The Wonders Of Pekoe Tea: What Makes The Darjeeling Tea World Famous

Pekoe tea, a type of Darjeeling tea, is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Standing right at the top with coffee, this black tea has won the hearts of tea lovers worldwide. Let's explore the aromatic world of orange pekoe, the fascinating Darjeeling tea that has become a favourite among tea enthusiasts.

Published On Feb 14, 2024 | Updated On Mar 08, 2024


For centuries, tea has always been one of the popular beverages among the masses. Appealing to people worldwide, mentions of tea can be found in texts dating back centuries. As tea cultivation gained more ground, several different types of tea came into being. Indian masala tea, English breakfast tea, oolong tea, matcha, white tea, and green tea are just a few to name in the wide world of tea. In the world of tea, Darjeeling tea, a type of black tea, is one such variety that has always been considered as the best. Famously called the 'Champagne of teas', Darjeeling tea has one of the best aromas, taste, and tea leave quality. The unmatched quality of Darjeeling tea and its several other types has made it a favourite for tea lovers.


Darjeeling tea is not just impressive with its flavour and aroma, is also a tea that is known to have many benefits. This distinct-looking black tea, instantly recognisable by its iconic golden, amber, orange, yellow and brown shades of colours, varying as per an individual's choice, is a treasure trove of many aspects which will make you turn to black tea as your new favourite. Since Darjeeling tea is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and more beneficial properties, it is known to help reduce the risk for heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, etc. This black tea is much lighter on your stomach than other beverages and teas, preventing bloating. Unsweetened black tea is also known to aid in weight loss.

Darjeeling tea, one of the most famous black teas, is divided into many sub-categories, with the black and orange pekoe tea types being hands down the most famous ones. The richness of black and orange pekoe tea will leave you mesmerised by the complex flavour and rich aroma right from the very first sip. Famously known collectively as black orange pekoe tea, these subtypes of Darjeeling black tea are extremely popular with tea lovers. The black orange pekoe teas are also known to be high in taste, and benefits while being low on calories, making for a perfect beverage to include in your daily lifestyle.


Black pekoe tea, a popular Darjeeling black tea, is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. While you can find many variants of black tea in the market, black pekoe tea belongs to the very best black teas, not just in India but all over the world. The tea leaves, oxidised and withered to perfection, give a dark colour and a distinct flavour. A highly refined and delectable black tea, the black pekoe tea also packs a healthy punch. This antioxidant-rich black tea is known to help avoid chronic health conditions and heart problems and is claimed to help reduce the risk of cancer.


Another popular type of Darjeeling black tea is the orange pekoe tea. As intriguing as the name is, orange pekoe tea is a type of black Darjeeling tea, not a flavour as some people might believe. Orange pekoe refers to a grading system that experts use to differentiate between different kinds of black tea within the orange pekoe umbrella. An ancient type of black tea, this popular Darjeeling tea is said to have its roots in China. This just goes on to show the complexity even a single type of tea represents, owing to a rich legacy spread over many different countries across the world.

The orange pekoe grading system takes into consideration the tea leaf’s size, the quality of the tea and many other parameters. The most interesting aspect of the whole process is deciding on the subcategory based on the number of fine hairs found on the tea leaves. The higher the concentration of these fine hairs, the finer the orange pekoe tea level, with the type Golden Tips considered unanimously the best under the orange pekoe tea system.

While some people attribute this unique name, the orange pekoe tea, to the general confusion that the orange specifies the flavour of this black tea, some people also credit a historical claim as the reason behind this name. According to some people, the Dutch East India Company, influential in the early 17th century, was the catalyst behind this name. The Dutch East India Company is credited with introducing tea to Europe, especially setting aside the best black teas for the royals, who belonged to the House of Orange. Thus, this connection is the inspiration behind the name of the orange pekoe tea.


Some people also believe that this world simply stems from a special yet ancient Chinese word used for specific Chinese teas that had wispy hairs found on orange pekoe tea leaves. According to the experts and people from within the tea industry, refer to the orange pekoe system of grading while using the term. Whatever the original reasoning behind the coining, the term 'orange pekoe tea' has become one of the most common names to refer to the best black tea worldwide. 

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