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Grades of Tea -All You Need To Know About Your Tea Grades

by ZYANNA Admin 13 Jan 2024 0 Comments

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and it comes in a variety of grades. The grade of tea refers to the size and quality of the tea leaves. Understanding tea grades can help you choose the right tea for your taste and preferences. In this blog, we'll explore the different grades of tea and what they mean.

  1. Whole Leaf

Whole leaf tea is made from the largest, highest-quality tea leaves. It is generally considered to be the best grade of tea because it has the most complex flavor profile and the highest levels of antioxidants. Whole leaf tea is typically harvested by hand and undergoes minimal processing to preserve its natural flavor and aroma.

Grade Description
OP
Orange Pekoe
Main grade, consisting of long wiry leaves without tips.
OP1
More delicate than OP; long, wiry leaf with a light liquor.
OPA
Bolder than OP; long leaf tea which ranges from tightly wound to almost open.
OPS
Orange Pekoe Superior
Primarily from Indonesia; similar to OP.
FOP
Flowery Orange Pekoe
High-quality tea with a long leaf and few tips, considered the second grade in Assam, Dooars, and Bangladesh teas, but the first grade in China.
FOP1
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the FOP classification.
GFOP
Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Higher proportion of tip than FOP. Top grade in the Milima and Marinyn regions, but uncommon in Assam and Darjeeling.
TGFOP
Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
The highest proportion of tip, and the main grade in Nepal , Darjeeling and Assam.
TGFOP1
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the TGFOP classification.
FTGFOP
Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Highest quality grade.
FTGFOP1
STGFOP
SFTGFOP
Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the FTGFOP classification.

 

  1. Broken Leaf

Broken leaf tea is made from larger tea leaves that have been broken into smaller pieces. This grade of tea is often used in tea bags because it infuses quickly and easily. Broken leaf tea has a more robust flavor than whole leaf tea, but it may not have the same complexity of flavor.

Grade Description
BT
Broken Tea
Usually a black, open, fleshy leaf that is very bulky. This classification is used in Sumatra, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and some parts of Southern India.
BP
Broken Pekoe
The most common broken pekoe grade; from Indonesia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Assam and Southern India.
BPS
Broken Pekoe Souchong
Term for broken pekoe in the Assam and Darjeeling regions.
FP
Flowery Pekoe
High-quality pekoe. Usually coarser with a fleshier, broken leaf. Produced in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Southern India, as well as in some parts of Kenya.
BOP
Broken Orange Pekoe
Main broken grade. Prevalent in Assam, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Southern India, Java, and China.
FBOP
Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe
Coarser and broken with some tips. From Assam, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Indonesia, China, and Bangladesh. In South America, coarser, black broken.[clarification needed]
FBOPF
Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings
The finest broken orange pekoe, with a higher proportion of tips; mainly from Ceylon's "low districts".
GBOP
Golden Broken Orange Pekoe
Second grade tea with uneven leaves and few tips.
GFBOP1
Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1
As above, but with only the highest quality leaves in the GFBOP classification.
TGFBOP1
Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1
High-quality leaves with a high proportion of tips; finest broken First Grade Leaves in Darjeeling and some parts of Assam.

 

  1. Fannings

Fannings are small, fine tea particles that are left over after the tea leaves have been sorted. This grade of tea is often used in tea bags because it infuses quickly and produces a strong, bold flavor. Fannings are generally considered to be lower quality than whole leaf or broken leaf tea.

Grade Description
PF
Pekoe Fannings
OF
Orange Fannings
From northern India and some parts of Africa and South America as well as Nepal .
FOF
Flowery Orange Fannings
Common in Assam, Dooars, Nepal and Bangladesh. Some leaf sizes come close to the smaller broken grades.
GFOF
Golden Flowery Orange Fannings
Finest grade in Darjeeling for tea bag production.
TGFOF
Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Fannings
BOPF
Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings
Main grade in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Southern India, Kenya, Mozambique, Bangladesh, and China. Black-leaf tea with few added ingredients, uniform particle size, and no tips.
  1. Dust

Dust is the lowest grade of tea and consists of the smallest tea particles. This grade of tea is often used in tea bags and is known for producing a strong, bitter flavor. Dust is generally considered to be of the lowest quality and is not used in high-end teas.

Grade Description
D1
Dust 1
From Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China, Africa, South America, Southern India, and Bangladesh.
PD
Pekoe Dust
PD1
Pekoe Dust 1
Mainly produced in India.

It's important to note that the grade of tea is not the only factor that determines its quality. Other factors, such as the growing conditions, processing method, and age of the tea leaves, can also have a significant impact on the flavor and aroma of the tea.

In addition to the grades listed above, tea can also be classified by its origin, processing method, and flavor profile. Some of the most popular types of tea include black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, and herbal tea.

In conclusion, understanding tea grades can help you choose the right tea for your taste and preferences. While whole leaf tea is generally considered to be the best grade of tea, there are many other factors that can affect the flavor and aroma of the tea. Experimenting with different grades and types of tea can be a fun and rewarding experience.

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