Orange pekoe Tea is a kind of Black Tea and Green Tea that undergoes a sorting process based on leaf size after the Tea is manufactured. The process of creating Black and Green Tea from the Camellia Senensis plant has remained unchanged for centuries. Despite its name, Orange Pekoe Tea is not related to oranges and does not have an orange flavor. Instead, it is a classification system used in the Tea industry to grade the quality of Tea leaves based on their size. OP Black Tea or Orange Pekoe Tea refers to larger tea leaves that are commonly used in loose Tea products worldwide.
History of Orange Pekoe Tea
The origin of the name is not entirely clear, although there are several theories. According to legend, it may be derived from the Chinese translation of the furry tips of the Tea plant buds. Another possible explanation is that the Dutch East India Company, which played a significant role in introducing Tea to the world, is associated with the Dutch royal House of Orange-Nassau. Alternatively, there is evidence to suggest that the name may be linked to the Fujian province in China, where this type of Tea was first produced.
Tea Taster’s Definition and Grading of Orange Pekoe Tea
A Tea Tasterwould describe this type of Tea as having a less wiry appearance, which indicates that the leaves are plumper compared to OP1, and better twisted during the manufacturing process. It is composed of whole leaves instead of small particles or dust, and can be considered an overarching category that encompasses premium grades of Tea.
|Whole leaf Teas||Descriptive||Broken Leaf Teas||Descriptive|
|OP||Orange Pekoe||BP||Broken Pekoe|
|FOP||Flowery Orange Pekoe||FP||Flowery Pekoe|
|GFOP||Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe||FBOP||Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe|
|TGFOP||Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe||GBOP||Golden Broken Orange Pekoe|
|FTGFOP||Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe||GFBOP||Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe|
|TGFBOP||Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe|
• OP – loose leaf of High to medium quality
• B (Broken) – leaves are broken which can lead to a stronger cup of Tea
• F (flower) – the buds are utilized in this variety which is of higher quality, sometimes can means finest or highest quality.
• G (Golden) – Tea has a higher ratio of buds in it that may appear to be gold like in color to the eye.
• T (tippy) – finest tips and buds are utilized.
Is Orange Pekoe Tea good for me?
Similar to other types of Black Tea, Orange Pekoe (OP) Tea is known to provide numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants that combat free radicals, promoting healthy cells and helping to prevent degenerative diseases. Despite its modest caffeine content, Orange Pekoe Tea can reduce stress levels due to the presence of L-theanine, an active compound.
Moreover, this type of Tea is beneficial for oral health as it can eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, it aids in digestion and possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
As part of our renowned Ceylon Tea collection, the Orange Pekoe (OP) loose leaf tins from our classic range are among our most beloved offerings worldwide. Presented in sleek, convenient metal caddies, these tins contain top-grade Ceylon Black Tea, available in both 200G and 400G sizes, making them an ideal storage option as well.
Steeping Orange Pekoe Tea
To ensure the best possible flavor, it is crucial to use fresh water when boiling water for brewing. Bring the water to a rolling boil and turn off the heat or kettle. Avoid boiling the water excessively, as this can strip it of its natural minerals.
Next, place the Tea leaves in a mug or pot, and pour in the water. Cover the mug or pot with a lid and allow the leaves to brew for 2-3 minutes, depending on the desired strength. After the first minute, gently stir the leaves in a circular motion twice to help release their flavor and enhance infusion.
Once the allotted time has passed, strain the leaves and enjoy your perfectly brewed Tea!
Accompaniments for Orange Pekoe Tea
For the best flavor experience, Orange Pekoe (OP) Tea is typically enjoyed without milk, with a hint of cinnamon, crushed ginger, or clove to accentuate its flavor. Natural sweeteners such as honey, molasses, coconut, or palm sugar are recommended, as they offer unrefined sweetness.
If you do decide to add milk, it’s important to use room temperature or warm milk to prevent the Tea from cooling down too quickly. Be sure to increase the brewing time to a minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of 5 minutes if adding milk. Avoid adding cold milk straight from the fridge. Add your preferred sweetener first, and then add a teaspoon of condensed milk for a rich, creamy Ceylon Tea experience.