How Tea Grading Works
The “Black Tea” is then graded according to its originally harvested leaf quality and uniformity of size. The best grades produced are referred to and sold as “Primary Grades” and the others as “Off-Grades”.
The major “Primary Grades” are:
1. “Broken Orange Pekoe”
2. “Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings”
“Off-Grades” are many, such as: Fannings, Dust, Broken Pekoe, Broken Mixed, etc.
International tea merchants, blenders and packers recognizing the superior quality of Ceylon tea, frequently resort to using some Ceylon tea for blending in quality into teas of other origins.
However, the vigorous agitation during the blending process bruises the leaf particles of black tea and exposes them to air moisture which sets in process the further oxidation of the tea. This destroys much of the intrinsic flavour, taste and quality characteristics of the originally selected Ceylon tea, resulting in the noticeable disappointment in quality of the blended product when prepared and served.