The descriptions on Yorkshire's websites (reproduced below) are quite vague. There is a link for "More info" but that simply directs you to betty.co.uk where the same info is reprinted.

Gold is more expensive. Right now, at betty.co.uk, for a box of 160 bags (500g), Yorkshire Gold is £5.29 and Yorkshire tea is £4.29 (excluding shipping and all that). On Amazon.com (USA), the prices (with 5% S&S discount) are $19.09 and $13.00 respectively.

My questions are:

  • Do the tea leaves for Yorkshire Tea (red band) and Yorkshire Gold come from different sources?
  • Is there any objective sense in which Yorkshire Gold is better (hence justifying the higher price)?
  • In taste tests, could one tell the difference between the two? (Right now I happen to be having a cup of Yorkshire Tea and it seems to be a tad weaker than Gold, which I last had a couple of weeks ago, but I could just be imagining things. Briefly Googling, I see some discussions on various forums. Many claim that Gold is better. But some claim it is not as good.)

Descriptions from Yorkshire's website

Yorkshire Tea (red band):

A proper brew. Pure and simple. To give our blend its refreshing flavour, strength and colour we use top quality Assam and African teas. In the tea trade we’re renowned for paying more to get the pick of the crop. Our experts travel the world to find the people who grow the best teas, which we then blend together using our secret recipe to create a traditional, satisfying brew.

Yorkshire Gold:

Here at Yorkshire Tea we know that the best tea is about the best blend of leaves. And the finest blend we make is Yorkshire Gold. We choose teas from our three favourite origins and buy them from the top ten tea gardens in the world. Back home in Yorkshire, our master blenders bring these luxury leaves together to make a rich, smooth and incredibly satisfying brew.

  • Taste test: Yes, I can taste a difference. Also note, taste is not only highly subjective (I can't stand Darjeeling, for example), but the water will significantly influence the taste. Hard water is one example, some manufacturers offer special blends for hard water, Yorkshire Tea for example, if I remember correctly.
    – Stephie
    Jul 4, 2015 at 16:15

9 Answers 9


Speaking very generally, there are three bands of quality when it comes to black tea in the UK Market.

  • Brown (Economy) is your lowest grade, it is the cheapest in the shops and usually very dusty and fibrous. The flavor is weak and the color with milk is a dull brown.Teas can come from central Africa, south India, Argentina and the middle east.

  • Red is the middle of the road tea, covering about 80% of the black tea market. This is your Tetley, PG, Yorkshire Red etc, that have good flavor and strength and is with milk the color comes out red (there's a pattern here).Teas for this type of blend usually originate from central and east Africa.

  • Gold is the premium quality blend, tasting full of flavor, strength and character. These blends are your Yorkshire Gold, Dorset Tea, Clipper Gold,M&S Gold using the highest quality gardens including Rwanda, Kenya, Assam (North India) and Sri Lanka. In case you haven't guessed already, the color with milk is gold.

There are no official perimeters in place for these categories which means some tea companies abuse this, but with Yorkshire, Gold is definitely better than Red.

  • 1
    This is just ridiculous and unhelpful. PG Tips tastes different to Tetley which tastes different to Yorkshire Red. And the colour isn't different. It's the flavour that's different and the perceived complexity and intensity of the leaves that changes. Yorkshire Red tea isn't red in colour. Nov 3, 2020 at 20:05

I deleted my previous answer as, after doing more research, there doesn't appear to be as much difference in the two as I initially thought. After reading more information on each tea, I think this post on teadog.com sums it up quite nicely:

Yorkshire Gold Tea and Yorkshire Red are among the most popular English Teas in the US. Do you know the difference?

Both come in tea bags and loose tea.

Yorkshire Gold has won an award as the best cup of tea in England. It is a premium version of Yorkshire Red (also known as Yorkshire Tea or Yorkshire Original). Both are a blend of tea leaves from the best tea gardens in Africa and India.

Finally, make sure you are getting the genuine article. Make sure your tea is Taylors Yorkshire Tea, the original and only.

The only way to determine which you like best is to try both.


It is certainly true that there are different types of teas that can refer to either the color of the leaves or the color of the brew (While by no means an expert explanation, a quick and dirty way to sum it up is that non-Chinese tea "colors" tend to refer to the color of the leaves, while Chinese tea "colors" tend to refer to the color of the resulting brew.) However, with regards to the specific question asked--i.e. red band Yorkshire Tea vs Yorkshire Gold--the gold band is intended to be a designation of premium quality, as they are both considered to be "black" teas.

That said, I've also been on a mission to find more information about the difference between the two, as Yorkshire Tea makes my favorite "basic cuppa" that I've yet tried, and I'm keen to know whether Yorkshire Gold could truly be even better. I've finally had to resort to purchasing a box of Yorkshire Gold to do a comparison myself.


I like the flavor of Gold much better. It's more full-bodied. I've also noticed another. The Red teabags leak terribly and fill my pot with tea dust and debris. The Gold teabags are better constructed, and have never given me any trouble.


Yorkshire Gold is a lot more mild. Yorkshire red is blended with Kenyan and Assam tea and tastes a lot more strong and intense. I tend to prefer the 'red' brand of Yorkshire tea as the taste is a lot more strong to me. I have had other 'red' types of tea and 'breakfast' types of tea and prefer those for black tea blends since they all have tea from Assam India and they taste strong and malty. It is best to drink these types of tea with milk.

I have had Yorkshire 'gold' before and other 'gold' types of tea from different brands of tea from the UK, and they are good but just taste different from the standard 'red' or 'breakfast' blends of tea. A lot of times the 'gold' types can be a bit too mild when steeped for 2.5-3 minutes so I steep them longer. Also, as odd as it sounds sometimes the more mild 'gold' tea tastes better with sugar. I have also found that 'gold' teas taste better when you dip a biscuit in them and then eat the biscuit while you drink the tea. 'Gold' teas also will taste more flowery and not malty, but this is since they add tea from Rwanda in their blends.

This is also the case with the Irish brand of tea Barry's original blend also sold as Barry's Irish breakfast, with just milk it is very plain and mild, but if you add even a small amount of sugar it tastes better.

Try both types of tea and see which one you like best, or if you like both.

Also, teas for the UK-including Northern Irish tea and Irish tea brands, are blended for the water quality like if the water is hard or soft. Yorkshire tea makes a tea for hard water (red), and extremely hard water (green bag) as this is the type of water in Yorkshire in this area of the UK. Other types/blends/brands of tea are made for areas or countries which have soft water.

Also teas that are marketed or sold as 'Afternoon' types or blends have some Ceylon tea in them.


My wife and I, via repeated side to side comparisons and using uniform technique to prepare the two cups of tea, find Yorkshire Red to be less full bodied, not stronger than Yorkshire Gold...This is the opposite of RedEyedNewt's observation above, but in keeping with Leslie.


On the website it says it comes from the 'top ten tea gardens'. That's rather subjective, there's no official ranking of tea gardens. I guess you can just consider it higher grade in general.


As a Yorkshireman, I can say that there is a big difference between Yorkshire Gold and regular Red.

Yorkshire Gold will put hair on the chest of a newborn. It is strong and very very tasty. It may be too strong for anyone outside of Yorkshire.

Gold is superior in the sense that it is a cleaner but stronger tea. Try in a china cup with milk to get the full 'bouquet' (we don't say that often in Yorkshire).


The terms red and gold have meaning in tea classifications other than the coincidential packaging colors on the market here although as far as Yorkshire goes gold is best

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