Tea Labeling Nomenclature
SFTGFOP(1)—sometimes used to indicate the very finest
Finest TGF OP—highest quality grade (Note: “Special” is occasionally substituted for “Finest”, with a number 1 at the end to indicate the very finest), often hand processed and produced at only the best plantations, roughly one quarter tips.
Tippy Golden F OP—the highest proportion of tip, main grade in Darjeeling and Assam
Golden Flowery: includes very young tips or buds (usually golden in colour) that were picked early in the season.
• Color: The copper color of a high-quality, oxidized leaf before drying, or the final bright orange color of the dried pekoes in the finished tea may be related to the name. These usually consist of one leaf bud and two leaves covered in fine, downy hair. The orange color is produced when the tea is fully oxidized.)
• (The Dutch House of Orange-Nassau, now the royal family, was already the most respected aristocratic family in the days of the Dutch Republic, and came to control the de facto head of state position of Stadtholder of Holland and Zealand. The Dutch East India Company performed a central role in bringing tea to Europe and may have marketed the tea as “orange” to suggest association with the House of Orange.)
(The origin of the word “pekoe” is uncertain. One explanation is it is derived from the transliterated mispronunciation of the Amoy (Xiamen) dialect word for a Chinese tea known as “white down/hair” (白毫; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: pe̍h-ho). This is how “pekoe” is listed by Rev. Robert Morrison (1782–1834) in his Chinese dictionary (1819) as one of the seven sorts of black tea “commonly known by Europeans”. This refers to the down-like white “hairs” on the leaf and also to the youngest leaf buds. Another hypothesis is that the term derives from the Chinese báihuā “white flower” (Chinese: 白花; pinyin: báihuā; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: pe̍h-hoe), and refers to the bud content of pekoe tea.)
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