Yorkshire Tea
Product typeTea
OwnerBettys & Taylors Group
Produced byTaylors of Harrogate
CountryEngland, United Kingdom
Introduced1977
Tagline"Where everything's done proper"
"Let's have a proper brew"
Websitewww.yorkshiretea.co.uk

Yorkshire Tea is a black tea blend produced by the Bettys & Taylors Group since 1977. It is the most popular traditional black tea brand sold in the UK. In 1886 Charles Edward Taylor Founded CE Taylor & Co., later shortened to "Taylors", the company was purchased by 'Betty's Tea Rooms' which today forms Bettys & Taylors Group. Taylors of Harrogate is still based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, in the first 'Betty's' tea room. The group is still owned by the family of Bettys' founder, Fredrick Belmont and is currently chaired by Lesley Wild.[1] The company is one of the few remaining family tea and coffee merchants in the country, whilst competing with the British-owned PG Tips (Unilever) and Tetley (Tata), where Yorkshire Tea is now the most purchased tea brand in the UK, overtaking Twinings (Associated British Foods) and Typhoo.[2][3]

Products

Yorkshire Tea area at the Stray Harrogate
Yorkshire Tea area at the Stray Harrogate

Yorkshire Tea uses varieties of tea grown in India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya, blended to form eight blends: Yorkshire Tea, Yorkshire Decaf, Yorkshire Hardwater (available in the United Kingdom), Yorkshire Gold, Breakfast Brew, Bedtime Brew, Biscuit Brew, and Toast and Jam Brew.

In 2016 the brand launched Breakfast Brew, Breaktime Brew and the decaffeinated Bedtime Brew.[4] Yorkshire Tea introduced Biscuit Brew, a malty flavoured tea, to its range in 2018 and Toast and Jam Brew in 2020.[5][6]

The Yorkshire Tea brand is being extended[when?] to include a range of cakes, biscuits, and fruit loaves, sold as being complementary to drinking tea by its parent company The Bettys & Taylors Group, which owns cookery schools and tea rooms[citation needed].

History

Charles Edward Taylor and his brother created their company, CE Taylor & Co., in 1886 which was later shortened to "Taylor's". The brothers later opened "Tea Kiosks" in the Yorkshire towns of Harrogate and Ilkley, and in 1962, local tea room competitor 'Betty's' took over 'Taylor's', renamed it 'Taylors of Harrogate' and formed the Bettys & Taylors Group, which is still owned by the family of Fredrick Belmont, who founded 'Bettys Tea Rooms'. The Group now uses the 'Bettys' and 'Taylors' brands in a number of industries including Yorkshire Tea and Taylors Coffee Merchants under the 'Taylors of Harrogate' name and Bettys Tea Rooms, Bettys Cookery School and Bettys Confectionery under the 'Bettys' brand.

Yorkshire Tea as a brand was launched in 1977, originally conceived as a "Yorkshire blend for Yorkshire people".[7] In the early days different blends were created and sold for different regions of Yorkshire where the hardness / softness of the water varied. Over time, and as the scale of the brand grew to be fully national, the product has evolved to one single blend in the standard orange-coloured pack. However, it retains a hard water variant in green-coloured packs to cater for those who live in hard water areas of the UK.

When Safeway was taken over by West Yorkshire-based Morrisons in 2004, commentators in the London press noted the amount of shelf space in one former Safeway store that was suddenly given over to Yorkshire Tea.[8]

In 2009, the Prince of Wales granted Yorkshire Tea a Royal Warrant.[9][10] The company has also sponsored ITV1's Yorkshire-based Heartbeat from 1998 to 2001.[11]

By 2015, Yorkshire Tea was the third best-selling tea brand in Britain behind Tetley and PG Tips.[2] By September 2017, it was the second best-selling brand behind PG Tips after having overtaken Tetley on sales in the traditional "black tea" market.[12] In November 2019, it was revealed that Yorkshire Tea was now the number one selling brand of tea in the United Kingdom with 28% of the traditional black tea market.[3]

Advertising and popular culture

In 2007, a new TV campaign was created using the line "Try It, You'll See", voiced by Bill Nighy.[13] Starting in 2017, an advertising campaign featuring prominent Yorkshire celebrities in a version of the area for which they're known, such as Michael Parkinson conducting employment interviews, the Kaiser Chiefs playing the hold music for incoming telephone calls and Sean Bean giving motivational speeches to workers.[14]

