Just one of the fantastic terms used in grading tea. I've always thought of them as so poetic, and the history behind them is fascinating too. Sadly most tea consumed nowadays is produced by the Crush, Tear, Curl method, which has far less evocative names for its grades.
I've noded this one, abbreviated as TGFBOP, in order to illustrate the methods used, as well as to add a beautiful phrase to the database. I've covered the subject in more depth in the grading tea node. The terms have less to do with the actual flavour or quality of the tea, and more to do with region, tradition and particularly appearance.
- Tippy refers to the high proportion of tips in the tea. These are the finest part of the tea leaf.
- Golden shows that the tips are taken from the yellow buds of the tea bush.
- Flowery graded tea is slightly smaller in leaf size than Orange Pekoe, and contains a higher proportion of tips. Tea leaves are graded by passing them through seives with meshes of varying sizes
- Broken leafed teas are quicker to brew than whole leaf, but connoiseurs consider them inferior. Actually they can produce just as good a brew, but lack the visual appeal of a whole leaf. The lower price reflects this, and they are a relatively economical way of buying posh tea.
- Orange. In centuries past, the House of Orange, the royal family of the Netherlands, was powerful in the tea trade, with colonial
possesions in important tea-growing areas. This may have lead to their name being used in many tea classifications. Some experts disagree with this etymology, and instead refer the ancient chinese practice of adding orange blossom to tea.
- Pekoe comes from the chinese word pak-Ho, which gives an idea as to how it should be pronounced. The buds of the tea bush are covered in a fine, down-like substance, and the word means 'down' or 'downy'.