Slurp and spit. Then repeat. I’m stood by a spittoon next to friends and polite company with an assembly line of teas: black, green, herbal and fruity and we’re quickly becoming experts in tea tasting. Slurping with force helps to coat the tongue and allows for catching more notes of the tea we were told by Taylors of Harrogate‘s tea buyer.
Outside the light drizzle of rain that is par of the course in England carried on while inside the headquarters of Taylors eight Instagrammers took a private tour around the factory basking in the nutty aroma of coffee roasting, the ambient hum and drum of vehicles transporting big paper bags of tea from different origin countries and caught a glimpse of how Yorkshire Tea gets bagged as a final product.
It was a complete sensory experience, like a wander around the Willy Wonka factory, and compounded by the fact that I could hardly believe, after so many months of discussions and planning, I was finally embarking on this dream of a project called Extraordinary Journey that is meant to inspire, educate and more importantly, do good with one of England’s most beloved tea & coffee brand.
Extraordinary Journey with Taylors of Harrogate & Creating for Good
Over the next 15 months Taylors of Harrogate in partnership with Creating for Good will be hosting a series of workshops for eight content creators, myself included, designed around the brand’s passion points of food, nature, travel and craftsmanship. As a result of this partnership Taylors will be donating £12k to Women for Women International, one of Creating for Good’s supported charities, in aid of women in war torn countries. The creators will be responsible for producing content based on their own unique style to encapsulate each extraordinary experience. It doesn’t end there; the journey will culminate with a group trip to Rwanda to visit Taylors’ supplier plantation and W4W’s training site. As far as dream collaborations go this one ticks all of the boxes.
The first stop of our journey started with a jaunt in Harrogate. At Taylors of Harrogate headquarters we became acquainted with the company’s history that spans an impressive 150 years, their efforts in reducing the environmental impact of tea growing and got a behind the scenes look at their tea and coffee production. We walked through a maze of an automated production line for the Yorkshire Tea range, witnessed just how labor intensive the process can be for their specialty teas and learned about how the tea buyers achieve consistent flavour profiles in their tea blends.
The next day, in a quiet corner of the Rudding Park Hotel we learned about master storytellers in a Creating for Good presentation led by Jess Henderson and Jessica Bride. They offered up a tv presenter, journalist, musician, author and photographer as a few examples of skilled communicators in their own unique ways (to see who made the cut check out CFG’s latest newsletter). They drew parallels to some of the best storytellers on Instagram which was a breath of fresh air particularly since at times what we see on Instagram can feel stale and contrived. The presentation was such food for thought that it left us inspired and buzzing (Taylors coffee and tea might have contributed) all the way back to London.
Note: This post is written in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate. All thoughts are my own.