Tea picking was a central component of the entire tea production process. Time spent working and the intensity of labor fluctuated due to the inability to accurately predict weather conditions. This created uncertainties regarding ideal tea picking times. However, generally “the ideal time for picking tea leaves was early morning before sunrise. ” Tea pickers would usually leave their homes early and do work using careful techniques efficiently to ensure the leaves were gently picked in whole. To do so, pickers used one or both hands to nip the green stems with their index fingers and thumbs, then held the leaves until they had palms-full before tossing the leaves into their baskets. Women were preferred for this occupation because of their ability to more gently and carefully pick off the whole tea leaves. No matter the age or marital status, women were expected to be capable of performing this duty. However, there were also limitations on women during this time. According to Luo Lin’s Explanation of Tea, women were not allowed to participate in any aspect of tea making during their menstrual periods. They were to avoid “female pollution” from their “unclean” bodies.