Helpful Tea Information
Basic Tea Processing Info.
Black Tea goes through the oxidisation process where the enzymes inside the leaves react with the air, changing the colour from green to brown. The oxidisation process can be stopped which is why black tea sometimes looks slightly different colour from each other depending on when it’s been stopped in the process.
Green Tea doesn’t go through the oxidisation process which is why it remains green. It’s usually pan-fried or steamed to stop any active enzymes which normally react with the air. After this process the leaves are rolled into different shapes.
White Tea is processed very similar to Green tea but often using the youngest leaves and unopened buds.
Some Tea Terms
Orange Pekoe (or OP) is referred usually to the leaf on the tea shrub just below the bud at the top. Pekoe basically refers to the hairs on the leaf. It’s often thought of as a very good grade of tea. Orange is a word thought to have been used by the Dutch East India Company - it has nothing to do with oranges or any favours/flavouring at all. We use this term because it’s well recognised and often asked for by customers.
The leaves from the camellia sinensis work their way down from top to bottom - top being the best grade, bottom being not as good.
Broken Orange Pekoe or BOP (Our blend - The English Answer) is basically as it says, Orange Pekoe that’s been broken or broken leaves.
TGFOP or Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe is a term often used for teas from Darjeeling and Assam in India. It’s part of the tea grading system which is mainly based on the look of the tea leaves. It’s recognised now as higher grade of tea.
Tea found in traditional square/round tea bags are referred to as dust or fannings which is usually what’s left from the broken leaf - it’s the cheaper stuff.
The tea grading system is rather large and in-depth but the terms above a most commonly used.