Have you ever seen a crane dance? Likely not, unless you’ve been to the savannas of Kenya, home of the famed Grey Crowned Crane. The Grey Crowned Crane, as the name might imply, is a singularly majestic bird. Standing roughly 1m/3.3 ft tall and weighing in at around 3.5kg/7.7lbs, the bird is covered in a grayish plumage with white wings speckled with small feathers in a vibrant range of colors. Atop its head sites a crown of stiff golden feathers floating about a face of white with a bright red, inflatable pouch on its throat – spectacular.
Now, we mentioned that this bird likes to dance. Unlike many other bird species, both male and female Grey Crowned Cranes of all ages participate. During the dance, the cranes pump their heads, bow to one another, run, jump, toss grass and sticks and flap their wings. For any of you who have been to Kenya to witness the event, you’ll know that it’s quite a spectacle. While no one is completely certain why the cranes do it, ornithologists believe that dancing may help to thwart tension, relieve aggression and strengthen the bonds between mates. (Interestingly, it is for exactly these reasons that one might wish to brew a pot of Crested Crane Pai Mu Tan.)
Developed by innovative tea makers in the highlands west of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, Crested Crane is an exquisite Pai Mu Tan style tea that pays great homage to its namesake. The tea is produced by plucking leaves on rain-free days, taking care to avoid any purple buds, partially opened leaves, insect damaged leaves, wind damaged leaves or stems that are either too long or too short. Once plucked, the leaves are gently withered until they are slightly green in color – and that’s that. A fabulous tea from the Tuscany of Tea, Kenya. (And worthy of a little dance of its own.)