"Orange Pekoe" as an advertising slogan

Oxidized tea
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mbanu
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:59 am

In America, the "orange pekoe" advertising campaigns by companies such as Lipton and Tetley helped transform the nation from green and oolong drinkers into black tea drinkers almost exclusively, but there is not much information out there on it.

When people try to look, most info goes back to the fuzzy origins of the term as a grade for tea, rather than how it was used in practice, so I thought this might be a good place to post about what the tea was and what it became -- maybe we will even get to the bottom of the original name? :)
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belewfripp
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:10 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:02 pm

Sounds like fun to me. I enjoy the historical/advertisement/catalog posts you've made in various threads, @mbanu. Kind of like The Institute of Official Cheer filtered through a Chinese/tea lens.

It's interesting from an educational perspective (and provides windows into Chinese and American tea marketing). I have done a tiny little bit of looking into the origin of orange pekoe myself, nothing more than what many already know, I would guess - that the name may be a botched foreign pronunciation of a Chinese tea grade as spoken in a particular dialect of Chinese. For practical purposes, it doesn't seem to mean much in the U.S. anymore, but then locations are just advertising slogans in this country - witness Vermont white cheddar (as if the absence of annatto food coloring were something special).
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