Full Leaf Tea vs Fine Leaf Tea: Which Is Better? – Learn About Tea with Andrew

Hi, good morning! Andrew here. Sorry, it’s a bit dark today – it’s a slightly dark, gloomy day – I just wanted to say a couple of words about full leaf and fine leaf, so what I’ve got in front of me here is our English Breakfast blends – English Breakfast Fine Leaf and English Breakfast Full Leaf.

What does this mean? It’s just a simplification of what the tea grade is. So this is our English Breakfast Fine Leaf. And Carlos will come right in close. Now of course, the actual tea grades in there are different.

There’s Ceylon BOP for example, which stands for Broken Orange Pekoe, which is a small – nowadays is a small Ceylon leaf grade. In here is the English Breakfast Full Leaf. It’s just a much bigger leaf. I must say, this isn’t the best leaf in the world. We’d like it to be slightly blacker – slightly more colour and shine than this. So this, for example, has got a Ceylon OP1 – Orange Pekoe 1 – but we call this Full Leaf and that just keeps it simple.

Because of course we are constantly doing new English Breakfast blends to try and maintain the consistency over time. So what’s the result of these?

Well, we’ve liquored these up, so Carlos, if you come in, I don’t know if you can see the colours – I know we’ve not got the best light ever today – so you can see the Fine Leaf has produced more colour and strength in the same amount of time.

Remember: we’ve liquored these teas under exactly the same conditions, exactly the same amount of water and leaf, for exactly the same amount of time, and they are in identical white bowls, so you can compare them quite clearly. The difference is that you get a quicker brew and a stronger, richer flavour more quickly with the Fine Leaf. So if you like a strong cup of tea and you’re not very patient, go for the fine leaf.

If you’ve got more time, and you’re willing to let it brew for 6 minutes, you will get a sweeter, smoother, more flavoury cup of tea with the Full Leaf. So ultimately it comes down to preference. I would go for the Full Leaf personally if I had plenty of time, but they’re both absolutely lovely and remember, as I’ve said many a time before, the issue of grade – ie the leaf size – is different from the issue of quality.

So you can have a good fine leaf tea – a good BOP grade, and a bad one. Equally, fannings for teabags: you can have a good fannings and a bad fannings. We also see plenty of very low quality OP1 – nice big leaf grades.

And the prime example, which we’ll come onto in another video, is if you buy the so-called loose-leaf teabags, the pyramid tea bags with supposedly loose-leaf tea inside – frequently, that tea is of extremely low quality.

So anyway, there we are, there’s a few words on English Breakfast Fine Leaf and Full Leaf, and you can take those comments for all our other blends that we also have Full Leaf and Fine Leaf grades in. Thanks for listening!.

Read More: How to make BUBBLE GUM tea (loose leaf tea)