Talk:Tea leaf grading

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This grading system appears to be limited to India[edit]

see my comments on the tea thread.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, September 2, 2004‎

Regarding classification...[edit]

I believe that it is 'finest' rather than 'fine'. So that would make FTGFOP = Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. Dominic Winsor — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:00, October 15, 2004‎

White tea or Black tea?[edit]

Can some tea expert clarify the first line of the article? Pekoe is the Amoy word that means White hair. So should it be classified as white tea? Kowloonese 02:06, Feb 18, 2005 (UTC)

The difference between black tea and white tea is the leaves are completely oxidized to form black tea and not at all oxidized for white tea. What the leaf looks like doesn't matter, if it's completely oxidized it's black tea. The term Orang Pekoe is a classification which means high quality leaves (such as the white haired tips of the plant) were used to make the black tea. Does that make sense? Brainsik 02:31, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Orange Pekoe grading is used for black teas. Pekoe is not necessarily the Amoy word. As it is mentioned in the article, the origin of the word "Pekoe" is unclear. Chinese etymology can be disputable. As it is rightly written in the article “Despite a purported Chinese origin, these grading terms are typically used for teas from India, Sri Lanka, and countries other than China; they are not generally known within Chinese-speaking countries”.

One of the explanations I got visiting number of the tea factories in Sri Lanka was that the word "Pekoe" is derived from the word "peak" (and namely, Adam's Peak, the sacred mountain in Sri Lanka situated in the area of the tea plantations near Nuwara Eliya). ERASWK (talk) 14:37, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

conflicting explanations[edit]

This article does not read like an encyclopedia article at all when there were so many conflicting theory about what it is. The part about flowers in the tea is very suspicious. Most tea are made of leaves, not flowers petals. Someone should research more into the topic and clean this up with more concret references. Kowloonese 21:29, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

I rephrased that to show that neither is definative and changed the tag to needing references. 09:20, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Orange Pekoe usage in Canada[edit]

As a British tea drinker I went to Newfoundland to visit a friend a while ago, and knowing I liked tea she bought some for me. It said Orange Pekoe on the box, but was possibly the worst tea I have ever drunk. Luckily the supermarket had some imported Marks & Spencer tea, so I was able to have a decent cuppa.

What do they do to the tea in Canada to make it so bad?

Kylet 16:58, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

I've had some decent supermarket OP from tea bags in Canada, so I somewhat surprised. Most likely, your friend was not a tea drinker and had never tasted the tea before or did not try the tea before she bought it. Sjschen 02:34, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
The best orange pekoe tea in the country (and I can fathom an argument for Best in the World) is made by Tetley. Other brands pale considerably in comparison. Look for Tetley next time.--Kerrigwen85 01:16, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
In the UK and Europe I have never found tea sold or described as orange pekoe other than in the strict sense. I edited to apply this 'popular' use of the term to North America, at least until anyone has evidence of it's usage in this way outside North America? Pontificalibus (talk) 17:06, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

In the states[edit]

Orange Pekoe is the most common flavour of tea in canada, but haven't seen it in the states. Do they call it something different here?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:19, April 3, 2011‎

It is definitely the most common kind of bagged tea in the United States as well. I can't imagine you have never seen it in American grocery stores. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Clean up required on explanation[edit]

It is clearly the work of more than one person. There are four explanations, but it starts off saying there are three, and it looks like two are clearly wrong and two have crediblity, so it needs to be laid out better. Damiancorrigan 10:27, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

More on taste required[edit]

The article concentrates far too much on the name and not enough on taste. Damiancorrigan 10:27, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Discusson of 'Flower Buds'[edit]

As far as I am aware, the buds present in fine tea grades are NOT flower buds, but leaf buds. The end of a branch contains the youngest leaves, and the part of the branch near the trunk contains the oldest leaves and, of course, they are older towards the trunk and youngest towards the tip. As the plant grows larger, it sprouts new leaves at the tip. As it's growing, there's leaves at different stages of development, from the newest leaf which is tightly curled and not yet open (the 'buds'), then the next oldest leaf is the next one along the branch (towards the trunk). The next oldest is further down and so forth. The finest teas take only the newest leaves, not the older ones. So there should be the leaf bud and the first two opened leaves.

The RealScott 10:15, 15 June 2006 (UTC)The_RealScott

Removal of dubious material.[edit]

I've removed the following information because it is factually incorrect. The titles listed as grades are hyperbolic names found primarily in open tea markets, often followed by a "#1" to make it seem even higher quality. They don't actually reflect tea quality at all, although they are the butt of many jokes as was reported. Although I'm fairly certain of this, my visit to the page was a drive by to clarify what Orange Pekoe refers to to my husband (also inaccurate and uncited, but this bothered me more for some reason), I don't have the time right now to pull out sources. If I'm wrong, sorry to have been a bother, but if I'm right the labeling of tea is ripe for an interesting subsection on how not to get ripped off.

