Black Teas, Loose Decaf
In the tea industry, tea leaf grading is the process of evaluating products based on the quality and condition of the tea leaves themselves. The highest grades for Western and South Asian teas are referred to as “orange pekoe”, and the lowest as “fannings” or “dust”.
Decaffeinated tea is NOT caffeine-free. The decaffeination process leaves a minute amount of caffeine in the leaf. By law, tea labeled as “decaffeinated” must have less than 2.5 percent of its original caffeine level, which usually equates to less than 2 mg per cup.
O.P. = Orange Pekoe
Main grade, consisting of long wiry leaf without tips.
B.O.P. = Broken Orange Pekoe
Main broken grade. Prevalent in Assam, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Southern India, Java, and China.
F.O.P. = Flowery Orange Pekoe
High-quality tea with a long leaf and few tips, considered the second grade in Assam, Dooars, and Bangladesh teas, but the first grade in China.
T.G.B.O.P. = Tippy Golden Broken Orange Pekoe
The highest proportion of tip, and the main grade in Darjeeling and Assam.