Orange pekoe is a type of black tea made from the young terminal buds or young leaves of plant called Camellia sinensis. It is a fine grade of black tea according to the tea grading system. The tea has a rich forest like scent.
Orange pekoe is grade name or grading given by the tea trade to the black tea. The grading of the black tea is based on the leaf appearance, such as finely curled leaf, finely rolled leaf, hairy leaf tip and other parameters of the quality of the black tea. Costing is also done according to the quality, freshness and appearance.
The word pekoe was made popular by the British tea tycoon, Sir Thomas Lipton. The tea leaves produce slightly orange colour after complete oxidation. This gave origin to the word orange prior to pekoe and the word ‘orange’ was given by the Dutch East India Company. India, Sri Lanka and America are the largest tea producers in the world.
There is a high amount of aroma imparting constituents present in the tea leaves. Some are retained and the others are lost during the processing of tea leaves. Carbohydrates impart sweetness to the tea, helps with oxidation and polyphenol formation in the new and young leaves.
Polyphenols, including theophylline, theobromine and alkaloid caffeine provide bitterness to the tea. The young leaves and the buds have highest concentration of caffeine and polyphenols, but the content decreases as we move down the plant.
Flavonoids that contribute in the health benefits include epicatechin, catechins, gallocatechin, and epigallocatechin gallate. All of them are responsible for various important medicinal properties.
L- Theanine, an amino acid, present in the tea improves memory, learning and reduces stress. Black tea also contains some volatile oils like, beta pinene, alpha cadinol are responsible for the special aroma.
Benefits of Orange Pekoe
Therapeutic value of orange pekoe makes it a part of Weight Watchers Tea made by Preserva Wellness.