"Orange Pekoe is often referred to as "OP"; the grading scheme contains several other categories considered to be of higher quality than OP. The grades for whole leaf orthodox black tea, in ascending order are:

  • OP (Orange Pekoe)
  • FOP (Flowery Orange Pekoe)
  • GFOP (Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
  • TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
  • FTGFOP (Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)
  • SFTGFOP (Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)"

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, October 9, 2006

I also not that it's only sourced in, the quality of which is very hard to determine. Additional (and better) sources are sorely needed, because, as you say, it sounds more like names improvised for marketing reasons than a serious classification scheme. Shinobu 07:36, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I acknowlege the need for sources but have to say that this is the official way in which the tea industry has classified tea over the last few centuries if you ever look at a package of good loose tea it always has at least one of these prefixes attached Basejumper123 (talk) 11:20, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Removal of image?[edit]

Just out of curiosity, why was the image of a cup of orange pekoe tea removed by User:Sjschen? Is it not useful to have a photograph of the tea to give a sense of its colour? If I don't get a reply I'll put the image back, but I don't care enough to want to have an edit-war or whatever. --Pdefer 05:56, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

From the description of the picture it might make a reader believe that orange pekoe is a particular variety of tea. It is simply a term to describe the grade of black teas. A picture of different grades of tea leaves would be much more useful. Remember that the "orange" in "orange pekoe" is up for debate. – Pedantic79 (talk) 21:55, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I think it's difficult to have a picture showing what "orange pekoe" is about since it's a a grading system for black tea. To have an image showing a grade of OP graded tea can mislead one to believe that it is what OP teas look like. The best way I think the grading system can be shown through an image is to show the different black tea grades besides each other and illustrate that OP is just a size based grade and has nothing to do with the type of tea! Since I do not have access to a tea grading house or many consecutively different grade of tea needed for such an image, I can't do this. Maybe someone can help? Sjschen 18:58, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
  • The image that's on there now of "Ceylon Orange Pekoe" from Twinings is captioned that this is a misuse of "orange pekoe" as a variety not as a grading. But this misuse is not apparent just from the name -- I could easily read it as "Ceylon" is the variety, "orange pekoe" is the grade. Do we know for certain that Twinings is misusing this? And if so, it's still confusing, since the name is in the correct form but the package contents are different. (To be technical, that seems more like product misrepresentation than misuse of the term.) --lquilter 14:42, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
But is a kind of misuse and it happens in two ways. One, the tea inside the tea bags can no longer be of the grade "OP" since it has be ground to fannings or dust before putting into the bags. As such, it is misleading the customer and misrepresenting the content since the dust being sold is not "OP". But even before grinding, the leaf tea is usually NOT of "OP" but rather of grades below OP; usually of "BOP"(Broken OP). This is because it is more profitable to sell OP or higher grades "whole" then to grind them up and sell them in tea bags. Sjschen 00:25, 26 October 2007 (UTC)


Should not the very useful list of grades be set up as Tea grades? BOP is just one grade among many, & it took me a while to find the list. Johnbod (talk) 13:16, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

To add on the grades: (a) the description of the Dust No. 1, and (b) Dust No. 2 which is not mentioned (both are in Sri Lanka). Please see the text: Dust No. 1 This is the smallest of the Main Grades and forms about 10% of the produce. The liquor is much stronger than BOP or BOPF. The particle size is between 420 and 500 micrones. (This tea is used for the high quality tea bags).

Dust No. 2 This is an Off-Grade tea and does not contain the same flavour etc. as the Main Grade. (This tea is also used for tea bags).ERASWK (talk) 12:59, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

"Flush" is not a common word[edit]

The word "flush" is used but not defined. I assume it refers to a cluster of leaves, but that is just a guess on my part. Be assured, as it is used here, it is not known to the average person. (Normal usages of flush would be in skin color, card games, or to indicate surface evenness, or the sudden gushing of something like a toilet). I found no definition in the 3rd Edition American Heritage Dictionary that would indicate a cluster of leaves. Could someone enter a definition as it is intended here? Just asking.....

N0w8st8s (talk) 17:21, 14 April 2012 (UTC)n0w8st8s

isnt first and secund flush referring to first picking season and second picking season? (talk) 19:13, 29 October 2016 (UTC).