We established that tea is graded first on the size of the leaf particles of the tea; dust and fannings (generally used for tea bags) being the low grades, and broken and whole leaf (generally loose tea) as the higher grades. China, Japan, India, and Sri Lanka, all have their own grading systems. The Indian system is the most prevalent, so I will first review theirs. If you've ever looked at the Muggswigz tea menu you may remember seeing Nepal Sakhejung silver tips SFTGFOP1 . The Nepal silver tips is a white tea, and the letters following the name are not the result of a cat walking across the keyboard before printing, its Indian grading nomenclature! Each successive letter starting with the "P" denotes higher quality; SFTGFOP1 happens to be the very highest grade describable so it includes almost all of the grading terms. Only "almost all" the terms because it does not contain the terms for the lower grades. Fannings are denoted by an "F" at the right end, dust with a "D", broken with a "B". Starting with the "P". The "P" denotes that the tea contains the pekoe leaf. Quality teas are hand-picked so that only the top two leaves of the plant are picked. One of the leaves is called Pekoe(P), the other Orange Pekoe(OP). Teas containing a substantial amount of the orange pekoe are label as such. As we can see above the next letter is "F". "F" stands for flowery, it is used if the tea contains a substantial amount of a not fully open leaf bud found above the pekoe and orange pekoe leaves. The "G" stands for golden which is the color of the very young tips or buds that have been plucked early in the season the "G" signifies their substantial presence, a "T" (tippy) before the "G" signifies that their percentage is high. If the garden considers the tea absolutely exceptional an "F" for Finest is added and rarely an "S" (special). The numeral "1" after this string is used when the tea is from plants considered to be a superior variety.

   So when reconsidering are earlier example from the Muggswigz menu of : Nepal Sakhejung silver tips SFTGFOP1 You would know that it is a special finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe of a superior variety of white "silver tip" tea from the Sakhejung tea facility in Nepal. Impress your neighbors and friends, woo women, maybe get stared at blankly, maybe get a smack for being showy, but of course most importantly, be educated as to what you are drinking.