Teas of the Crane and Pine Tea Selection correspond to the strictest of quality standards existing for elite tea. The selection includes the rarest sorts of the highest grades – grown, picked and processed manually on respected Chinese tea plantations; packaged and carefully placed into authentic china, glass and carton tea ware under close personal supervision by the company’s representatives and delivered directly from China.

The concept of elite tea indispensably includes the following components:

1. Freshness. One of the basic characteristics of an elite tea is the factor of freshness. Freshness is considered to be essential only for the following kinds of tea: green, white, yellow, red, and lightly oxidized oolong tea. Black and well-fermented oolong teas, on the contrary, become richer in flavor and aroma when stored correctly.

2. Packaging. Packaging should be done right after processing and directly at the area of production for preserving quality and freshness of the tea at the most possible level.

3.  Delivery. The delivery of the packaged tea should be completed immediately.

4. The cultivation area. Each type of tea in China possesses its own, strictly defined geographical location of cultivation.

5. The sort’s origin history. Each sort of tea in China has its own history.

6. Grade. Each Chinese tea is classified into a great number of grades – from the highest to the lowest. The grade affects the cost of the product directly.

7. Manual picking. Teas picked using machinery are characterized by a much lower quality of raw tea leaves compared to manually picked teas. Tea quality largely depends on the time of the picking: different days of the season, different time of a year and different times of the day gives considerable quality modifications, which, in their turn, exert great influence on price for the product.

8. Manual processing. Manual processing is a painstaking process requiring significant time and work. There is no comparison between teas processed mechanically and carefully handled manually processed teas.

9. Limited production and complicated export out of China. There exists a very strict state quota on the amounts of elite teas authorized for export from China. Therefore, finding and exporting teas of the highest gradations is an extremely challenging task compared to low-quality teas generally sold for export.

10. Pricing. The price of elite sorts of tea inside the country remains stable and high and even keep growing. It is influenced by the amount of the particular year production, which depends on a climate, size of the plantation, time and human resources consumed during the production, rarity factor for each variety, freshness and logistical expenses. Regular increase of the cost of elite Chinese teas is also affected by the growth of the population accompanied by rapid economic development.

11. Storage. Correct storage is the primary factor impacting the tea flavor, aroma and health benefits. Tea can lose up to 80% of its qualities being in contact with air and moisture for too long. All packaged tea should be equipped with a special antioxidant bag required to keep the tea fresh.

12. Strict quality control on every stage of production – from the moment of picking onward including stages of production, packaging and delivery.