Tea Quality & Grades - complete & thorough understanding

There are many varieties of quality & grade in Teas. We find that a lay person with little or no understanding of teas or the processes involved in manufacture often finds it difficult to understand why the price of teas are so varied. There are basically 3 types of qualities in teas :

  1. Primary Tea

  2. Secondary Tea

  3. Resorted or Reprocessed Tea

The Primary Teas are the best in quality and these have a particular weight and are graded separately. When the leaves do not adhere to a particular standard or weight and are smaller in size, they are categorized as secondary. These are lower in quality as compared to the Primary Teas. Re-sorted Tea is the lowest in weight and smallest in size. When the green leaves are re-sorted and put in the drying and sorting machine as if being processed afresh, the resultant residue is known as reprocessed tea. Each grade has different levels of anti-oxidant properties too with the Primary Green Leaves being the best amongst them. Which grade or quality you choose depends upon your taste buds and which region you are located in. These different teas are further categorized into Orthodox, CTC & Leggcut depending on how the leaves are plucked & processed further.

1. Orthodox whole leaf grades

Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe GFOP

Flowery Orange Pekoe FOP

Orange Pekoe OP

Pekoe P

Pekoe Souchong PS

2 Orthodox broken leaf grades

Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe GFBOP

Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe FBOP

Broken Orange Pekoe BOP

Broken Pekoe BP

Broken Pekoe Souchong BPS

3 Orthodox Fanning

Flowery Orange Fanning FOF

Orange Fanning OF

Pekoe Faning PF

Fanning F

Broken Orange Pekoe Fanning BOPF

Broken Pekoe Fanning BPF

4 Orthodox Dust

Pekoe Dust PD

Red Dust RD

5 CTC grades

CTC Broken

Broken Pekoe one BP1

Broken Pekoe two BP2

Broken Orange Pekoe BOP

Broken Pekoe Souchong BPS


CTC Pekoe Fannings one PF1

CTC Pekoe Fannings two PF2

CTC dust

Pekoe Dust PD

Dust D

Churamoni Dust CD


6 Leggcut grades

Leggcut fannings

Orange Fannings OF

Pekoe Fannings PF

Leggcut dust

Dust one D1

Dust two D2

Churamoni Dust CD

Percentage of various grades

The types and percentages of various grades produced in a tea factory depend upon market demand. Also, but to a lesser extent, plucking standards and the quality of leaf play a role. In orthodox tea manufacture, the following percentages of different grades are normally produced:

Whole leaf 15%

Broken 60%

Fannings 18%

Dust 4%

Residue 3%

From the 15 % whole leaf grades, the following three sub-grades are extracted.


OP 7%

P 6%

Similarly, the broken, fanning and dust grades are processed further into:

FBOP 15%

BOP 36%

OF 10%

BP 7%

BPS 2%

PF 8%

Dust 4%

It should be noted here that failure to produce whole leaf grades will result in reduced liquor colour and strength in broken and fanning grades.

In CTC tea, primary broken and fanning grades constitute about 20 and 50%, respectively. Secondary siftings of the same two grades yield about 9% each. Dust accounts for about 18% of the total product, leaving a residue of 3%.

In comparison, leggcut manufacture yields fewer grades, making it simpler than orthodox and CTC manufacture. In leggcut manufacture, only fanning and dust grades are produced, in the following percentages:




In green tea manufacture, various grades are produced in addition to the common fanning and dusts. These include:

Hyson No.190%




You can order samples of our teas by either sending us a mail or calling us. We deal in all varieties of Whole Leaves, Broken Leaves, Fannings & Dust. Our MoQ for Distribution, Wholesale & Retail is 5000 kgs, 500 kgs & 50 kgs. Price will vary depending on the quantity you buy.  You could also view our Franchise & Reselling options.

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