Taylors of Harrogate Tea & Coffee Specialists, a Yorkshire institution since 1886. Taylors not only encompasses the Taylors of Harrogate Coffee brand but also the distinguished Bettys Café Tea Rooms and of course Yorkshire Tea. With such iconic brands it is no wonder that this family owned company thrives.
Even successful traditional brands are now embracing social media and I was lucky enough to be invited along with an eclectic group of bloggers to a Taylors of Harrogate Coffee Masterclass.
This really was a coffee masterclass with topics covered including growing, harvesting, the provenance of the single origin coffee beans, the roasts, the blends and then the distinctive flavours and characteristics of the single origin beans and how the specific geography of the regions effects the flavour and characteristics of the coffee. The main styles of bean are Arabica with smooth, quality flavours and the cheaper Robusta for a strong harsher flavour, the Robusta is often used to bulk out cheaper blends or give a stronger coffee hit. Arabica is more expensive, grows at higher altitudes and generally harder to grow as more prone to cold and disease. The Robusta as the name suggests is the hardier crop, grows at lower altitudes and hence easier and cheaper to grow.
Emily our expert coffee buyer explained and demonstrated coffee tasting including the “brew” the “slurp” the nosier the slurp the better, the “swill” & finally the “spit”!
All the single origin and blended coffees were laid out complete with the full beans so we could smell and taste. The cups or bowls were brewed for about 4 minutes, the coffee allowed to cool slightly and then the floating coffee ground scum spooned out before we were let loose with our spoons and are childlike attempts at spitting, that must be what the aprons were for!
Emily and all the staff we met on out tour were infectiously enthusiastic, very knowledgeable, super helpful and really do love what they do.
Taylors and Bettys whilst independently run family businesses have been part of the same company since the sixties when Victor Wild purchased Taylors Tea. Therefore the Taylors coffee and tea empire is actually owned by Bettys! This connection was not overlooked when it came to feeding hungry bloggers and luncheon was served. A fantastic spread of delectable food the very epitome of English afternoon tea goodness, sandwiches, quiches, sausage rolls, fat rascals and of course the handmade cakes Bettys tearooms are famous for.
Coffee Beans growing in Yorkshire! Yes these are real live coffee beans growing in the research and development greenhouse in Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Whilst the company is steeped in tradition, technology and sophisticated automated production is very much in evidence.
Automated roasting, grinding and packing lines in the purpose built facility here in the very centre of Yorkshire’s elegant spa town and set amidst handsome historic buildings, a perfect location as Harrogate has always had that Café culture vibe.
I was a guest of Taylors of Harrogate, Pagoda House, Plumpton Park, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 7LD.
A follow up post on the secrets learnt on “How to brew the perfect Cafetiere” to follow.
Taylors of Harrogate http://www.taylorsofharrogate.co.uk
Bettys Café & Tearoom http://www.bettys.co.uk