Battle of the Tea Brands

Battle of the Tea Brands

If there’s one thing we Brits are known for overseas, it’s our love of tea, and with a whopping 84% of us drinking tea every day – it’s easy to see why

Emily Marcham · 6 minute read

If there’s one thing we Brits are known for overseas, it’s our love of tea, and with a whopping 84% of us drinking tea every day – it’s easy to see why. With all this tea drinking going on, it’s hardly surprising that Britains have a lot of choice when it comes to which brand they buy their teabags from. Here at British Corner Shop, we love a good cuppa, but like a lot of you, we don’t always agree on which brand is best. Therefore, we wanted to battle it out and learn a bit more about our favourite brands to find out why they’re so popular and what makes them stand out from the competition. 

PG Tips

One of the first things that come to mind for many of us when thinking of this beloved brand is their creative advertising. More recently they are known for their loveable mascot ‘Monkey,’ who was used for their advertising from 2007-2017. However, before Monkey, there were the PG Tips Chimps ‘The Tipps Family,’ these adverts began in 1956 and were among some of the first adverts ever aired. The Tipps Family featured actual chimps dressed as humans and were often voiced by celebrities. The PG Chimps reigned as the branding icons for PG Tips for over 40 years – making it the longest-running advertising campaign in history!

PG Tips are also known for inventing the pyramid tea bag, which they argue is superior to the traditional round or square shape due to the leaves having more room to brew. 

Another great thing about PG Tips is that they are environmentally friendly. They are ethically and sustainably sourced and biodegradable. Plus, they were the first brand in the world to become 100% Rainforest Alliance certified. 

PG Tips have a number of products including dairy-free and decaf, but they are mostly known and loved for being a more traditional breakfast-style tea.


In 2019 Twining’s managed to knock PG Tips off the top spot as the nation’s most popular brew. This is thought to be in part due to Twining’s more ‘upmarket’ image as well as their wider range of teas (they have over 500 different varieties!) that are appealing to today’s modern consumer. Twining’s also holds the title of being the oldest brand of tea in the UK. It was established in 1706 – making it over 300 years old! 

Twining’s also claim to be the inventors of Earl Grey tea. According to their website, Richard Twining created this iconic blend in 1831 for Prime Minister Charles Grey. 

To further add to their ‘posh’ image, Twining’s are also the official tea brand of the Queen! Queen Victoria first appointed them in 1837 and they’ve been supplying every Monarch since. So when drinking a cup of Twining’s you’re practically having a cuppa with the Queen – or at least we can pretend anyway.

Yorkshire Tea

When after a “proper brew”, look no further than Yorkshire Tea. Like traditional English Breakfast Tea, Yorkshire Tea is made up of a blend of different tea leaves. It came about in the 1970s and was specifically designed to work well with the Yorkshire water supply of the time.

Although we think of Yorkshire Tea as its company name, it isn’t actually the name of the brand but the product itself. Yorkshire Tea is actually made by Taylors of Harrogate. So, as well as having a variety of Yorkshire Tea’s you can also get an even wider selection from the Taylors of Harrogate ranges.

Like many big brands, Taylors of Harrogate have also realised the need to be environmentally friendly. All of their Yorkshire Tea products are now CarbonNeutral certified and their “programme to achieve certification has led to the planting of over 1.5 million trees in Kenya with over 4000 tea farmers” – so you can enjoy their teas guilt-free!


Tetley tea is the second oldest tea company on our list, having been founded in 1837, so Brits have been enjoying the brand’s teas for hundreds of years. Tetley is perhaps best known for their memorable TV ads that featured the ‘Tetley Tea Folk’. The Tea Folk are a group of tea enthusiast cartoon people – Gaffer, Sydney, Maurice, Clarence, Gordon, Tina, and Archie. The advert proved popular running from 1973-2001 and then again from 2010-2016. 

Tetley offers a wide range of teas from the traditional to the more recent products like Redbush, cold brews, and super teas. What’s a super tea we hear you ask? According to Tetley themselves, it’s “Tea bursting with flavour and combined with added vitamin goodness to brighten your day.” Sounds good to us!


Considering its relative infancy as a brand (they were founded in 2001), Pukka has hit the ground running and as of 2019, they were in the top 5 brands sold in the UK. Although their numbers were still quite low compared to the four previous companies on this list, they were the most rapidly growing. So we think they could be real contenders to take the top spot one day!

Pukka are far better known for producing herbal teas as opposed to your classic British breakfast tea. We especially love their Night Time Tea which contains organic oatflower, lime flower, and lavender to help you drift off into a good night’s sleep. 

Their core ideals of wellness and sustainability have resonated well with modern consumers and – with their products being tasty to boot – we’ve no doubt they will continue to become even more popular.