578;  (Fax):+91-33-22570577; Email: [email protected] 

Lopchu Tea Estate

The estate with 226 acres under tea plantation is located between the hill town of Darjeeling and Teesta. about 95% of the plantation comprises of original China bushes. Lopchu tea is known worldwide as one of the finest tea with distinct muscatel flavor and delicate aroma. Much of the tea produced in the estate is exported to United States and European countries. 
Email (for further information): [email protected] 
Makaibari is one of the oldest tea gardens in Darjeeling and had set up the first tea processing factory in 1859. This is the only tea estate in Darjeeling that has a resident owner. 
Current owner Rajah Banerjee is in the fourth generation of family business. The tea estate has won many accolades from all over the world. It is the first to promote and practice organic farming in Darjeeling district. Out of 750 hectares of total estate area, about 65% is natural forests. 
Tea in the garden grows amongst other vegetation and in complete ecological balance producing one of the finest flavors and aroma that world has ever seen.  
Area under tea plantation is 270 hectares producing black, green and white teas. 
About 700 workers are employed in the estate. Makaibari too offers great tea tourism mostly through its workers who have developed nice and simple home-stays for the visitors. Check out the link for details. 

Margaret's Hope Tea Estate

The estate is owned by the Goodricke group and produces some of the finest black, green and white Darjeeling tea. Located in the north Kurseong area, the estate spans across an area of 585 hectares at an elevation ranging from 950 to 1830 meters. The tea garden was first set up in 1830s but became commercially viable only in 1864. It was then known as Bara Ringtrong.  
However the strange name Margaret's Hope was given during 1920s when Margaret, the daughter of the then owner Cruickshank came from England to visit the garden. She liked the wonderful picturesque settings of the estate so much that she promised to return. The estate offers magnificent views of the mountains and is full of Orchids. But on her way back, she died on the ship out of a deadly disease. Her father later changed the name of the estate in the fond memory his daughter. The present factory was set up in 1930 by a British named John Taylor. 
Goodricke Group Limited, Camellia House, 14 Gurusaday Road, Kolkata: 700 019, India. 
Phone: +91(33)22873067, 22878737, 22871816; E-mail: [email protected] 

Marybong Tea Estate

This is a picturesque tea garden locate some 12kms away from Ghoom and in west of Darjeeling. It is part of the Chamong Group. The initial name of the estate was Kyel Tea Estate that was started by Lousi Mandelli who was a passionate conservationist. The marvelous views of the Kanchenjunga and many different wild flowers attracted Louis to start the tea plantation here. Subsequently it changed hands. This garden was originally part of adjacent Lingia Tea Estate. Mary was the daughter of Lingia's owner. In 1870s at the time of her marriage, Lingia's owner gifted this land and it was combined with Kyel Tea Estate. The combined name became Marybong which in Lepcha language means "Mary's Place". 
The garden has an area of 285 hectares under tea plantation and is located at an altitude ranging from 3,000 to 6,000ft. About 700 workers are employed in the estate. It is a bio dynamic garden and produces black, green and white Darjeeling tea. Annual production is 1,70,000 kgs. 
Chamong Tee Exports Pvt. Ltd. 
2, N. C. Dutta Sarani, Sagar Estate, 5th Floor, Unit 1, Kolkata – 700001, India 
Phone : +91(33) 3093-6400, Email: [email protected] 

Monteviot Tea Estate

This small tea estate is located at the north Kurseong valley and below Darjeeling town. The plantation area is only 88 hectares. This is an organic tea estate that lies at an elevation of 950 to 1700 meters. It produces green Darjeeling tea. The focus of the garden has always been on quality and it has consistently received good ratings from the consumers. In 2004, the factory was completely burnt down in a fire resulting in massive damages to the property. 

Related Articles

1) Visit Tea Estates in Darjeeling for a complete list of all tea gardens in Darjeeling 
2) Check out Darjeeling Tea to know all about the tea that has made it large in the world platform. 

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