What kind of tea is the high grade tea or quality tea?
Hand-rolling can preserve quality, but if it isn’t in the leaves to begin with, it can’t create it. Of course, you can flavor teas, but then you’re talking about the quality of the flavoring, not of the tea. :)Genuinely adulterated tea isn’t allowed import in most tea markets, and is illegal to make in many tea-producing countries. If pesticide residues are too high, or if word spreads that they use artificial coloring or are doping their teas, they will have a very difficult time. Especially since the number of bulk buyers is much smaller than the number of growers.
Significant twig and stem content suggests that care was not taken in the plucking process; it may even suggest that while the tea may be “hand processed”, it is mechanically harvested. Until they invent an effective mechanical plucker that can preserve leaf quality, I’d much prefer hand-plucked, mechanically processed teas to the reverse.
Unusual fragrances are fine, as long as they aren’t “spoilage” fragrances that suggest the tea was not cared for properly.
Crushed leaf is just fine as long as the plucking standard is good. :) On the other hand, if the leaf is hand-rolled, one wonders why the leaf is in such poor shape…