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Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea has a rating of 4.8 stars based on 96 reviews.

Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea

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Offering up complex flavours, a subtle sweetness and a lovely crisp bitterness, Ceylon Orange Pekoe is well-balanced and can be enjoyed all through the day. Made from golden-tipped Pekoe leaves, this is best served as a black tea, but can also be enjoyed with a drop of milk.

Also available: Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea Bag Bundle, containing 2x 125g bags of Ceylon Orange Pekoe and 100x Fill-Your-Own tea bags.


Black Ceylon Tea


While we try to keep to the strictest standards in our treatment of allergens, please be aware that our factory handles nuts, milk and soy ingredients. Please check our ingredients lists for specific information on each tea.

Your Guide to Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea

Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea is a high-quality whole leaf tea sourced from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis tea plant, which is found in the highlands of Sri Lanka.

The Orange Pekoe category of tea grade is one of the highest back tea grades available, gaining its renowned status from the characteristic wholeness of the leaves, which are obtained during the first flushes (pickings) of the season.

Whole Orange Pekoe (OP) tea leaves are lighter and more delicate than their broken counterparts (broken Orange Pekoe, or BOP), and it is this wholeness that contributes to the tea’s much-loved complex flavours and delicate aromas.

You can learn more about tea grading with our helpful guide.

Best served as a black tea, Ceylon Orange Pekoe loose leaf tea offers sweet, subtle flavours and a crisp bitterness.

The History of Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea

Contrary to what might be expected, Orange Pekoe tea is not an orange-flavoured tea but rather a high-quality, whole leaf black tea that is commonly sourced from Sri Lanka (which was historically known as Ceylon during the 150-year British rule, until 1948).

It is believed that 19th-century British tea magnate, Sir Thomas Lipton, first popularised the term ‘Orange Pekoe’, the true origin of which is still open to speculation.

It is generally thought that the ‘orange’ of Orange Pekoe refers to the historical Dutch royal House of Orange and its links to the Dutch East India Company’s tea exports in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The origin of ‘Pekoe’ is more curious, but it is generally believed to stem from a mispronunciation of the Amoy dialect word for a Chinese tea referred to as ‘white down’, an allusion to the characteristic fine white hairs that cover the Orange Pekoe leaf shoots. (Although, it should be noted that Orange Pekoe teas are not to be found in China).

Orange Pekoe (OP) is nowadays a part of the grading system applied by the Western tea trade, used to specify the size categories of whole loose leaf black teas. In this system, whole Orange Pekoe leaves are known to receive the highest grades for their size, delicacy and well-balanced, full flavours.

Health Benefits of Orange Pekoe Tea

Orange Pekoe Tea

Ceylon Pekoe tea is high in antioxidants and potassium, which can relax tension in blood vessels and arteries. It is also rich in flavonoid compounds, which may help to combat risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

How Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea Is Produced

Ceylon Orange Pekoe is sourced from the highlands of Sri Lanka and made from the fine, dried leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. These thin, fine leaves are carefully handpicked during the first ‘flush’ (the first picking in a tea harvest season). In fact, in order to be classed as a Pekoe tea the leaves must be picked during this first flush, which is claimed by many to be the best period in which to pick tea leaves. Leaves picked during the first flush are said to contain more delicate, complex flavours than leaves picked during the second flush, as well as with more nutrients and antioxidants.

Orange Pekoe falls into the highest category of the grading system usually applied to black teas, particularly those from countries such as India, Indonesia and, in the case of Ceylon Orange Pekoe, Sri Lanka. In this system, Orange Pekoe (OP) is identified as a high quality, whole loose leaf tea (separate from the ‘broken’ and ‘fannings’ grades such as Broken Orange Pekoe, or BOP) and is known for yielding a higher concentration of aromatic oils.

Types of Orange Pekoe Tea

Orange Pekoe tea may be identified by its sub-group grading, which ranges from the whole leaf teas such as OP (Orange Pekoe), Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP) and Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (GFOP), to the selection of broken, fannings and dust grades. It is the higher graded, whole loose leaf Orange Pekoe teas that are generally celebrated as the most fully flavoured.

Orange Pekoe tea may be sourced from leaves grown in Sri Lanka or India. The Sri Lankan leaves that make Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea are golden-tipped Pekoe leaves, which are known as a high-quality, whole leaf tea that displays all of the characteristic delicate flavours and subtle aromas of Orange Pekoe.

Castleton FTGFOP Darjeeling Tea, made from golden orange pekoe leaves, is a delicious and delicate tea, while Soom TGFOP First Flush Darjeeling and Margaret’s Hope TGFOP Darjeeling, both sourced from Darjeeling in India, are made from flowery orange pekoe leaves that that offer complex, rich bouquets and a muscatel character.

Ceylon BOP Tea and Kenya Milima GFOP Black Tea are fine examples of floral, full-bodied broken Orange Pekoe tea, while Nonsuch BOP Nilgiri Black Tea is a great South India tea made from broken Orange Pekoe leaves.

Reviews of Ceylon Orange Pekoe

Here’s what some of our customers are saying about the unique characteristics of Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea:

Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea

Offering up complex flavours, a subtle sweetness and a lovely crisp bitterness, Ceylon Orange Pekoe is well-balanced and can be enjoyed all through the day. Made from golden-tipped Pekoe leaves, this is best served as a black tea, but can also be enjoyed with a drop of milk.

“Superbly delicious tea which I enjoy with a touch of milk. Excellent any time of day on its own, with or to finish a meal. 100% recommend this tea and supplier.”

Wilma J. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“This is a good quality tea - I don't usually drink Ceylon Orange Pekoe but this has been an 'eye-opener' for me. Great flavour tea”

David S. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“A superb tea. Very high quality leaves with no dust. Strong flavour that is perfect for any time of the day.”

Rodney K. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


What does Orange Pekoe taste like?

Rather than being at all orange-flavoured or scented, Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea is actually a light and delicate tea that offers wonderfully sweet and fruity flavours, characteristic of Sri Lankan teas. These flavours are combined with a very satisfying crisp bitterness that highlights the freshness of this first flush, whole leaf tea.

The younger leaves that are picked and prepared whole for Orange Pekoe also usually contain high concentrations of aromatic oils, which give way to the beautiful floral aromas that are characteristic of this much-loved Sri Lankan tea.

How should I prepare Orange Pekoe loose leaf tea?

As with other black teas, Ceylon Orange Pekoe loose leaf tea should be prepared using freshly boiled water; filtered tap water or bottled spring water are the best options. For the best results, preheat your teapot and cup by carefully rinsing with hot water. Then, using 2-3 grams of tea leaves for every 8 oz (230 ml) of water, fill your teapot and allow the leaves steep for 4-6 minutes so that the complex and delicate flavours can be released.

Ceylon Orange Pekoe is best served as a black tea but you can also add a drop of milk to add a bit more fullness, or even a small amount of honey.

Where can I buy the best Orange Pekoe tea?

If you’re looking for the best Orange Pekoe loose tea, Tea-Direct offers an excellent, well-balanced Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea, made from high quality, golden-tipped Pekoe leaves that truly showcase the subtle sweet flavours and crisp finish.

Customer reviews of Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea...