tea grades (orange pekoe, pekoe, etc)


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tea grades (orange pekoe, pekoe, etc)

Postby macatea » Aug 22nd, '07, 01:10

I'm sure you all have read about the tea grades like orange pekoe, flowery pekoe, golden flowery pekoe 1, SFTGFOP1, etc. etc.

why does adagio and other loose leaf tea companies like rishi not designate their tea using this classification. Sorry if this has been discussed already. I could not find any topic on it. thanks so much
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Postby Space Samurai » Aug 22nd, '07, 01:37

As far as I know, that system is used mostly to grade Indian black tea, and I usually only seen it applied to single estate tea at that. I've yet to see Chinese or Japanese tea use this system.
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Postby Mary R » Aug 22nd, '07, 08:32

Yeah, from what I've seen the whole 'alphabet soup' grading system is something that developed in areas where the English had a large influence in tea cultivation. So you'll see it for black teas in areas like India, Ceylon, and Kenya. The grades simply don't apply in China and Japan, but then again isn't over 90% of their production green tea anyway?
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Postby zipp » Aug 22nd, '07, 09:32

Wading through the swamp of information on the internet I found this page that has different "grades" for Green, Black and Oolong...

http://www.relaxsipenjoy.com/tea_grades.aspx
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Aug 22nd, '07, 13:27

According to Alton Brown, Sir Thomas Lipton came up with the BOP/OP/FTGFOP grading system, which was standardized. Different leaf sizes pass through mesh screens with standardized weaves, etc. etc. I wouldn't suggest quoting good ol' AB's tea episode much, but he's probably correct history-wise. Lipton was very involved in the Ceylon tea business, so it started and spread from there.

I think attempts were made by some to come up with a grading system to Chinese and Japanese teas, but it never really caught on to the same extent as Lipton's.

As to why some vendors don't list leaf grade, my guess would be that most of their target audience wouldn't know what to do with it. You could probably find out if you emailed them.
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