Yorkshire Tea

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

Yorkshire Tea is a black tea blend produced by the Bettys & Taylors Group. It is the second most popular tea brand in the UK, and was introduced in 1886 by Charles Edward Taylor. Founded as CE Taylor & Co., later shortened to "Taylor's", the company was purchased by rival 'Betty's Tea Rooms' which today forms Bettys & Taylors Group. Taylor's is still based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, in the first 'Betty's' tea room. The group is still owned by the founder of Betty's' family, 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 second most purchased tea brand in the UK, overtaking Twinings (Associated British Foods) and Typhoo.


Yorkshire Tea uses varieties of tea grown in Assam, Sri Lanka, and Kenya, blended to form four varieties:

  • Yorkshire Tea (commonly known as Yorkshire Red)
  • Yorkshire Tea for hard water
  • Yorkshire Gold
  • Yorkshire Tea Decaffeinated

The Yorkshire Tea brand is being extended 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.


A box of Yorkshire Gold tea
Yorkshire Tea packaging. This variety is for use in a hard water areas.

Yorkshire Tea was introduced by Charles Edward Taylor and his brother in 1883, creating their company, CE Taylor & Co., 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 'Betty's 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.

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.[2]

In 2009, the Prince of Wales granted Yorkshire Tea a Royal Warrant.[3]

Until 2011, Taylor's of Harrogate supplied the tea free to branches of the WI (Women's Institute).[4] The company has also sponsored ITV1's Yorkshire-based Heartbeat from 1998 to 2001.[5]

By 2015, Yorkshire Tea was the third best-selling tea brand in Britain behind Tetley and PG Tips.[6] 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.[7]

Advertising and popular culture[edit]

In 2007, a new TV campaign was created using the line "Try It, You'll See", voiced by Bill Nighy.[8]

Yorkshire Gold is mentioned in the popular Showtime TV series Homeland as a favourite of protagonist Sergeant Nicholas Brody.[9] 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.[10]

Also on the celebrity fan list are Russell Crowe, who posted on Twitter about the beverage in 2012,[11] and who visited Yorkshire Teas' headquarters in Harrogate whilst touring with his band.[12] Other aficionados include Martha Reeves, who was also featured on the social media site holding Yorkshire Tea paraphernalia,[13] and Patrick Stewart who indicated Yorkshire Gold was his favourite tea during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session.[14]

Yorkshire Tea is notable for its packaging which features romanticised Yorkshire Dales landscapes, although from time to time it explores other themes. As an official supporter of the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire,[15] Yorkshire Tea produced a special edition sample pack rebranded as Yorkshire Thé.[16] As well as the name change, the orange on the usual box was replaced with yellow.

In 2016 Yorkshire Tea was made available inside a promotional tea caddy linked to a tree planting campaign with artwork featuring characters from the children's book The Gruffalo and branded Yorkshire Tree.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who We Are". Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate Limited. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  2. ^ Walsh, Dominic (20 August 2004). "Safeway stayaway". The Times. London. Retrieved 15 July 2007. (subscription required)
  3. ^ "Yorkshire tea firm granted Royal seal of approval". The Yorkshire Post. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  4. ^ "The tea's off, ladies: Potty bureaucracy at the WI means the end of free cuppas for members". Associated Newspapers Ltd. 13 March 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  5. ^ "A warming Heartbeat". The Grocer. 31 July 2004. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Tea sales plummet UK-wide... but Yorkshire Tea bucks the trend". York Press. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Yorkshire tea : Now they really owe him money". 21 July 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  9. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (1 April 2012). "Homeland: series one, episode seven | Television & radio". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Yorkshire Gold takes starring role in drama". Harrogate Advertiser. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Newton, Grace (1 October 2017). "Russell Crowe visits Yorkshire Tea factory in Harrogate". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  13. ^ Nath Brudenell [@Nath_Brudenell] (15 December 2013). "A real lady.... MARTHA REEVES loves Yorkshire Tea! :::: @YorkshireTea #Brewdenell100" (Tweet). Retrieved 19 December 2013 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "I am actor Patrick Stewart of Yorkshire, X-Men, Star Trek and Blunt Talk. AMA!". reddit.com. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Sponsors". Le Tour de France. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Yorkshire Thé". Yorkshire Tea. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.

External links[edit]