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Tea grading and markings
The leaf grades result exclusively from the last stage of production, the sorting stage. There are 4 basic groups in orthodox production: Leaf, Broken, Fannings and Dust. These categories specify and indicate the different leaf sizes and associated strengths.
For the meaning of Orange Pekoe, see here
The grading is based on the quality of the leaves: whole leaves, broken leaves, crushed leaves (fanning) and dust. In each category the highest grades are listed first. Fannings and dust are mainly used for large scale commercial teas, especially in tea bags.
Whole Leaf Grades:
- FTGFOP1 (Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves). Mainly from Darjeeling, also some parts of Assam . Finest top-grade production; made with special care; uniform leaf, tippy.
- SFTGFOP1 (Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves).
- TGFOP1/TGFO P (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves / Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe). Main grade in Darjeeling and Assam .
- GFOP1 (Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves). Now less common in Assam and Darjeeling .
- FOP/FOP1 (Flowery Orange Pekoe/Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves). 2nd grade in Assam, Dooars and Bangladesh, top grade in China . Long leaf, few tips.
- OP sup (Orange Pekoe Superior) Only from Indonesia .
- OP (Orange Pekoe) Main grade in Ceylon and Java tea production. Can consist of long wiry leaf without tips.
- BOP1 (Broken Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves). Semi Leaf Tea. Specialty of "low districts" of Ceylon . Coarse, black-leaf tea, comprising roughly 40 % OP and 60 % Pekoe/BOP.
- Off grades: Some OP2 (Orange Pekoe Second Grade Leaves). Leaf tea with added ingredients, but only in Ceylon and Southern India .
Broken Leaf Grades:
- P/FP (Pekoe/Flowery Pekoe) Mainly in Ceylon and Southern India, also produced in some parts of Kenya . Usually coarser, fleshier broken leaf.
- BOP coarse (Broken Orange Pekoe) Coarse, Indonesian name for Pekoe.
- BPS (Broken Pekoe Souchong) Name for Pekoe in Assam and Darjeeling .
- TGFBOP1 (Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1) Finest broken First Grade Leaves in Darjeeling and some parts of Assam . High tip content, uniform leaf.
- GFBOP1 (Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1) Mainly produced in Assam as the top broken grade; the only tippy broken from Kenya .
- GBOP (Golden Broken Orange Pekoe) Next, second-grade tea. Inhomogeneous leaf, fewer tips.
- FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe) Coarser broken with some tips from Assam, Ceylon, Indonesia, China and Bangladesh . In South America coarser, black broken. In Southern India, Pekoe is often known as FBOP.
- BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe) Main broken grade in Ceylon, Southern India, Java and China .
- BP (Broken Pekoe) From Indonesia . Ceylon, Southern India .
- FBOPF (Finest Broken Orange Pekoe Flowery) Mainly from Ceylon 's "low districts". A leafy BOP1 with Tips. Specialty: so-called "Spider Leaf".
- BT (Broken Tea) From Sumatra, Ceylon, some parts of Southern India . Usually a black, open, fleshy leaf, very bulky .
- BOPF (Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings) Main grade in Ceylon, Indonesia, Southern India, Kenya, Mozambique, Bangladesh and China . Black-leaf tea, few added ingredients, uniform particle size, no tips. In Indonesia BOP fine, small-leaf BOP.
- TGFOF (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Fannings).
- GFOF (Golden Flowery Orange Fannings) Finest grade in Darjeeling for teabag production.
- FOF (Flowery Orange Fannings) Common in Assam, Dooars and Bangladesh . Some leaf sizes come close to the smaller broken grades.
- OF (Orange Fannings) From Northern India and some parts of Africa and South America .
- PF (Pekoe Fannings)
- D1 (Dust 1) From Ceylon, Indonesia, China, Africa, South America and Southern India .
- PD/PD1 (Pekoe Dust/Pekoe Dust 1) Mainly produced in India .
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