Many people have unknowingly come across Orange Pekoe tea, as the term Orange Pekoe refers more to leaf-size than it does to a specific tea. The words are often spotted on tea bag tags in restaurants, where they are often used as a more generic term for tea. In this way, the name Orange Pekoe enjoys a certain amount of popularity, but it isn’t a tea that is well understood, which is why I thought it appropriate to turn your attention to this often overlooked leaf.
Orange Pekoe tea is a medium-grade leaf that delivers a full-bodied brew and a strong taste. If you’re looking for one powerful cup of tea to start the day, a tea like the English Tea Store’s Sylvakandy Estate Orange Pekoe tea does the trick. The brassiness of the malt gives it this powerful kick (which can be a boon in overcoming the afternoon slump as well) that accompanies the caffeine of a solid, classic cup of black tea. What I like about the Sylvakandy Estate Orange Pekoe tea is the malty overtones which give way to a brisk floral undertone, making this a balanced and enjoyable tea.
The name Sylvakandy Estate Orange Pekoe is also quite a mouthful, so let’s break it down, so you can understand more about what you’re drinking. “Pekoe” or “Orange Pekoe” are terms used in grading the leaves. These indicate the size of the leaf, and generally establish the main grade, from which the quality and size is added onto the chain of letters that indicate size and flush. It can be applied to any black tea, primarily those from India & Sri Lankan and other non-Chinese regions. It is seen often as the acronym “OP.” However, if the leaves are crushed or broken, it will be designated “BOP” for “Broken Orange Pekoe,” which is a lower-grade of tea quality.
The “Orange” is not indicative of the addition or association of the fruit. Perhaps the orange can be seen in the coppery hues of the tea’s liquor, but again, there is no orange flavor. Historically, the name goes back to the royal claim that the Europeans (in this case the Dutch House of Orange-Nassau) were putting on teas brought from India to England during the 1600’s by the Dutch East India Tea Company. Years later the House of Orange has made its mark and so we have Orange Pekoe Tea.
And as for “Sylvakandy,” according to their website, the English Tea Store’s product hails from the Kandy region of Sri Lanka (formerly referred to as Ceylon).
Sweeten with a touch of honey for a slightly more elegant and smooth taste.
Brew between 2-5minutes. Enjoy.
Madam Potts’ blog, Mad Blog of Tea!
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.