I'm on a quest to make traditional "silk-stocking" Hong Kong milk tea and need to order various grades of Ceylon black tea--BOP, BOPF, and dust. Authentic Hong Kong milk tea is a serious art and masters have their own secret blends/proportions. However, the Association of Coffee and Tea of Hong Kong published some basic guidelines for making HK milk tea. (You will find much speculation online about the composition of HK milk tea, but now we have an authoritative source on this matter.) This is the organization that hosts the annual international Kamcha competition where contestants compete to make the best cup of milk tea.
Anyway, can anyone recommend reliable sources where I can order the grades of Ceylon I need (BOP, BOPF, and dust)? I looked at Upton Tea and they have BOP and FBOPF. (Is this pretty close to BOPF? I'm still a newbie when it comes to tea, so I don't know if there is a big difference flavorwise.) Ceylon dust has been hard to find, maybe because people don't generally order such an inferior grade. But it is essential for HK milk tea. You need some dust in there for astringency. I have found a couple of vendors from Sri Lanka or elsewhere, but I am a bit uneasy about wiring money overseas when I don't know if the vendor is reliable. If anyone can suggest reliable vendors, I would greatly appreciate the help.
Read more about how to make HK milk tea here.
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