Red Rose Tea was first developed by Theodore H. Estabrooks, a tea importer based in Saint John, New Brunswick, and M.R. Miles an English tea-taster. Miles suggested promoting black teas from India and Sri Lanka rather than the more popular Asian teas. Estabrooks and Miles developed a blend of black tea they marketed under the Red Rose label, trade-marking it on October 16th, 1899. The Red Rose brand was successful and was later expanded into coffee in 1901. Estabrook introduced tea bags as a new way to prepare tea in 1929, though they took at decade to catch on.

In 1931 T.H. Estabrooks sold his company to Brooke Bond and Company Ltd, whose chairman Gerald Brook was a friend of Estabrooks. Under Brook's leadership Rose Red’s production moved to Côte de Liesse in Montreal and eventually the original factory was shut down. What is left of the US business is managed by Red Rose USA Management.

When I was younger my family drank a lot of Rose Red tea. Each package came with a little porcelain animal. By the time they discontinued the figurines I had collected nearly all of them. The Canadian portion of the Rose Red tea company has a website at http://www.time-for-tea.com/index.html which warns that the website is only for Canadian consumers of their product*, and which contains recipes, a history of the company and other tea trivia.

*I am not entirely clear why they included that disclaimer, except perhaps that the Canadian Company maybe be seperate from the United States one since the move to Montreal.

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