Green Tea (Unfermented)
As soon as the leaves have been plucked, they are laid out to dry and then heat treated to halt fermentation. In some cases the leaves are steamed to prevent the fermentation process. The teas may then be rolled and broken to produce various leaf sizes. Green teas should never be drunk with milk.
Oolong Tea (Semi-fermented)
These teas are allowed to ferment for a specified period of time (which differs for China and Formosan teas) before the process is halted. Oolong teas are always whole leaves and again, should not be drunk with milk.
Black Tea (fermented)
The most popular method of manufacture, black teas are allowed to fully ferment to produce the strongest flavour and colour. The leaf sizes are usually graded as follows:
Orange Pekoe and Flowery Orange Pekoe (OP & FOP)
The largest leaf size of black teas, made from the end bud and first leaf of each shoot. These teas have the lightest and most delicate flavour of black teas.
Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (TG FOP)
FOP teas with golden tips. (from the golden buds)
Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (FTG FOP1)
Very high quality FOP tea
Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP)
A smaller leaf size than FOP, it may similarly be further characterised as GBOP (Golden BOP) and TGBOP (Tippy Golden BOP).
Fine Leaf Fannings
The smallest leaf size that produces the most strength and colour.
China tea is not usually graded. All our China teas are of the highest Orange Pekoe variety.