Posted in Kafevend Blog

1- Founder of Twinings Tea, Thomas Twining, originally served an apprenticeship to become which of the following?

b- weaver: Weaving was an old Twining family tradition and Thomas served his apprenticeship in London in the final years of the 17th century. However, deciding that greater opportunity lay in the up and coming tea trade, he then found an East India Company merchant to learn this new trade from. By 1706 he was ready to go it alone and bought a coffee house on The Strand. By offering his customers newly fashionable tea, Thomas Twining was able to stand out from amongst other competing coffee houses. His company went from strength to strength, resulting in a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria in 1837.

2- Tetley introduced the concept of the teabag to the British public in 1953, but in which year did the company first offer us their round teabags?

c- 1990: The round teabags, which fit so neatly into a mug, hit our supermarket shelves in 1990 and boosted sales for the company. Tetley had first begun delving into teabags in 1939 when one of their representatives travelled to the USA to learn all about them. By the following year they'd got their own teabag machine up and running. It was capable of turning out 40 bags a minute, but they were all sold for export. Tetley didn't introduce the British public to the teabag until 1953 when tea rationing ended.

3- What does the PG in PG Tips stand for?

c- pre-gest: PG Tips originally went on sale in the 1930s under the name Pre-Gest Tea. It was believed that drinking a cup of tea before a meal would help with digestion, hence pre-gest. As often happens the name began to be abbreviated by more and more people. PG Tea then became PG Tips as a nod to the fact that the company only used the best part of the tea plant- the tip, or top two leaves and bud.

4- In which city does Typhoo Tea have its roots?

a- Birmingham: Typhoo's founder, John Sumner, was born in Birmingham in 1856. In the early years of the 1900s he took over the running of the family grocery business, which was located in Birmingham's Bull Ring. Having decided to specialise in tea, Sumner became the first to sell it pre-packaged and after a lot of thought came up with the distinctive Typhoo name. In 1905 he sold off the grocery and concentrated wholly on tea. Sumner understood the value of brand loyalty and began to include small picture cards on a range of subjects in his packs of tea which, sure enough, many people began to collect.  

5- Which mode of transport did Clipper Teas take their name from?

d- sailing vessel: Clipper Teas began trading  in 1984 from the founding duo's kitchen. Ten years later it became Britain's very first Fairtrade tea company. Clipper Teas is named, rather neatly, for tea clippers! Clippers were sailing vessels that had their heyday during the 1800s. Once the British East India Company's monopoly on the tea trade had been broken, tea became a highly competitive business with the fastest transported teas fetching the best prices... Enter the tea clipper!  

6- Yorkshire tea is specially blended to suit which type of water?

b- hard water: Yorkshire tea is made by Taylors of Harrogate, a company whose history stretches back to 1886. Charles Edward Taylor was a Quaker who viewed tea as a handy alternative to alcohol. A large part of his company's success was down to an ability to blend teas that suited the hard water of Yorkshire. During the 1970s Taylors decided to make the most of this knowledge by creating a definitive brand and so Yorkshire Tea was born, although the prevalence of hard water in many areas of the UK mean that it enjoys a popularity far wider than its home county.   

7- Which company can say that its founders were the ones to break the East India Company's monopoly on tea?

b- Bewley's: It was in 1835 that father and son team, Samuel and Charles Bewley, broke the East India Company's monopoly on tea by importing some 2,000 chests from Canton straight to Dublin. Up until then all of Ireland's tea had to be purchased at the London tea auction. The company remains a top brand in Ireland to this day.

8- Beginning in the 1950s, which animals featured in a string of PG Tips TV adverts?

d- chimpanzees: The Tipps family featured in many adverts over the years and were incredibly popular with the public. In perhaps the most memorable of them all two chimps dressed as removal men try to manoeuvre a piano down some stairs. One says, ''Dad, do you know the piano's on my foot?'' The other replies, ''You hum it, son, I'll play it.'' Of course, these classic anthropomorphic ads came to a stop in the 1970s when growing understanding of animal behaviour led to a realization that the chimps' needs weren't being best served. PG Tips successfully revived the simian theme in their well received adverts featuring Johnny Vegas and Monkey.

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