Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Old 20-07-2005, 06:32 PM
Mårten Nilsson
 
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Default Grades of assam

I bought a hg of assam today. The shop had two kinds to choose from -
FOP and TGFOP. The only difference seemed to be the size of the leaves.
The size of the FOP leaves were larger. The price was the same. Now,
I've read that TGFOP means it's good, but I've also read that larger leaves
are better than smaller leaves. What is the difference between these two
teas?

/Mårten



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Old 20-07-2005, 07:37 PM
toci
 
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TG means tippy golden. It is not clear, but golden may mean it was
picked earlier in the season, hence not surprising that the leaves are
smaller. They may also be milder, which you probably don't want in an
Assam. However, Tippy may mean more caffeine, which you probably did
want. On the other hand, the store may have scooped them out of the
same bin.... Toci

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Old 20-07-2005, 08:44 PM
danube
 
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On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 19:32:09 +0200, Mårten Nilsson wrote:

I bought a hg of assam today. The shop had two kinds to choose from - FOP
and TGFOP. The only difference seemed to be the size of the leaves. The
size of the FOP leaves were larger. The price was the same. Now, I've read
that TGFOP means it's good, but I've also read that larger leaves are
better than smaller leaves. What is the difference between these two teas?

/Mårten


Tippy means it contains lots of the tips of the leaves, methinks, golden
is the colour of the tips, methinks again. And I beg to differ that larger
leaves are necessarily better than smaller ones, I had perfectly delicious
small-leaved Assams, even broken leaves. The TG is more important than
leave size.

JB
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Old 21-07-2005, 03:57 PM
Scott Dorsey
 
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Mårten Nilsson wrote:
I bought a hg of assam today. The shop had two kinds to choose from -
FOP and TGFOP. The only difference seemed to be the size of the leaves.
The size of the FOP leaves were larger. The price was the same. Now,
I've read that TGFOP means it's good, but I've also read that larger leaves
are better than smaller leaves. What is the difference between these two
teas?


In theory, tippy golden should contain more of the small young leaves,
and be a higher grade tea.

But in actuality, the naming is so vague that you can never really tell.
I have had some generically-named OP that was better than some of the
first flush single-estate teas. I've also had some that was terrible.

The bad news is that because the nomenclature is so vague, you have to
drink it and see what it tastes like. The good news is that you can
drink it and see what it tastes like, and drinking tea is always a
good idea.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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Old 26-07-2005, 02:28 PM
Saunam
 
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M=E5rten Nilsson wrote:
I bought a hg of assam today. The shop had two kinds to choose from -
FOP and TGFOP. The only difference seemed to be the size of the leaves.
The size of the FOP leaves were larger. The price was the same. Now,
I've read that TGFOP means it's good, but I've also read that larger leav=

es
are better than smaller leaves. What is the difference between these two
teas?

/M=E5rten


You are correct that TGFOP and FOP are leaf-size classifications. The
basic grade names (SFTGFOP, FTGFOP, GFBOP etc.) are not used by grower
to classify whether there is tips or orange flavor or not. These are
used strictly for leaf classification. Therefore it's a classic mistake
to try and understand a grade by trying to figure out what's a Super
Fine Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe - all it means is that it is the
smallest whole leaf and is a first fine of the factory production
process. If this SFTGFOP has a 1 (SFTGFOP-1) behind it, it means that
there is tips. Similarly, TGFOP does not mean there is tips - however,
TGFOP-1 confirms that there is tips (two tips or more). These are good
for whole leaf. When it comes to brokens, the T in the front actually
means that there is tips. For example, GFBOP is no tips whereas TGFBOP
is tippy.

The most common whole leaf grades from assam (based on leaf size). From
smallest leaf size to largest leaf size:
1=2E SFTGFOP
2=2E FTGFOP
3=2E TGFOP
4=2E GFOP
5=2E FOP
6=2E OP
Now if you see any of the above grades with a 1 or Sp. (special) behind
them - they are either special production or tippy varieties. If you
see a CL behind them, it means they were harvested from 100% clonal
variety plants.

The most common brokens - From largest to smallest leaves:
1=2E FBOP
2=2E GFBOP
3=2E GBOP

Now if you see any of the above grades with a T in the front - they are
tippy varieities.

If you memorize these grades and their size classifications, I can
assure you that you know more than the majority of commercial tea
buyers in North America.

I have found very confused buyers in the most reputable firms because
they tend to get caught in the "super fine tippy..." lingo instead of
developing their nose, palate and sight.

Cheers



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