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Does Yorkshire grow its own tea?

It’s not as silly a question as you might think at first, after all it is called Yorkshire Tea isn’t it?

Just to get our geography right, Yorkshire is a long, long way away from anywhere where you might expect to see tea grown commercially; but it is at the centre of an industry that employs hundreds and goes on to satisfy thousands more with a delicious blend of tea available through UKVending.

Tea leaves from over twenty separate places across Africa and India all end up in Harrogate in Yorkshire and is then expertly blended – hence it’s called Yorkshire Tea. Originally Yorkshire Tea was only available to the good people of the county, but its reach and its appeal have steadily spread until today it is available everywhere.

Yorkshire Tea is not the first, nor I would imagine the last, tea to be named after where it was blended rather than its place of origin. You only have to look at Russian Caravan, which is a blend of oolong, Keemun and Lapsang Souchong. This particular tea blend was first made in the 18th century and made its way to Russia from China on the back on camel caravans, so some creative person thought better than to call it a remarkably unmarketable Oolong, Keemun Kapsang Souchong, better get something more catchy and Russian Caravan was chosen.

We Brits, joined in the game too, just think of English Breakfast tea, no one need stress too hard about how this particular blend got its name. However, its vague name covers a bit of trickery. Traders were unsure of how good each batch of tea was and blended them into something palatable. But because its taste could change quite considerably a name and something that could cover the differences between brews was chosen, hence English tea. Today, the blending, thankfully, is more consistent than it was in times past.

Taylors of Harrogate, have been carefully blending teas since 1886.

 

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