MonTeas Guide to Tea.
There are five main grades for classifying tea:
This is the lowest grade in the classification of Black tea being the composition of small pieces of tea leaves and tea dust.
Mainly just pieces of tea leaves - a low grade.
BOP - BROKEN ORANGE PEKOE
This consists of small tea leaves or pieces of large leaves. It is considered a medium grading for the classification of tea leaves.
OP - ORANGE PEKOE
This consists of large, whole tea leaves picked without the flower bud of the tea plant.
FOP - FLOWERY ORANGE PEKOE
These are the whole tea leaves together with the flowering growth of the tea plant. N.B. FBOPF is Flowery Orange Pekoe Finest. In addition to the five main classifications there are two further important qualities / traits which are GOLDEN (gold hues occur in the tea leaves) and TIPPY (signifying an abundance of young buds). The following classifications relate to choice tea consisting of whole leaves and complemented by one of these two qualities / traits: GFOP: GOLDEN FLOWERY ORANGE PEKOE These are whole, young tea leaves whose tips are golden and are complimented by the flowers of the tea plant.
TGFOP - TIPPY GOLDEN FLOWERY ORANGE PEKOE
This consists of the tea bud and two uppermost leaves of the tea plant complemented by the flowers of the tea plant. This is the highest category in the grading of tea. However, in this highest grading of the tea leaves there are also two further quality refinements marking the best of the best namely FINE and SUPER FINE.
FTGFOP - FINE TIPPY GOLDEN FLOWERY ORANGE PEKOE
For ‘choice’ tea leaves.
SFTGFOP - SUPER FINE TIPPY GOLDEN FLOWERY ORANGE PEKOE
The highest grade for tea leaves. N.B. When evaluating tea quality the experts give consideration to the variety of tea, the region where the tea was grown, the stage of picking of the leaves and the tea manufacturing process.