I find it fascinating how much goes into the creation of tea, particularly the gourmet teas where every aspect of the process is managed.
It almost seems as complicated as making wine, where every decision on the process can make a difference in the taste and quality of the final product.
I'd never thought about it, but that must include the methods of plucking. I know that white tea is usually made from the very youngest leaves, which are treated very gently compared to the black tea leaves.
The time of year probably matters as well, and the climate the tea is grown in.
I doubt very many expensive teas are plucked by machines. You'd need to train up a good set of people to be able to select the right kinds of leaves.