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Orange Pekoe, SFTGFOP1, BOP, etc...
What do these mean anyway?

     Due to a lack of information on the subject, there is great confusion over one of the simplest of tea terms, OP (Orange Pekoe). Contrary to popular opinion, Orange Pekoe does not refer to a particular flavor, or even to a specific variety or quality or tea. Orange Pekoe is nothing more than a designation of leaf size.

   As a result of the manufacturing process, the final product is comprised of leaf particles of varying sizes. Because the finer particles steep quickly, the tea is sifted into lots of uniform leaf size. Teas designated OP are comprised of larger leaf particles or whole leaves that will Workers in India sorting teanot pass through a sieve of a particular gauge. BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe) designates a grade that is finer than OP. Grades finer than BOP are called fannings, PF for Pekoe Fannings, and the smallest particles are referred to as dust. Dust grades are used primarily in teabags.

   Other letters are often appended to the grade of tea to produce a baffling list of designations such as SFTGFOP1 (Super-Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, grade 1). While there is a general correlation between acronyms and the general appearance and character of the tea, there is no strict correlation between the acronyms and the value or flavor of the tea. While these lengthy acronyms appear on nearly every chest of single-estate tea, the real value of the tea is in its appeal to the palate.

A Quick Guide to Nomenclature
 PF  Pekoe Fannings
 OP  Orange Pekoe
 BOP  Broken Orange Pekoe
 GBOP  Golden Broken Orange Pekoe
 TGBOP  Tippy Golden Broken Orange Pekoe
 GTGFBOP  Golden Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange
 Pekoe
 BPS  Broken Pekoe Souchong
 FOP  Flowery Orange Pekoe
 GFOP  Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
 TGFOP  Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
 FTGFOP  Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
 FTGFOP1  Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe,
 grade 1
 SFTGFOP1  Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe,
 grade 1
 Musc.  Muscatel
 Cl.  Clonal
 Ch.  China varietal
 Qu.  Queen jat
 FBOPF Ex.
 Spl.
 Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings (Extra
 Special). Ceylon spider-leg style
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