This denotes tea made from the end bud and first two leaves of each new shoot and the term refers to the largest leaves. FOP contains fine, tender, young leaves that have been rolled with a good balance of delicate end pieces of the leaf buds, thereby guaranteeing quality. The word ‘pekoe’ derives from a Chinese word and refers to the covering of tiny silvery hairs on the underside of the leaves of certain types of the tea bush. Apparently, ‘Orange’ comes from Holland’s House of Orange, the royal family of the first European country to import and re-export tea and thus a name connected with the very best quality.
This is FOP with golden tips – the very end of the golden yellow leaf buds.
This is FOP with a large proportion of golden tips.
This is exceptionally high-quality FOP.
This is the very best FOP.
Contains long pointed leaves larger than FOP that have been harvested when the end buds open into leaves. Seldom contains tips.
This consists of shorter, coarser leaves than OP.
Flowery Pekoe consists of leaves that have been rolled lengthwise and the pieces are shorter and coarser than OP.
This consists of shorter, coarser leaves than Pekoe.
The word Souchong means sub-variety in Chinese, a term associated with large leaves that have been rolled lengthwise to produce ragged, coarse pieces. Souchong is often used for smoked teas from China and Taiwan.
Also referred to as Fines or Dusts, Fannings are made up of the finest siftings left after the larger whole leaf and broken leaf particles have been removed. They are useful in blends for teabags, which require a quick brewing tea. The numeral I is also added to the broken leaf grades to denote the best quality (e.g. PF I, Dust I). Dusts and Fannings are further categorised as: