Pictured: Black cast-iron balcony in Charleston, South Carolina. Photography by Kyle Brown, All Rights Reserved.
Black tea leaves are graded according to the position of the tea leaf on the branch. The fresh, tender green tendrils on the end of the branch includes the two leaves and a bud, the most prized tea leaves for their sweet flavor. This includes the Pekoe, Orange Pekoe, and Flowery Orange Pekoe tea leaves. Next is the Pekoe Souchong, then Souchong leaf, followed by Congou leaf, and Bohea leaf. As the larger, older, thicker tea leaves are less desirable, these were sold by the Chinese to the British.