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 supports young women in Darjeeling – providing them with housing, necessities and (most importantly) an education. They also host informational (and really tasty dinners) to raise money for the cause, the next of which is happening this Monday.
And Dr. Bombay's workers are in on it too, pooling their tips to travel to India once every six months. 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.