Tea leaf grading

Orange Pekoe [ ˌ pi ː ɒrɪndʒ kəʊ ] is a category label that is used for the sorting of leaf tea, to sort them by size.

This is only to black tea that was already harvested and dried. Depending on the specifications sheet size more will be added, all of which are standardized. see below

The term Orange Pekoe is used in the tea industry for a black tea with whole leaves ( leaf tea ) medium size. In common parlance, Orange Pekoe is often mistakenly interpreted as a distinct type of tea or generally used for black tea. In order for a black tea can be sorted according to this system, freshly harvested buds must be measured together with young tea leaves, using a sieve. Not only the size is determined, but also whether the leaves are still entirely or already broken. However, this says nothing about the quality of the tea.

Black tea with the degree "Orange Pekoe " is very fragrant with a slightly fruity, floral aroma and a pleasant woody note.

If it is not related to black tea and its degree of description, the term Orange Pekoe refers to the unopened Teeblattknospe.


The origin of the word " pekoe " is not precisely known. One explanation is that Pekoe from the wrong pronunciation of the Chinese term for " white hair " or " white fluff " (白毫; pronounced in Amoy dialect: Peh -ho) is derived, which could relate to the white fluff on the young tea leaves. The other possible origin could from the Chinese term for " white flower " (白花; pronounced in Amoy dialect: peh - hoe ) come what may refer to the buds in Orange Pekoe.

The word " orange" is often incorrectly referred to the fact that the tea had an orange flavor. In fact the word has nothing to do with the taste or aroma. There are three possible explanations for the relationship to tea:

  • The Dutch royal family Orange - Nassau: The Dutch East India Company played a pivotal role in the introduction of tea into Europe and possibly this was called "orange ", as a royal guarantee of its quality.
  • An alleged Chinese recipe to use orange blossoms to flavor the tea. This is probably not correct, since flowers are mostly added green tea and it is more common to use jasmine flowers in such cases.
  • The copper color of a qualitatively valuable oxidized tea leaf before drying or the orange color of the dried leaves of the finished tea.

Grades of tea

There are basically three leaf grades:

  • Leaf tea: Has usually a long, large sheet. It tastes a little bitter. This is the Orange Pekoe.
  • Broken: smaller leaves. They were not "broken", but mechanically crushed. They are usually darker, but very aromatic taste.
  • Fannings: about 1 mm small tea leaves.

Besides Dust is the smallest sifting of leaf teas and only dust (English Dust ).

Fanning and Dust will only be used for tea bags. They produce a very strong cup because they are absorbed by the water very well and quickly.

In addition, some plantations 'll add additional names, which are not standardized and are intended to describe the product in detail. For example: " STGFOP " - " Special Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe ".

The sheet size does not affect the taste of tea, this is dependent on the region, climate, time of harvest, etc.

The default collations for the three leaf grades:

Commercial sheet sorting

( in increasing leaf size):

  • OP - Orange Pekoe - the standard in tea may contain long leaves without tips.
  • OP sup - Orange Pekoe Superior - mainly tea from Indonesia, otherwise almost exactly like Orange Pekoe.
  • F OP - Flowery Orange Pekoe - High quality tea with long leaves and little tips.
  • F OP1 - Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade - How F OP but only with the best hands.
  • GF OP1 - Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade - more shares in leaf tips.
  • TGF OP - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - the tea with the highest proportion of leaf tips ( tippy ). Mostly from Assam and Darjeeling.
  • TGF OP1 - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - as above, but only with the best hands in this category.
  • FTGF OP - Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - The most valuable quality black tea. Often entirely handmade and of the best plantations. Contains about one-quarter leaf tips ( Tippy ).

Commercial Broken sorting

( in increasing leaf size)

  • BT - Broken Tea - usually a black, open, fleshy leaf. Mostly from Sumatra, Ceylon and parts of South India.
  • BP - Broken Pekoe - The most common Broken. He comes from Indonesia, Ceylon and South India.
  • BPS - Broken Pekoe Souchong - Designation for Broken Pekoe from Assam and Darjeeling.
  • FP - Flowery Pekoe - Pekoe high quality. Usually coarser fleischigeres sheet of Ceylon, South India. Is also produced in some parts of Kenya.
  • BOP - Broken Orange Pekoe - The default level under the Broken. Predominant in Ceylon, South India, Java and China.
  • F BOP - Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe - coarser with some tips. From Assam, Ceylon, Indonesia, China and Bangladesh. In South America coarser still Broken.
  • F BOP F - Finest Broken Orange Pekoe Flowery - The finest Broken Orange Pekoe. Higher proportion of tips. Mainly from Ceylon.
  • G BOP - Golden Broken Orange Pekoe - Tea second class. Uneven leaves and few tips.
  • GF BOP1 - Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1 - G as BOP, but the quality of the music is better.
  • TGF BOP1 - Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1 - The leaves are of high quality with a high proportion of leaf tips.

Fanning sorting

  • PF - Pekoe Fannings
  • OF - Orange Fannings - From northern India and some parts of Africa and South America.
  • FOF - Flowery Orange Fannings - Common in Assam, Duars and Bangladesh. Some leaves come close to the leaf sizes of the smaller Broken collations.
  • GFOF - Golden Flowery Orange Fannings - The best fanning out from Darjeeling for tea bag production.
  • TGFOF - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Fannings.
  • BOPF - Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings - Mostly in Ceylon, Indonesia, South India, Kenya, Mozambique, Bangladesh and China. Black -bladed tea, no tips.

Dust - sorting

  • D1 - Dust from Ceylon, India, China, Indonesia, Africa, South America.
  • PD - Pekoe Dust.
  • PD 1 - Pekoe Dust 1 - is mainly produced in India.