When Katrell started Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party, her goals weren't lofty ones. Actually, she just wanted a good place to grab a cup of coffee in the mornings. But over time, it's transformed into a mom-and-pop style tea shop, with lotsa tea (naturally), coffee, baked goods and ice cream. And while the environment, the down-to-earth staff, and the nostalgic tunes wafting through the air are reasons enough to visit, there's more going on at this Candler Park staple.
After visiting Darjeeling a few years ago, Katrell noticed there was a marked disadvantage for young women in India; especially those in orphanages, who are left to figure things out on their own once they turn 15. So she started The Learning Tea at Dr. Bombay's, which besides providing us with our tea and scone fix, is currently supporting 11 young women in Darjeeling – providing housing, necessities and (most importantly) an education.
And Dr. Bombay's workers are in on it too, pooling their tips to travel to India once every six months. The next trip is in October, when they'll be opening a second center in Calcutta. One of the staff members, Oasis, put it well when he said, "This is the most exciting thing I've been a part of in this city." Because while the coffee and tea industry is certainly about fair trade, sometimes it's about fair chance, too.