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Loose Leaf vs. Tea Bags

 

Loose-leaf teas are usually made up of whole leaves or broken leaves, while tea bags are usually filled with fannings or dust.  During processing, raw tea leaves are graded from best (the bud and the first two leaves of the shoot) to worst (fannings).  Often the term Orange Pekoe pops up when we buy tea in the United States.  Many people think that it is a special kind of tea and do not realize it is only a grading measurement of the tea leaves' size and condition.  Following are some terms that are often used when grading black teas (listed from best to worst):

 

SGTGFOP       Super Fine Fancy Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

FTGFOP         Fancy Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

TGFOP            Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

FOP                 Flowery Orange Pekoe

OP                   Orange Pekoe

BOP                Broken Orange Pekoe

Fannings

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