February 6, 2007


And the men behind the brand are...
Joseph and Edward Tetley

The Tetley brothers, Joseph and Edward, scratched out a living in Yorkshire, England in 1837 selling salt from the back of a horsecart. To help scrape up a few extra pounds the Tetleys sold a little tea, then an expensive luxury item never found on the back of a horsecart. This did not make them rich.

They did however invest their small profits wisely in the new railroads which were beginning to spread across England. At the same time tea was becoming more popular and less expensive. Tea clippers raced each other from ports in the Far East to deliver their exotic cargos as fresh as possible. Some made the journey in as little as 100 days.

With the tea business perking up the Tetley brothers used profits from their railway investments to set up business in London in 1856 as Joseph Tetley and Company. Tetley blended teas from all over the world for their growing market. Their blend of orange pekoe and pekoe cut black tea remains England’s most popular and America’s second-best selling brand.

Through one of their partners the Tetleys began marketing tea in the United States in 1888., selling mostly through department stores. Tetley was one of the first to market its tea in individual bags in 1910.

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