Orange/Orange Pekoe is a classification for a black tea based on the origin of the leaf. To be classified as Pekoe, the tea must consist exclusively of new tea shoots - a shoot is the flower bud with the two youngest leaves. All other leaves produce lower quality tea.
Where does the name come from?
Pekoe was a corruption of Bai Hoa (pronounced: Pak-Ho), the Chinese words for white tip, denoting the spreading leaf bud covered by white fuzz, a sign that it was a young tea leaf, and thus of the superior quality.
The first teas of this quality to reach the Netherlands were shown to the royal family; the Huis van Oranje (House of Orange in English) and soon the Bai Hao type tea was promoted to the Dutch public as Oranje Pekoe to suggest it was royal.
How do you make Orange Pekoe tea?
Considered one of the finest black teas, it has long been revered by tea connoisseurs. If you want to enjoy this tea, here are a few tips you should follow:
Warm the teapot by rinsing it with warm water before steeping your tea leaves. It causes tea leaves to be exposed to warm temperatures.
The caffeine-free Orange Pekoe has a very delicate aroma and taste. But it gets bitter the longer you steep. Everyone has their preference for how strong they want their tea. Experiment with what is best for you. However, the tip is not to let it steep for more than 5 minutes.
For a real tea connoisseur, the aroma of the tea is also very important. Steeping time allows the fragrance to develop.
Many people believe that the addition of milk, sugar or lemon dilutes the taste of the tea. However, if you like it, feel free to do it.