Loaded with rejuvenating and somewhat therapeutic properties, tea happens to be the most preferred beverage on earth. Thousands around the world wake up to its aroma and cannot think of starting a day without it! Concentrated in the lands of China, India and Sri Lanka, a number of tea varieties are consumed across the globe. Have you ever wondered that your simple, everyday beverage has extremely rich ‘avatars’ that are sheer luxury? Here, we introduce you to some of the most expensive teas around the world.
10. Tienchi Flower Tea
Cost: USD 170 per Kg
Tenth on the list but priced high enough to surprise you! Having powerful detox properties, Tienchi Flower Tea (Panax notoginseng) is one of the healthiest teas in the world. It is found effective in curing dizziness, insomnia, sore throat and skin eruptions. