Have you ever come across the name Orange Pekoe on the tea tin ? What does PEKOE mean ?
If you Google it, there may be various answers. The fact is Pekoe is a term commonly used among tea growers and tea traders to describe young leaf shoots bearing white down (fine hair). As a producer the experience that we have had is that the younger the pluck, the better the tea if all the other factors like weather and cultivar are kept constant.
Why is Orange used with it?
Though we are unable to find any documentation as evidence, but the term Orange refers to the House of Orange-Nassau, the monarch family of the Netherlands since mid-sixteenth century. They were the single most important importer and wholesaler of tea throughout the 18th century and a pioneer in producing their own tea followed by the Russian and the British. Traders of Netherlands understood the need for a labeling system and they had put their signature on it.
How is Orange Pekoe used in Darjeeling?
Orange pekoe is the grade name for black tea. The concept of this grading system is largely based on leaf appearance. Here are some of the most commonly used grade names in the trade used in our Tea Estates and in Darjeeling in General.
- Golden Orange Fanning (GOF) or Tippy Golden Orange fanning (TGOF) is used for tea bags.
- Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) or Tippy Golden Broken Orange fanning (TGBOP) is used for teas which are blended.
- Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (FTGFOP) is used for loose leaf.
- Whole leaf teas are given a special name here. For example – Wonder Tea, Red Thunder, Spring Blossom, etc.