Orange Pekoe: A Super Grading of Black Tea


Is Orange pekoe black tea or an herbal one is the question that occurs in our mind when we come to know about the drinking benefits of this tea.

The basic meaning of the term “orange pekoe” is the highest quality enriched Tea grade of Western and South Asian tea types.

For your ease, yes, orange pekoe is a high-class form of black tea that comes with so many benefits and contains a very tiny ratio of nicotine.

Let’s find out each and everything about orange pekoe in the lines coming ahead.

What is Orange Pekoe?

What is Orange Pekoe

Orange Pekoe is simply a whole leaf grade of black tea that’s extracted from the youngest leaves or sometimes buds of the tea plant.

Unlike tea made from dust or fanning, orange pekoe is rich in taste with a delicate floral cup notes.

Mystery behind orange pekoe name:

Pekoe is pronounced as ‘peek-oo’ the word pekoe is derived from the Chinese word, ‘pey ho,’ which means white down that refers to the hair of fresh young tea leaves.

The orange in the name is because of Dutch Royal family who brought and introduced this tea and became the biggest importers of orange pekoe in 1784.

The quality produced was of rich quality and hence people started calling it orange pekoe and still this name is used to refer to this best quality black tea.

Orange Pekoe VS other Teas, why orange pekoe is the best?

Orange pekoe is black tea. However, it is not the same black tea you find in the commercial stores nearby or online.


because of the quality. 

Orange pekoe is made with pure fresh juvenile leaves with no dust included while black teas on commercial stores are produced with low quality dust or remaining of the leaves. 

However, Orange Pekoe tea is different from white tea or herbal oolong tea.

Orange Pekoe Quality and Taste Analysis:

Black Tea Leaf Grading

Orange pekoe is available in different forms in the market some of them are super quality and a little expensive in price while others are less expensive but also lack superiority. 

How does this orange pekoe tea quality differ from each other? Well, it is because of the grading. 

You find different types of grading in orange pekoe preparation such as:

  •  Flowery Orange Pekoe (from the Buds)
  •  Orange Pekoe (from the Higher leaf)
  •  Pekoe (from the 2nd Higher Leaf)
  •  Pekoe Souchong
  •  Souchong
  •  Congou
  •  Bohea (Last leaf)

Quality of Orange Pekoe

These are some finest quality orange pekoe teas available in the market.

1. Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (FTGFOP)

This orange pekoe is of outstanding quality and the finest of all. It’s made from a large number of golden tips of the tea plant.

The most known variety is Assam FTGFOP, which is grown in Belsari estate, India.

Its taste is malty and strong and is recommended to be brewed for 3-4 minutes in boiling water.

2. TGFOP: Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

Less qualitative than FTGFOP but still a fine quality.

3. GFOP: Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

Golden refers to the colorful tips at the end of the top bud.

4. FOP: Flowery Orange Pekoe

It is made from the first two leaves and the bud.

5. OP: Orange Pekoe

It consists of long thin leaves without any tip. Its further types are OP1 and OPA.

OP1 is more delicate then orange pekoe, wiry with light liquor, and a bit longer. OPA tightly rolled or almost open, longer, and bolder than OP.

Besides the above grading, the grading system of broken leaves, fanning, and dust are also popular.

Orange Pekoe Taste:

How Does Orange Pekoe Tea Taste Like

Orange pekoe taste varies basis on its origin, such as:

Black organic orange pekoe or Organic Ceylon is rich in taste and gives you a golden color of tasty tea. You can put a little bit of milk as well to enhance they golden hue and rich taste even more.

While, Indian orange pekoe tends to be more spicy, smoky, rich, and malty.

Regarding the grades of orange pekoe, the rule of thumb is, the lesser the letters, the lighter the flavor—for example, TGFOPK will be lighter than OP (orange pekoe)

Orange Pekoe Tea Benefits:

The biggest benefit of Orange Pekoe is it helps against bacterial infections. The tea is enriched with antimicrobial properties. 

It means, drinking orange pekoe black tea regularly will reduce the growth of harmful oral bacteria and keep from mouth infections, sore throat, and dental cavity etc.  

Let’s find Orange Pekoe Tea Benefits in detail:

1. Helps Fighting Intestinal infections

Its antimicrobial features help fighting bacteria.

Research has shown that black tea inhibits the growth of harmful oral bacteria that lead to dental and throat infections.

2. Improves Attention and Self-reported alertness

Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world. With certain other properties, it is proved to play an active role in our daily cognitive function, thanks to the presence of caffeine and L-theanine.

If you want less caffeine, you may opt for decaf orange pekoe.

Q: How much caffeine in orange pekoe tea exists?

Ans: Orange pekoe tea caffeine is much lesser than it is in coffee. It contains about 34mg of caffeine in a normal cup.

3. Helps in Maintaining Blood Sugar level

Black tea has amazing properties to maintain the blood sugar level in our bodies. A study was conducted to test the role of Srilankan Orange Pekoe tea in lowering the blood glucose level.

It was concluded that black tea infusion had insulin-mimetic action with an ability to improve insulin sensitivity.

