|In the year 2737 B.C., Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was boiling a pot of water to
drink, believing it to be healthier, when a leaf from the Camellia sinensis tree,
carried on the wind, accidentally landed in the boiling water.
|The A-B-C’s of Tea
|The grading or sorting of tea is the final stage of
the manufacturing process. Black tea, which is
fully oxidized emerges from the dryers or ovens
|and passes through sifters with graduated mesh sizes, dividing the tea into the various grades
or sizes of leaf.Black tea is primarily graded by the various sized pieces which are divided
into two main categories; whole leaf grades and broken leaf grades.
The whole leaf grades are the larger pieces of leaf left after the smaller
The grading of tea is important because when brewing, the flavor, color,
But before we get down to the actual grading system, there’s one more term we need to look
|It’s Not Orange, and It’s Not Peek-O
|Many people think that orange pekoe is a type of tea (as I did before I learned differently).
Pekoe (pronounced pek-o) is a Chinese word meaning “white hairs,”
But where did the orange part come from? A few tales have been
Whatever the case may be, it has nothing to do with the flavor,
|What’s the Grade
Whole Leaf or Broken Leaf?
|Okay, now it’s time to get down to how tea is actually graded. The following categories apply
mainly to black teas (mostly from India and Sri Lanka), and are broken down into whole leaf
grades, and broken leaf grades.The following categories apply to
FOP – Flowery Orange Pekoe
TGFOP-Tippy Golden Flowery Orange
GFOP-Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
FTGFOP-Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
SFTGFOP-Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Long pointed leaves that are larger than FOP and harvested when end buds open into leaf. Seldom contains “tips”.
Broken Leaf Grades:
GFBOP-Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe
And now last, but not least are the fannings, or fines (sometimes referred to as dusts). Fannings are made up of the
look at each of the six main types of tea, how they’re made, individual qualities, names and origins, where they’re
grown and even a little history behind each one. Enjoy.
Let’s begin with a look at How Green Tea is Made