Picking tea leaves is thankless work, and it is—when done right—precise, skilled labor. Amba is the rare place on the island that produces green tea. While black tea can be mechanically sorted post-oxidizing, leaves for green tea need to be pre-sorted for top-quality leaves (just the top two leaves from a branch) prior to processing, since they don't go through the oxidation process. That means picking with nearly 100% precision. At a bulk tea facility, a manager told me that he aims for pickers to get 70% of the picked tea to be those top-notch leaves, but in reality, he’ll settle for 50%, because at least then he’s gathering in tea. When it comes to Sri Lankan tea, the best comes from the bud and top two or three leaves on a shoot, all at a Goldilocks stage of maturity: old enough that the bud is unfurled, not yet woody with age.