Broken orange pekoe is the grade of tea rating that determines its quality. Broken means that it is a broken tea, i.e. made up of broken tea leaves.
The advantage of these pieces is faster infusion, but some tea lovers are not too fond of them.
Orange pekoe is a basic term we encounter in evaluating the quality of teas. The tea nomenclature may then further refine the characteristics of a particular product by adding other terms to this designation.
The term orange pekoe is typically used for black teas (or even red teas) from Sri Lanka and India, even though the term itself is said to have originated in China.
If all we read on the tea is that it is orange pekoe tea with no other additions, we know that the bud and first two leaves are picked for it.
The buds, or tips, are the silvery, downy leaves. Such tea contains a minimum of petioles and many tiny leaves that are well rolled.
Because the top tea leaves are picked when they are youngest, they are also rich in valuable substances. This makes it possible to produce a particularly high quality tea.
It can be said that a tea labelled as such is a product of good quality, even if it is a fractional one.