In a time when coffee was king, one man, Thomas Twining, went against the tide to share his love of tea. His passion turned a little-known drink into the nation’s favourite hot beverage.
For us, tea is more than just a drink. It's been part of our daily lives and that of generations of tea lovers for over 300 years.
Our story started in 1706. Back then, the most popular drinks in England were coffee, gin and ale - even at breakfast! Although tea had been drunk in China for thousands of years, it had only just been imported to England, and lots of people were suspicious of it.
One man who was sure that it would be big was a certain Thomas Twining. Having had enough of drinking ale in the morning, he started selling tea from his coffee house on London's Strand, promising only to sell the finest qualities and varieties. His pledge soon won him (and his tea) lots of fans - including Jane Austen and Charles II. By the 1750s, tea was the most popular drink among the working classes. Despite anger from pub owners and increased tea taxes, Thomas Twining kept selling tea - now from The Golden Lyon, the very first tea shop in London.
1787: Twinings chooses its logo. Today, it is the oldest commercial logo that has been in continuous use since it was made
1837: Queen Victoria makes Twinings an official Royal Warrant holder
1910: Twinings opens its first shop in France
1933: Twinings first blends its famous English Breakfast
1956: Twinings makes tea bags for the first time
1972: Twinings becomes the first company to win the Queen's Award for Export
More than 300 years later, the passion for tea is still here - and so are we. We still sell tea from Thomas's shop, and we still work hard to bring new blends to tea lovers. Now, we have over 100 varieties and our teas are drunk all over the world.
Our expert blenders (we've got more of them than any other company) taste more than 3,000 cups of tea every week. So you can be sure the next cup you taste will be every bit as good as the one yesterday or the day before.
So far, ten generations of the Twining family have been there to watch it all happen, from the creation of our famous English Breakfast blend to supplying tea to the Red Cross for food parcels during the war. In fact, Stephen Twining still works for his family's company, helping to make sure Thomas's promise is never broken.