Trace the story of Brodie, Melrose, Drysdale & Co from the very beginning in 1867, when three enterprising Scottish tea merchants formed a new company, to the present day, when you can meet the latest additions to our coffee family.
In 2007 Brodies became part of the Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group. Massimo Zanetti was born in Italy into a family of coffee merchants, coffee was his passion from a very young age and his mission, to produce and supply great coffee around the world. Brodies Teas are now sold through the group to over 40 countries.
Robert Drysdale is credited to be the first tea manufacturer in the UK to produce breakfast tea.
It is said that Queen Victoria during a stay at Balmoral enjoyed the blend so much, she subsequently took a supply with her when she returned to England, where upon it was renamed to became known as "English Breakfast Tea".
Brodies created “Famous edinburgh”, which has stood the test of time for over 90 years, remaining one of our most popular blends and closely guarded secrets.
Brodies started making coffee essence, which was added to milk, ice cream and used in baking, a very popular product in its day. We also produced a variety that was flavoured with rum but after the war in the 1940s essence was replaced with instant coffee.
Saw the introduction of tea bags to the Brodies range. Although invented by an American in 1908, tea bags did not take off in Britain until the 50s.
Always pioneering the latest fashion, Brodies introduce Vienesse Coffee, a cream based coffee using two shots of strong expresso, infusing the coffee with whipped cream, topped off with chocolate sprinkles.
In the 1970s when frosts in Brazil resulted in massive price increases, Brodies responded with new origins and new blends.
Brodies installed a probat roaster. We were one of the first roasting houses to have one and it is the brand we still roast on today.
Brodies became a member of the tea council.
In the 1980s Brodies launched a range of best quality single origin pure Arabica coffees. These varied from finest Kenya’s to Java and were supplied as filter options with machines to make the coffee.
Saw the addition of our award winning handmade chocolates. Brodies became one of the first chocolatiers to use freeze dried fruit in our centres, intensifying the flavour.
Whilst Brodies had always offered a specialist espresso blend, predominantly sold to the Italian community in the 1990s, the range was expanded as the first inklings of the espresso evolution began. Bear in mind that Starbucks only appeared in the UK in 1998.
Brodies were one of the first companies to become Fairtrade licensees and we roasted Fairtrade Costa Rican coffees for food service. It was not an immediate success as no one knew much about the Fairtrade concept; each year it developed and now it accounts for one third of our sales.
We continued the development of our Espresso range in 1999 with the launch of the Dynamic Volcanic range of 5 coffees. Most coffee is grown in the tropics in rich volcanic soils and the range was named after Volcanoes featuring coffees from that area. For example, Cotopaxi includes coffees from Central America and Krakatoa includes rich, earthy chocolatey coffee from Indonesia.
Brodies open a purpose built unit in Musselburgh.
Brodies became part of the Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group. Massimo Zanetti was born in Italy into a family of coffee merchants, coffee was his passion from a very young age and his mission, to produce and supply great coffee around the world. Brodies Teas are now sold through the group to over 40 countries.
In 2013 we offered single estate Kenyan and Brazilian pulped natural as specialist filter options with the latest filter brewing technology.