What is Orange Pekoe Tea?

You’ve probably heard of orange tea, but what about orange pekoe tea? Even though the name of teas usually suggests more about it, not with orange pekoe tea. It’s not a type of orange tea with many fascinating facts about it. 

Orange pekoe tea is a black tea that’s more similar to chai than fruity orange tea. We’ve got you covered if you want to learn more about where orange pekoe comes from, what it really is, and how to make it.

Where Does Orange Pekoe Tea Come From?

Orange pekoe tea comes from several countries in Asia. The main three are India, Sri Lanka, and China. This type of black tea only gets the name orange pekoe when it’s of the highest grade. China doesn’t usually classify their teas this way, but the rest of the world refers to similar teas from other countries as orange pekoe. 

The term orange pekoe refers to the size of the tea leaf and where it comes from. The term orange refers to the Dutch noble House of Orange-Nassau. This is what brought tea to Europe in the 18th century. The word pekoe in the tea name references the bud of the tea plant this tea leaf comes from. 

How to Pronounce Orange Pekoe Tea?

Let’s face it. Most people don’t know the correct way to pronounce pekoe in orange pekoe tea. If you want to learn, the correct pronunciation of pekoe is “pee” and “Koh.”

What Does It Taste Like? 

An interesting thing about orange pekoe tea is that the taste will vary depending on where you get it. Yes, most teas will taste different based on the brand and how you make it, but the three main countries where orange pekoe tea comes from affect the flavor immensely. 

The flavors of orange pekoe tea from Sri Lanka tend to be fruitier, sweet, and lighter overall. On the other hand, if it’s from India, it’s spicier, smokier, malty, and rich. Last but not least, it has more chocolate notes if you get your orange pekoe from China.

How To Make Orange Pekoe Tea Taste Better

For the most part, orange pekoe tea tastes pretty good on its own. But, if you’re new to drinking herbal tea, you might want to add things to the tea to make it more manageable to drink. Here are a few things people enjoy adding to orange pekoe tea to make it taste better. 


Milk is a no-brainer when it comes to adding it to your teas. You can use whole milk, almond, coconut, or whatever milk you prefer. Each one can change the taste of your orange pekoe tea, but you can experiment to see which one you like the most. 


Regardless of where you get your orange pekoe tea from, many people enjoy adding honey to it. It adds that subtle sweetness many people love in tea, and if you add it along with your favorite milk, you really can’t go wrong. 


Besides honey, adding white sugar or your favorite low-calorie sweetener can improve the taste of your orange pekoe tea. Granted, some versions are sweet on their own, so you’ll want to be careful not to add too much. You can always taste-test it before you add sugar. 

How To Brew Orange Pekoe Tea

If you want to make a few cups of this delicious tea, here’s a quick 25-minute recipe that makes about two cups. Feel free to change the measurements if you need to make more or only want one cup. 

1. Gather Your Ingredients

You only need two things to make the most basic orange pekoe tea. You’ll need the following things to make orange pekoe tea: 

  • 16 ounces of water
  • Eight bags of orange pekoe tea

If you want to add anything to your tea, milk, honey, etc., you’ll want to add those to your ingredient list. 

2. Boil Water

Add your 16 ounces of water to a pot or tea kettle and bring it to a boil on your stove. 

3. Remove the Water and Steep

Once your water reaches a roaring boil, remove it from the heat. You’ll then add your orange pekoe tea bags and let it steep for four to six minutes. 

4. Pour and Serve

After you’re finished steeping your tea, you’ll pour the tea into cups, add anything else that you want, and serve!

Caffeine Content in Orange Pekoe Tea

You don’t need to worry if you’re worried about drinking orange pekoe tea because of the caffeine content. There’s no caffeine in this tea. You can drink it whenever you want without worrying about how caffeine will affect you. 

How Many Carbs Does It Contain?

Most tea has a few carbs, but if you’re looking for a carbohydrate-free tea, you’ll love drinking orange pekoe tea. There are no carbs in this tea, so you don’t need to stress about consuming too many carbs when drinking this tea. 

How Many Calories Does It Contain?

Just like there aren’t any carbs in orange pekoe tea, there are no calories! You can consume as much as you want without worrying about drinking your calories. While you can drink it all day if you choose, you might want to substitute it for water at some point to keep yourself hydrated. 

How Long Does Orange Pekoe Tea Last?

The tea leaves last at their peak freshness for three to four months as long as they’re stored properly. As for brewed orange pekoe tea, if you want to drink the freshest orange pekoe tea possible, you’ll want to consume it within 72 hours. 

Final Thoughts

Orange pekoe tea is a unique tea that comes from various countries in Asia. While the main three are Sri Lanka, China, and India, other countries grow this delicious tea. The flavor of orange pekoe tea varies from brand to brand and the origins of the tea leaves, but overall, it’s a tasty tea that’s worth trying at least once.