Tea by Strength

The strength of a tea is determined by various factors - the size of the leaf, where it's grown or how it's processed. The British introduced a grading system for black tea based on the appearance of the tea leaves, with the unbroken and pristine whole leaf being far superior to that of the broken leaf. This system is still being used today by Sri Lanka, India and Kenya - the main producers of black teas. During processing, especially after the drying process when the leaves become more brittle, they often break into smaller pieces of various sizes. They are then sifted and graded based solely on their appearance in leaf size. Some of the descriptions used such as 'flowery' indicates a presence of small leaf buds whereas 'golden' or 'orange' can indicate the presence of golden tips on the tea leaf buds or the colour of the tea liquor. The descriptions don't refer to taste, which is a common misconception e.g. Orange Pekoe doesn't taste like orange. Following is a breakdown of the British Grading System.

WHOLE LEAF

SFTGFOP - Special Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (smallest whole leaf) FTGFOP - Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe TGFOP - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe GFOP - Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe FOP - Flowery Orange Pekoe FP - Flowery Pekoe OP - Orange Pekoe

BROKEN LEAF

GFBOP - Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe GBOP - Golden Broken Orange Pekoe FBOP - Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe          BOP1 - Broken Orange Pekoe 1 BOP - Broken Orange Pekoe BPS - Broken Pekoe Souchong

Generally, the more cut, torn or crushed a tea leaf is the stronger the flavour of the black tea.  Whereas the presence of tea buds or golden tips somewhat softens the liquor and produces a higher grade tea. However, a tea's origin can also play a big part in the strength of a tea as this is determined by the soil, rain, temperatures and altitudes. Assam traditionally produce strong teas, whereas Darjeelings produce fairly mild teas. Both tea growing regions are in India but it's their temperatures, soil, altitude and rain conditions that produce different characteristics and totally set them apart from each other. This can also be said for other tea growing regions, giving them all a somewhat different strength or varying flavour characteristics.

For green teas the strength and variance in flavours is also determined in part by the temperatures, soil, altitude and rain conditions but how they're processed is what sets their flavours apart the most. Traditionally, Chinese green teas tend to be lighter in flavour than those from Japan, which are generally stronger and darker in appearance. Green teas can be more economical to drink as you can re-brew the same leaves up to 3 times (in the same day).

Oolong teas are semi-fermented and due to the different oxidation levels, each oolong produces a different flavour and aroma. The less oxidized oolongs are similar to a green tea but the more oxidization they receive the stronger the brew and the closer it is in flavour and appearance to a black tea and therefore stronger. Oolongs can be infused multiple times (2-3) and often present new flavours on each infusion.

High in antioxidants and polyphenols white tea is a great go-to tea for a healthy beverage. Prices often reflect the quality of the tea with the higher grades consisting of the first white buds, whereas the lower grades also include large leaves. White teas are the mildest in flavour of all teas as they are also the least processed - basically just picked and dried.



Tea Centre Orange Pekoe - Organic

Tea Centre Orange Pekoe - Organic

A large leaf, medium strength blend from Ceylon with a smooth finish

From $6.25

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Assam Dimakusi BOP (CTC)

Assam Dimakusi BOP (CTC)

A dark, malty and strong broken leaf tea.

From $7.00

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Assam Hathikuli BOP (CTC) - Organic

Assam Hathikuli BOP (CTC) - Organic

This is an organic, full bodied malty brew.

From $7.25

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East Frisian Blend - Organic

East Frisian Blend - Organic

Strong, malty, slightly spicy flavour, Indian tea

From $8.00

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Kerala FTGFOP1 (Large Leaf) - Organic

Kerala FTGFOP1 (Large Leaf) - Organic

Small Farmers - Southern India - Large leaf of medium strength

From $5.25

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Russian Caravan

Russian Caravan

A Chinese tea smoked over pine - Smoky flavours

From $7.00

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Assam Joonktollee SFTGFOP

Assam Joonktollee SFTGFOP

Premium Assam - Lots of golden tips provide a soft and smooth finish

From $11.50

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Darjeeling Himalaya Blend

Darjeeling Himalaya Blend

A blend of Darjeeling teas picked in Autumn - Full bodied

From $7.75

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Darjeeling Tea Centre 1st Flush FTGFOP 1

Darjeeling Tea Centre 1st Flush FTGFOP 1

The fresh spring fragrance of the first harvest resonates in both the flavour and aroma.

From $7.50

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English Breakfast (organic)

English Breakfast (organic)

Strong, classic blend of Ceylon teas

From $6.00

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Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast

Traditional strong malty blend of Assam leaves

From $6.50

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Scottish Breakfast

Scottish Breakfast

A classic medium strength, refreshing tea

From $6.00

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Sri Lanka - Ceylon Dimbula

Sri Lanka - Ceylon Dimbula

Bright tasting, medium strength Orange Pekoe

From $8.50

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Assam Rani BOP

Assam Rani BOP

An Indian small leaf strong & malty tea

From $8.00

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Australian Sencha

Australian Sencha

Full bodied but with a soft aftertaste

From $9.00

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China Gunpowder - Organic

China Gunpowder - Organic

A large leaf tea with soft light finish

From $7.50

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China Keemun Finest OP

China Keemun Finest OP

A Premium Chinese black tea with a slightly nutty flavour to it

From $12.50

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Sri Lanka - Ceylon Battalgalla OP

Sri Lanka - Ceylon Battalgalla OP

Single Estate - medium strength Orange Pekoe

From $7.75

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Yorkshire Blend

Yorkshire Blend

A medium to strong blend of Ceylon black tea

From $6.00

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Australian Breakfast

Australian Breakfast

Medium to strong blend, great as a morning cuppa

From $7.00

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Australian Daintree

Australian Daintree

Mild to medium strength with an earthy flavour

From $5.50

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China Jasmine Special

China Jasmine Special

Robust green tea softened with fragrant jasmine

From $9.00

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China Yunnan Finest FOP

China Yunnan Finest FOP

Mostly fine tips gives this tea a delicate but full rich taste

From $14.00

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Indian, Bengal Dooars FTGFOP1 - Organic

Indian, Bengal Dooars FTGFOP1 - Organic

Sourced from the Teesta Small Farmers Cooperative. This is a medium strength tea with a slight roasted flavour to the leaves.

From $5.25

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