Available in countless varieties, such as black, green and white tea, Darjeeling tea is a favourite among tea drinkers
All About Golden Orange Pekoe Tea
Here’s the deal: orange pekoe tea has nothing to do with the fruit orange, nor is it ‘orange’ flavored tea. In a nutshell, orange pekoe is a type of black tea. It is classified based on the origin of the tea leaves. To be classified as orange pekoe tea, the leaves must be made up entirely of the new flushes.
In other words, orange pekoe refers to the categorization of black tea based on the leaf’s size and its location on the tea plant.
Pekoe or ‘pek-ho’ is Chinese for ‘white hair,’ which comes from the appearance of the down-like hairs on the tea leaves. These hairs are the smallest and youngest on the plant.
Where Did the ‘Orange’ Part Come From?
This bit has more to do with history. In the 1600s, the Dutch Royal Family of the House of Orange brought this tea to Europe. They reserved the best grade of black tea for the royals. When it was introduced into the market, vendors preferred to call it ‘orange’ pekoe, thus associating themselves with royalty!
But this classification is not all. There are many permutations and combinations of tea leaves that have given rise to different grading systems, including TGFOP, GFOP, and GFOP.
Health Benefits of Orange Pekoe Tea
Orange pekoe tea has plenty of health benefits, such as reducing oxidation in the body. Studies suggest that black tea (orange pekoe tea is a grade of black tea) is almost as effective with its antioxidant properties as green tea. The antioxidants in orange pekoe fight free radicals and keep the body healthy at a cellular level. Since the human body is always experiencing free radical damage, orange pekoe tea is beneficial if it’s incorporated into one’s diet.
Disease Fighting Potential
Because of its high level of antioxidants, scientists believe that orange pekoe tea and other black tea varieties could play a role in preventing cancer. The presence of polyphenols in orange pekoe tea can slow, if not stop, the growth of cancer cells. These antioxidants can prevent damage to cellular DNA and keep cancer at bay.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Many people suffer from endothelial dysfunction, which is one of the primary causes of heart disease. One study found that regular consumption of orange pekoe and other varieties of black tea can prevent this condition, which could lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Also, black tea contains flavonoid and polyphenols compounds that go a long way in improving cardiovascular health.
Synergistic Effect with Antibiotics
Studies suggest that orange pekoe tea extracts work in synergy with antibiotics to combat pathogens that are commonly associated with intestinal infections. This is also true for green tea. The combination of tea and drug can fight against E. coli, multiple strains of salmonella, and Shigella dysenteriae.
You can study more about this in the July 2005 issue of the “Indian Journal of Medical Research.”
At Golden Tips Tea, we stock up on authentic and 100% original orange pekoe tea leaves and other grades of black tea. Click here to fill your cup with the very best tea that can be grown in the world.