The name Orange Pekoe tea can take you the wrong way – you might mistake it for some orange-flavored tea. But no, that is not what it is. Read on to find out what is the Orange Pekoe Tea.
Pekoe is the highest-grade Black Tea, the leaves of which are a specific size. If you don’t already know ‘pekoe’ is pronounced as ‘pek-ho’. This term is derived from a word that refers to a special kind of Chinese tea.
This tea mainly originates from the south Asian country of Sri Lanka and India.
Why is it called Pekoe?
To fall under the category of Pekoe, the tea is composed purely of new flushes. A flush is the leaf bud plucked with the two youngest leaves. Any other leaves will produce low-quality Orange Pekoe tea.
So far we only understood what gives it the name Pekoe. But, what makes the tea royal? Here comes the Orange part.
Why is Orange added to the name of Pekoe Tea?
The term Orange Pekoe Tea has its roots in colonialism. The Dutch colonized India in the 1600s. The Royal family which headed it was of the House of Orange. The Dutch East India Company took the best of black tea to Europe and reserved it for them. Later, when it became accessible to the public, it came to be known as Orange Pekoe Tea.
The association of ‘orange’ color with The Dutch Royal family gives Pekoe tea a touch of royalty.
Caffeine in Orange Pekoe Tea
The Orange Pekoe is the finest variety of Pekoe Tea. But just like most black teas, it also contains caffeine that is medium in proportion. Every six cups of Orange Pekoe tea contains as much as thirty-four mg of caffeine.
Types of the Orange Pekoe Tea
You probably wouldn’t believe it but there exist several grades of Orange Pekoe Tea just based on the size of leaves used. Orange Pekoe Tea itself has long, thin, tightly rolled leaves and is often referred to as OP tea. Thereafter comes the other grades of tea that fall under it.
Flowery Orange Pekoe
It has slightly longer leaves than the Orange Pekoe but is not tightly rolled. This also has an abbreviation called the FOP.
Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
This is just a type of Flower Orange Pekoe tea with some added golden tips. Can be called GFOP too.
Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe
This TGFOP tea is the Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe tea with some more golden tips.
There is another grade of this, called the Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (FTGFOP). It consists of better quality tea leaves than the TGFOP.
Broken Orange Pekoe
The Orange Pekoe tea leaves that are broken while plucking, make up this BOP grade of tea.
Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe
The FBOP consists of Flowery Orange Pekoe leaves that come out as broken.
Reasons to consume Orange Pekoe Tea
By now, you might have found the name very funny, but this tea is packed with some serious goodness. Incredible health benefits can be bagged if you consume this tea in moderation.
High in Antioxidants
Presence of antioxidants aids in reducing free radicals. It also restores cell destruction in the body and improves overall health. Studies have also shown that the Orange Pekoe Black Tea is rich in flavonoids. These ideally help to prevent dangerous diseases like cancer or heart conditions.
Powerful Antimicrobial Properties
The OP tea contains antimicrobial properties which kill all harmful bacteria present in our digestive system. This helps improve gut health as well as immunity. In addition to that, the polyphenols found in this tea help in the growth of good bacteria in our gut.
Helps maintain oral health
Antimicrobial properties help fight bacteria. Owing to that, the Orange Pekoe Black tea slows down the growth of several dangerous bacteria in the mouth. It is thus very effective in maintaining oral health.
Enhances your Senses
Along with caffeine, an amino acid called L-theanine is present in every cup of Orange Pekoe tea. The combination of these two increases the alpha activity in the brain. This, in turn, keeps us alert and improves our focus. Unlike other caffeinated beverages, this tea helps in maintaining stable energy and also relaxes you.
Helps prevent Chronic Diseases
Be it diabetes, high blood pressure, or cholesterol, Orange Pekoe Black tea has got you covered. Consuming this tea may help reduce LDL cholesterol, which is considered bad. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels and treating type-2 diabetes.
Studies show that people who consume the Orange Pekoe tea have a reduced risk of strokes. Being a non-sweetened beverage, it is good to consume during weight loss. It also boosts our metabolism, further fastening up the process.
Recipe of Orange Pekoe Tea
All the findings of the Orange Pekoe tea are backed by research and scientific data. To let you enjoy the health benefits of this tea here is a quick and easy recipe.
- 1 cup water
- Orange Pekoe tea bags or loose leaf tea
- Boil water in a saucepan over medium flame.
- Pour the hot water into a cup and add an Orange Pekoe tea bag. Keep it in water for 3-4 mins or more, depending on your taste.
- In case of loose tea leaf, add 1 gm of tea leaf for 1 cup of water in a strainer. Similarly, steep it in water for 3-5 mins. For a stronger flavor, you can add more leaves and steep the leaves for some more time.
- After the given time, remove the tea leaves or tea bag from the water and enjoy.
The list of health benefits that comes along with this tea is long. It is thus, in our regard, very wise to consume this tea. Do try out the recipes we suggested. Let us know if you have tried any of these and have your original recipes. We would love to try out your recipes. At TeaSwan, we believe sharing stories and talking about tea is the best way to promote and rediscover our love for this beverage.