4. Eliminates the Risk of Stroke

A stroke is a sudden blockage or interruption in the arteries that carry the blood to the brain. It’s the second leading cause of death in the world.

According to a study that aimed to determine the association of tea consumption and the risk of stroke, there is a strong correlation between tea consumption and stroke risk prevention.

5. Lowers the Risk of Breast Cancer

We all know cancer is fatal. According to the American Cancer Society, there were more than six hundred thousand deaths from cancer in 2019 in the United States alone.

The antioxidants and polyphenols in orange pekoe black tea help prevent cell mutation that causes cancer.

Various studies have been conducted so far to know if tea consumption is associated with breast, liver, prostate, stomach, or other types of cancers.

The studies conclude the consumption of three cups a day was significantly related to lowering the risk of breast cancer.

6. Lowers The Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

According to the data published by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, 79,000 deaths happen each year due to diabetes.

Four or more cups a day have proved to play an active role in lowering the risk of type-2 diabetes.

7. Improves Gut Health

Antimicrobial and polyphenols in black tea help improve one’s gut health.

There are trillions of good and bad bacteria in our digestive system.

The significance of our gut in the overall function of our system can be measured from the fact that 70-80% of our immune system depends upon our digestive system.

That’s the reason you will always find food that boosts immunity marketed more than any other thing that can improve our immune.

8. Reducing Cholesterol and Heart Disease Risk

Orange Pekoe also plays a major role in reducing cholesterol levels of hypercholesterolemic adults (people with high cholesterol levels).

study showed that consumption of tea reduces total and LDL cholesterol, and thus reduces the risk of any cardiac disease.

9. A Powerful Antioxidant

Orange Pekoe or other grades, so black tea has a high level of antioxidants that has plenty of health benefits.

It’s rich in flavonoids, a compound that helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers.

Also, it’s powerful antioxidant feature helps reducing free radicals in the body that otherwise would cause diseases like asthma and Alzheimer’s.

Orange pekoe Tea Side Effects:

Everything has some draw backs or limitations. However, by following certain precautions we can save ourselves from the certain harms. 

Therefore, we’re discussing some of the harms of orange Pekoe tea:

1. Orange pekoe 34 mg Caffeine Content:

Yes, orange pekoe is a black tea and despite having all the benefits it contains 34 mg of caffeine content. 

For this, you can order decaf orange pekoe as it contains no caffeine or nicotine inside. 

2. Feeble body or Weak bones:

 More than one cup of Orange Pekoe black tea can increase the content of fluoride in your body. As a result, it can cause bone weakness and body feebleness.

It can also be the reason of aching arms or legs. To keep from this orange pekoe side effect, decrease its daily consumption. 

3. Loss or gain of weight:

In different people it acts differently such as it can make you gain weight or loss weight. 

In worst cases, black tea can infect the blood or effect brain if it is consumed in higher amounts on regular basis and becomes an addiction. 

You can keep from these side effects by reducing the amount of consumption of orange pekoe.

How to Make Orange Pekoe Tea?

After you are well equipped with all the related information about orange pekoe, now is the time to look into how to make it.

So, scroll further, read the step-by-step process below, and get ready to have this tea in one of your cute mugs for tea and enjoy your downtime.

  • Take enough water in the teapot, like 6 cups if you want to make 4 cups of tea and so on.
  • The water you take should be cold water, and not already used one or not hot tap water even.
  • Boil water for at least 15 minutes or it till the water starts boiling.
  • Put your teabag into a tea infuser mug and pour boiling water into it. Brew it for 3-4 minutes and stir it gently. Add sugar if needed.
  • You may make it delicious further by adding milk or lemon.
  • In case you want iced tea, do not put it in the fridge or freezer straight away. Instead, let it cool down at room temperature. Once it cools down, add ice cubes as per your desire.

You will observe that your orange pekoe tea is much tastier than the commercial black teas we drink at home.


The pure thing, although hard to find or heavy on pocket, gets you the taste and quality you won’t find in ordinary things.

Even though there’s no orange involved in orange pekoe still the fine buds and young leaves it is made of, makes it distinctive. So, next time your search for the best quality tea, don’t forget to check orange pekoe tea bags.

Have you drunk orange pekoe ever? If yes, let us know how did you feel then? Did you feel any difference between this and your traditional black tea? Let us know in the comment section.


Leave a Reply
  1. Reply. Tetley used to have orange pekoe then they went to black. Found orange pekoe by Wegmans ,now they have gone to black. I Just went to Lipton orange pekoe and I don’t care for it at all! what do yt? Suggest?

    • Hi V,
      The reason these tea brands put more focus on traditional black tea is that it's economically feasible for
      them to do so, for there are fewer people who like to drink orange pekoe because of its price. Isn't it?
      And the brands you have mentioned are all trustworthy. So, keep drinking this premium version of black
      tea and let others know of it by sharing this blog. Cheers!

    • Thanks for your comments, Nancy. Black tea simply means tea produced from the dust and fanning, and not from buds or young tea leaves. The reason companies have switched from Orange Pekoe to black tea is the decrease in demand for the former. As a business, they find it more feasible to produce black tea, which has an enormous demand worldwide for its lower price.

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