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Grades of Tea 

Before your tea makes it to your daily cup, sorting and grading of tea is done. At the end of the manufacturing process, when the tea leaves are out of the drying machine, it consists of different sized tea leaves. These leaves have to be separated because smaller pieces will brew faster than the larger ones, resulting in an uneven brewing process. These leaves are separated and sorted according to their size, type, and appearance. These tea grading or classifications differ from country to country. White Tea, Green Tea and Oolong Tea are not graded like Black Tea. Most of the black teas are graded and sold according to leaf or particle size.


Whole leaf grades

Broken Leaf grades

Fanning & Dust


Higher quality green tea consists of a leaf and bud, then two leaves and a bud and so on. There is no standardized grading system for green teas, but the common grades of green tea leaf include

These grading terms are generally used for Indian tea, Sri Lankan tea, African tea and a few Chinese teas. Tea export from India includes most grades of black tea. Thus, India maintains its status as one of the largest tea suppliers fulfilling global demands for tea.

Finally, it is important to know that grades of tea do not determine its flavor or quality. Drinking whole leaf tea has a wonderful range of flavors and is visually quite appealing, but broken sizes also possess some great flavors and aroma.