Skip to content
Wish Lists Cart
0 items

Tales of The Tea

Grades of Tea -All You Need To Know About Your Tea Grades

04 Apr 2023


Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and it comes in a variety of grades. The grade of tea refers to the size and quality of the tea leaves. Understanding tea grades can help you choose the right tea for your taste and preferences. In this blog, we'll explore the different grades of tea and what they mean.

  1. Whole Leaf

Whole leaf tea is made from the largest, highest-quality tea leaves. It is generally considered to be the best grade of tea because it has the most complex flavor profile and the highest levels of antioxidants. Whole leaf tea is typically harvested by hand and undergoes minimal processing to preserve its natural flavor and aroma.

Grade Description
Orange Pekoe
Main grade, consisting of long wiry leaves without tips.
More delicate than OP; long, wiry leaf with a light liquor.
Bolder than OP; long leaf tea which ranges from tightly wound to almost open.
Orange Pekoe Superior
Primarily from Indonesia; similar to OP.
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.
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the FOP classification.
Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Higher proportion of tip than FOP. Top grade in the Milima and Marinyn regions, but uncommon in Assam and Darjeeling.
Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
The highest proportion of tip, and the main grade in Nepal , Darjeeling and Assam.
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the TGFOP classification.
Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Highest quality grade.
Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
Limited to only the highest quality leaves in the FTGFOP classification.


  1. Broken Leaf

Broken leaf tea is made from larger tea leaves that have been broken into smaller pieces. This grade of tea is often used in tea bags because it infuses quickly and easily. Broken leaf tea has a more robust flavor than whole leaf tea, but it may not have the same complexity of flavor.

Grade Description
Broken Tea
Usually a black, open, fleshy leaf that is very bulky. This classification is used in Sumatra, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and some parts of Southern India.
Broken Pekoe
The most common broken pekoe grade; from Indonesia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Assam and Southern India.
Broken Pekoe Souchong
Term for broken pekoe in the Assam and Darjeeling regions.
Flowery Pekoe
High-quality pekoe. Usually coarser with a fleshier, broken leaf. Produced in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Southern India, as well as in some parts of Kenya.
Broken Orange Pekoe
Main broken grade. Prevalent in Assam, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Southern India, Java, and China.
Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe
Coarser and broken with some tips. From Assam, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Indonesia, China, and Bangladesh. In South America, coarser, black broken.[clarification needed]
Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings
The finest broken orange pekoe, with a higher proportion of tips; mainly from Ceylon's "low districts".
Golden Broken Orange Pekoe
Second grade tea with uneven leaves and few tips.
Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1
As above, but with only the highest quality leaves in the GFBOP classification.
Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1
High-quality leaves with a high proportion of tips; finest broken First Grade Leaves in Darjeeling and some parts of Assam.


  1. Fannings

Fannings are small, fine tea particles that are left over after the tea leaves have been sorted. This grade of tea is often used in tea bags because it infuses quickly and produces a strong, bold flavor. Fannings are generally considered to be lower quality than whole leaf or broken leaf tea.

Grade Description
Pekoe Fannings
Orange Fannings
From northern India and some parts of Africa and South America as well as Nepal .
Flowery Orange Fannings
Common in Assam, Dooars, Nepal and Bangladesh. Some leaf sizes come close to the smaller broken grades.
Golden Flowery Orange Fannings
Finest grade in Darjeeling for tea bag production.
Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Fannings
Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings
Main grade in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Southern India, Kenya, Mozambique, Bangladesh, and China. Black-leaf tea with few added ingredients, uniform particle size, and no tips.
  1. Dust

Dust is the lowest grade of tea and consists of the smallest tea particles. This grade of tea is often used in tea bags and is known for producing a strong, bitter flavor. Dust is generally considered to be of the lowest quality and is not used in high-end teas.

Grade Description
Dust 1
From Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China, Africa, South America, Southern India, and Bangladesh.
Pekoe Dust
Pekoe Dust 1
Mainly produced in India.

It's important to note that the grade of tea is not the only factor that determines its quality. Other factors, such as the growing conditions, processing method, and age of the tea leaves, can also have a significant impact on the flavor and aroma of the tea.

In addition to the grades listed above, tea can also be classified by its origin, processing method, and flavor profile. Some of the most popular types of tea include black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, and herbal tea.

In conclusion, understanding tea grades can help you choose the right tea for your taste and preferences. While whole leaf tea is generally considered to be the best grade of tea, there are many other factors that can affect the flavor and aroma of the tea. Experimenting with different grades and types of tea can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Popular Products

Darjeeling Royal Impearl - First Flush 2023 Limited Stock - FTGFOP1 Flowery - Balasun Tea Estate
Quick Add
BALASUN Darjeeling Tea - First Flush 2023 (Limited Stock) - FTGFOP1 Flowery
The Darjeeling Royal Impearl Tea will bring the sun-kissed warmth and aroma of some of the finest tea estates of India. As they are picked during the spring, it gets brewed in a vibrant infusion that will delight you with its floral fragrance and...
From ₹ 300.00
From ₹ 300.00
liza hill tea
Quick Add
LIZAHILL Darjeeling Tea - First Flush 2023 - Moonshine (Limited Stock)
Darjeeling Elegant Moonshine will let you enjoy a sweet floral fragrance of fresh flowers. The leaves being full in size include buds as well as leaf structure. Enjoy Every Sip of the Liquor The Darjeeling Elegant Moonshine Tea is inclusive of a plenty of...
From ₹ 400.00
From ₹ 400.00
Darjeeling Tea First Flush 2023 First Cut - Moondrop Limited Stock - Gopaldhara
Quick Add
GOPALDHARA Darjeeling Tea First Flush 2023 - Moondrop (Limited Stock)
Darjeeling Tea First Flush 2023 First Cut - Moondrop comprises of fine tippy leaves along with silvery appearance that brews into a golden amber cup. The tea is famous for its lingering and pleasant sweet aftertaste with hardly any astringency. Amaze the Taste Buds at...
From ₹ 200.00
From ₹ 200.00

Choose Options

Recently Viewed

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
is added to your shopping cart.
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items

Before you leave...

Take 20% off your order

10% off

Get the discount at checkout to get 10% off your first order


Continue Shopping
Recommended 2