Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tea Grading System

You've seen FTGFOP, BOP, CTC on labels of tea...
What do these codes mean?
These codes are used to classify single estate teas such as Darjeeling, Ceylon, and Assam. At the end of a tealeaf makeing process, a machine will separate the tealeaves according to their type, size, and categorize them into different grades.

Letters like P: Pekoe, O: Orange, B: Broken, etc, are connected to indicate the different grades of the black tea.
Here is a summary of the most commonly used codes:
: Orange Pekoe Usually refers to relatively longer and complete tealeaf.
They make a stronger brew than OP, so they are more suitable to make milk tea. : Broken Orange Pekoe Refers to broken orange pekoe.
: Flowery Orange Pekoe Refers to tealeaves that have buds, which would create a floral fragrance in the tea.
Makes a stronger tea with floral fragrance. : Flower Broken Orange Pekoe Contains both buds and broken tea leaves.
Makes a much more fragrant and strong tea than FOP. : Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Contains young buds, which appear golden.
: Fine(est) Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Very high quality tea that went through an extra procedure of rolling, which would draw out the best flavour in tea.
The meaning is obvious. : S stands for Super or Special.
It is ideal for consuming with milk. CTC leaves make a very strong brew in short amount of time. : Crush, Tear, Curl These teas are compressed into small pieces by a special machine.
Usually used in India to make Chai or milk tea. Refers to very small pieces of tealeaves.
It means the first grade of that FOP. Sometimes, there is a "1" at the end of a tea name, such as FOP1 or FTGFOP1.
Some people prefer BOP instead of FTGFOP becuase BOP makes stronger tea, which is suitable for consuming with milk. The number of letters, however, does not necessarily mean the quality of tea.
Please visit is a tea lover and the founder of O-Square Tea Company. Tom H.
for more information.


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