Amba Estate has a strong dedication to empowering its workers: the management has pledged 10% of the estate's revenue back to the employees. That includes revenue from the teas, the guesthouse, and the farms; regardless of the profitability of the estate.
They made this announcement in March of last year, during our last visit. We are happy to see that the program is continuing! The workers are cheerful and proud as ever to offer their handcrafted teas to the world.
The pioneer behind Amba Estate, Beverly Wainwright, recently left the estate, but her energy and passion is still very much evident in the tea garden. (Even her #teadog is still hanging around!) The farm manager who gave us a tour of the farm had great stories of Beverly's influence.
The most memorable was from 2011, when Beverly first began working with the diversifying estate. She started to experiment with small-batch, hand-rolled teas: completely unheard of in Sri Lanka, where commodity tea had always ruled.
Everyone at the tea garden and in the village thought she was crazy. They don't think so now, as Amba Estate's beautiful, hand-crafted teas have become sought-after in even the highest-quality international markets.
See Amba Estate through Beverly's eyes: footage from ATR 2014.
While even the smallest commodity tea factories in Sri Lanka produce a ton of tea a day, Amba Estate only makes 10kg of finished tea a day. Even with this small output, they are able to earn more than enough thanks the Amba team's intense dedication to quality.
Amba Estate's signature tea: OP1 With Tea Flowers