Yorkshire Gold is mentioned in the popular Showtime TV series Homeland as a favourite of protagonist Sergeant Nicholas Brody.[15] Ian Brabbin, tea buyer at Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate said:

We were both surprised and delighted to discover that Yorkshire Gold has been given such a starring role in Homeland and are looking forward to seeing the show when it arrives on our screens here later in the year. We are no strangers to the small screen – Yorkshire Tea has also made a cameo appearance on Friends, not to mention our ever growing band of celebrity fans such as Noel Gallagher and Alan Carr.[16]

Also on the celebrity fan list are Russell Crowe, who posted on Twitter about the beverage in 2012,[17] and who visited Yorkshire Teas' headquarters in Harrogate whilst touring with his band.[18] Other aficionados include Martha Reeves, who was also featured on the social media site holding Yorkshire Tea paraphernalia,[19] and Patrick Stewart who indicated Yorkshire Gold was his favourite tea during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session.[20]

In 2013, Yorkshire Tea entered a sponsorship agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board of the England cricket team until October 2015.[21] As an official supporter of the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire,[22] Yorkshire Tea produced a 30g special edition sample pack rebranded as Yorkshire Thé.[23] As well as the name change, the orange on the usual box was replaced with yellow. On the hard water variety of the special edition Yorkshire Thé packaging the band remained green.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Who We Are". Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate Limited. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Tea sales plummet UK-wide... but Yorkshire Tea bucks the trend". York Press. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b Behrens, David (2 November 2019). "Move over PG – Yorkshire Tea is now Britain's best-selling cuppa". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  4. ^ News Desk (29 July 2016). "Yorkshire Tea to 'shake up' tea market with new speciality brews". FoodBev Media. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  5. ^ Selwood, Daniel (20 March 2018). "Yorkshire Tea adds 'malty' Biscuit Brew to speciality black tea lineup". The Grocer. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  6. ^ Jeeves, Paul (21 September 2020). "Harrogate's Yorkshire Tea unveils new specialty 'jam on toast' blend for Asda". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  7. ^ "How Yorkshire Tea grew from a local brand to be the nation's cup of tea". The Yorkshire Post. 5 September 2017. Archived from the original on 5 September 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  8. ^ Walsh, Dominic (20 August 2004). "Safeway stayaway". The Times. London. Retrieved 15 July 2007. (subscription required)
  9. ^ "Yorkshire tea firm granted Royal seal of approval". The Yorkshire Post. 15 January 2009. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Taylors of Harrogate". Royal Warrant Holders Association. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  11. ^ "A warming Heartbeat". The Grocer. 31 July 2004. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  12. ^ Behrens, David (5 September 2017). "How Yorkshire Tea grew from a local brand to be the nation's cup of tea". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Yorkshire tea : Now they really owe him money". 21 July 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Ey Up WATCH This! Yorkshire Stars Come Out In Force For AMAZING New Tea Advert". Heart.
  15. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (1 April 2012). "Homeland: series one, episode seven | Television & radio". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Yorkshire Gold takes starring role in drama". Harrogate Advertiser. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  17. ^ Russell Crowe [@russellcrowe] (29 October 2012). "Found Yorkshire tea at Myers of Keswick on Hudson Street, NY. Teapot and 1953 coronation cup. Aah Tea, it's the ritual perfect for Hurricanes" (Tweet). Retrieved 19 December 2013 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Newton, Grace (1 October 2017). "Russell Crowe visits Yorkshire Tea factory in Harrogate". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  19. ^ Nath Brudenell [@Nath_Brudenell] (15 December 2013). "A real lady.... MARTHA REEVES loves Yorkshire Tea! :::: @YorkshireTea #Brewdenell100" (Tweet). Retrieved 19 December 2013 – via Twitter.
  20. ^ "I am actor Patrick Stewart of Yorkshire, X-Men, Star Trek and Blunt Talk. AMA!". reddit.com. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  21. ^ "Tie-up with England's cricket team marks big break for Yorkshire Tea". The Yorkshire Post. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  22. ^ "Sponsors". Le Tour de France. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  23. ^ "Yorkshire Thé". Yorkshire Tea. 18 June 2014. Archived from the original on 5 September 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2014.