Orange pekoe

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fresh tea leaves of different sizes. The smaller the leaves, the higher the price per gram.

Orange pekoe [ ˈɒrɪndʒ ˌpiːkəʊ ] is a leaf grade, i. H. a category name used for sorting leaf tea to sort them by size.

This is exclusively black tea that has already been harvested and dried. Depending on the sheet size, additional specifications are 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) of medium size. In common parlance, orange pekoe is often mistakenly interpreted as a separate tea variety or generally used for black tea. So that black tea can be sorted according to this system, freshly harvested buds and young tea leaves must be measured with the help of a sieve. This not only determines the size, but also whether the leaves are still whole or already broken. However, this does not say anything about the quality of a tea.

Wilson Ceylon Earl Gray FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe)

When not related to black tea and its grade description, the term "orange pekoe" refers to the unopened tea leaf bud.


The origin of the word “pekoe” is not exactly known. It is possible that “pekoe” comes from the incorrect pronunciation of the Chinese expression for “white hair” or “white fluff” (白毫; pronounced in the Amoy dialect: pe̍h-ho ), which refers to the white fluff on the young tea leaves. The other possible origin would be the Chinese expression for "white flower" (白花; pronounced in the Amoy dialect : pe̍h-hoe ), which could refer to the buds in the orange pekoe.

The word “orange” is often incorrectly referred to as a tea that has an orange flavor. In fact, the word has nothing to do with taste or aroma. There are three possible explanations for the relation to tea:

  • The Dutch royal family Orange-Nassau (Dutch Oranje-Nassau ): The Dutch East India Society played a central role in the introduction of tea in Europe and it may have been referred to as "orange" as a royal guarantee of its quality.
  • A supposed Chinese recipe for using orange blossom to flavor the tea. This is probably not correct, as green teas are predominantly added to flowers and it is more common to use jasmine flowers in such cases.
  • The copper color of a high quality oxidized tea leaf before drying or the orange color of the dried leaves of the finished tea.

Tea grades

There are basically three leaf grades:

  • Leaf tea: Usually has a long, large leaf. Does not taste bitter. This is the Orange Pekoe.
  • Broken: smaller leaves that are not broken by themselves, but have been mechanically crushed. They are usually darker, but have a very aromatic taste.
  • Fannings: tea leaves approx. 1 mm in size.

In addition, dust is the smallest sifting out of leaf tea and only dust .

Fanning and Dust are used exclusively for tea bags. They make a very strong cup because they are quickly and easily absorbed by the water.

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

The leaf size does not affect the taste of the tea; Rather, it depends on the growing area, climate, harvest time, etc.

The standard grades for the three leaf grades:

Commercial sheet sorting

(in increasing sheet size):

  • OP - Orange Pekoe - the standard in tea production, can contain long leaves without tips.
  • OP sup - Orange Pekoe Superior - mainly tea from Indonesia, otherwise almost the same as Orange Pekoe.
  • F OP - Flowery Orange Pekoe - high quality tea with long leaves and few tips.
  • F OP1 - Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade - like F OP, but only with the best leaves.
  • GF OP1 - Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade - more parts of the leaf tips.
  • TGF OP - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - the tea with the highest percentage of leaf tips (tippy). Mostly from Assam and Darjeeling.
  • TGF OP1 - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - as above, but only with the best leaves in this category.
  • FTGF OP - Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - the highest quality black tea. Often purely manual work and from the best plantations. Contains about a quarter of the leaf tips (Tippy).

Commercial broken sorting

(in increasing sheet size)

  • BT - Broken Tea - usually a black, open, fleshy leaf. Mainly from Sumatra, Sri Lanka and parts of South India.
  • BP - Broken Pekoe - The most common broken. He comes from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and South India.
  • BPS - Broken Pekoe Souchong - Name for Broken Pekoe from Assam and Darjeeling.
  • FP - Flowery Pekoe - high quality pekoe. Usually a coarser, fleshier leaf from Sri Lanka, southern India. Also produced in some parts of Kenya.
  • BOP - Broken Orange Pekoe - The standard grade among the broken. Predominantly in Sri Lanka, South India, Java and China.
  • F BOP - Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe - coarser with some leaf tips. From Assam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China and Bangladesh. Even coarser broken in South America.
  • F BOP F - Finest Broken Orange Pekoe Flowery - the finest Broken Orange Pekoe. Higher proportion of leaf tips. Mostly from Sri Lanka.
  • G BOP - Golden Broken Orange Pekoe - Second class tea. Uneven leaves and few leaf tips.
  • GF BOP1 - Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1 - like G BOP, but the quality of the leaves is better.
  • TGF BOP1 - Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1 - The leaves are of high quality with a high percentage of leaf tips.

Fanning sorting

  • PF - Pekoe Fannings
  • OF - Orange Fannings - From North 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 grades.
  • GFOF - Golden Flowery Orange Fannings - The best fanning from Darjeeling for the production of tea bags.
  • TGFOF - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Fannings.
  • BOPF - Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings - Mainly in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, South India, Kenya, Mozambique, Bangladesh and China. Black-leaved tea, no tips.

Dust sorting

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

See also