Taylors of Harrogate is one of Britain’s, and the world’s, leading merchants of tea, not surprising since they have been blending and selling it for almost 125 years. Founded by Charles Taylor, the company still bills itself as independently family owned, which is the reason for the s without the apostrophe on the end of Taylors. I imagine many Taylors down through the decades, buying and blending tea with great concentration. It gives one a bit of envy.
I first encountered the company by their Yorkshire Tea, their proprietary blend. There are five—one being Yorkshire Tea for Hard Water, the idea that set Charles Taylor in business in the first place. It was reported in 2003 that nine million cups of Taylors’ Yorkshire Tea were drunk each day in Britain.
Give yourself a treat and visit the delightful Yorkshire Tea site to see their offerings, as well as the cute little brewing teapot. There is also Yorkshire Tea cakes and biscuits. Little Shorties shortbread biscuits are in the shape of a T. Unfortunately they do not have any gluten-free tea cakes, however, I give them high marks for posting allergen information. My favorite thing on the site is the down-loadable sign that reads: “Sorry, I’m having a cup of tea.”
Taylors of Harrogate tea does not stop there. You can see the full range at their main company site. A sampling available: Assam estate tea, Afternoon Darjeeling (a staple in my house), English Breakfast. Loose tea and bagged, the list is long.
Over their 125 year history, Taylors of Harrogate grew and diversified. They entered the coffee trade, and, in the 1960s, they joined with the famous Betty’s Café and Tea Rooms to become officially the corporation of Bettys and Taylors. In 2000, Bettys and Taylors was named to the United Kingdom’s first list of Britain’s Best Companies to Work For and also won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development. In 2004, the Taylors of Harrogate side of the company became the first to import tea from China, blend and package it, and sell it back to the Chinese market.
These people know tea. And all this talk about it sends me off to have a cup of Yorkshire. I just need me one of those signs.
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