Who we are
"Whatever we do here at Taylors of Harrogate, we like to do it properly. Maybe it's just the Yorkshire way of doing things."
A family that simply loves tea
Whatever we do here at Taylors of Harrogate, we like to do it properly. Maybe it’s just the Yorkshire way of doing things. We’re a proud family business – three generations, in fact – and we’ve always been into making good tea. Done right, it’s amazing what a simple cup of tea can do really. Things have a habit of feeling instantly better after a proper brew. We’ve come a long way since we popped the kettle on and brewed our first pot of Yorkshire Tea in the 70s. Who’d have thought back then that we’d now be making one of Britain’s favourite brews?
We go back a long way
The story of Taylors of Harrogate goes way further back than the 70s. In fact, it all started in Victorian times when in 1886, Charles Edward Taylor and his brother Llewellyn – sons of a York pea-dealer and master grocer – set up the tea and coffee importing business CE Taylor & Co. Both brothers trained at the renowned Ashbys Tea of London, where they also went on to buy their teas and coffees at auction. Llewellyn eventually became a sleeping partner but Charles soon hit on the idea of opening up ‘kiosk’ tea and coffee tasting rooms in the booming, fashionable spa towns of Harrogate and Ilkley. The rest, as they say, is history.
Water’s always been important
In the fashionable spa towns in Victorian times, water had a big part to play. People would ‘take the waters’, which were believed to have health benefits. In Harrogate and Ilkley, Charles Edward Taylor opened ‘kiosk’ tea and coffee shops with tasting rooms. Local guesthouse owners would come to select blends of tea that Charles had created to suit their local water source. Today, our Yorkshire Tea for Hard Water is also blended to give people in hard water areas a proper brew that’s bright, brisk and strong, just as Yorkshire Tea should be. It’s a skill passed down through generations of Taylors tea blenders and we’re the only British blender to do this.
When Charles met Betty
Years ago, CE Taylor & Co’s tasting rooms were dark and smoky cafés where local businessmen often spent the whole day drinking tea and coffee while runners brought documents from their offices. Fast forward to 1962 and, in an odd twist of fate, the manager of a rival café, ‘Bettys’, overheard two businessmen mention that the Taylor family were putting their business up for sale. She immediately told Victor Wild, Bettys’ chairman, who bought Taylors for the tea and coffee importing, blending and roasting business to complement Bettys bakery.
The Bettys & Taylors way
"Do something right and people will enjoy it. Keep doing it right and they'll keep coming back for more."
Do something right and people will enjoy it. Keep doing it right and they’ll keep coming back for more. It’s common sense really, but it’s worked for us since 1886. It’s not easy, but it’s possible if you only ever use the best quality ingredients and take genuine pride in what you do. The exact same care and attention in serving customers at Bettys’ famous café tea rooms goes into selecting precisely the right quality teas for our blends. We’ve spent decades improving and we don’t intend to stop now!
Tea fit for Royalty
There’s nothing more British than tea and the Royal Family. Look on any Taylors of Harrogate tea or coffee pack and you’ll see the Royal Coat of Arms. It’s something we’re rather proud of. The Prince of Wales granted us the Royal Warrant of Appointment for supplying Clarence House – his London residence – for over five years. It’s all very flattering, but it’s not only a famous stamp of quality and excellence, it’s also only given to companies that are committed to looking after the environment and developing sustainability... which we absolutely are.