Understanding Tea Grades: From Loose Leaf to Dust Tea

Understanding Tea Grades: From Loose Leaf to Dust Tea

Jonas Allen June 02, 2023

As tea enthusiasts, we often come across terms like "loose leaf," "broken leaf," and even "dust tea" when exploring the world of tea. These terms refer to different tea grades that determine the quality, appearance, and flavour of the tea we enjoy. In this post, we will delve into the various tea grades, highlighting the differences and discussing why we prefer certain grades over others.

  1. Loose Leaf Tea: Loose leaf tea is considered the highest grade among tea enthusiasts. It consists of whole tea leaves that are carefully plucked, preserving their natural form. This grade offers a full-bodied flavour, nuanced aromas, and a more complex taste profile. The intact leaves allow for a slower infusion process, resulting in a rich and satisfying cup.

  2. Broken Leaf Tea: Broken leaf tea falls between the whole leaf and dust tea grades. It comprises partially broken tea leaves that are smaller in size compared to whole leaves. This grade still retains some of the complexity and flavour characteristics of whole leaf tea while offering a stronger brew. The broken leaves release their flavours more quickly during steeping, making it a popular choice for those seeking a robust and brisk cup.

  3. Fannings and Dust Tea: Fannings and dust tea are the smallest tea grades, consisting of finely broken tea leaves or tea particles. Fannings are slightly larger than dust tea but smaller than broken leaf tea. These grades are commonly used in standard tea bags, as the smaller particles allow for quicker brewing. However, they lack the complexity and subtleties found in whole leaf or broken leaf teas. Dust tea, being the smallest grade, can result in a stronger, bitter taste if not brewed carefully.

    Fannings tea

In my experience, I find broken leaf tea to be the sweet spot between strength and flavour complexity. The smaller leaf fragments infuse more quickly than whole leaves, creating a robust cup without sacrificing the nuances and subtleties I enjoy. While dust tea can be a convenient option when pressed for time, I tend to reserve it as a last resort due to its lack of flavour and potential bitterness.

Understanding tea grades, from loose leaf to dust tea, allows us to make informed choices when selecting our preferred cup of tea. Each grade offers a unique experience, ranging from the complex and delicate flavours of whole leaf tea to the strength and briskness of broken leaf tea. At The Organic Tea Project, we are committed to providing the highest quality teas, which is why we exclusively offer loose leaf and broken leaf teas. By focusing on these grades, we ensure that our teas retain their natural benefits and deliver exceptional quality, allowing you to fully enjoy the true essence of tea.

The next time you enjoy a cup of tea from us, savour the experience knowing that you are indulging in teas that have been carefully selected for their natural benefits and superior quality. Let each sip transport you to a world of taste and wellness.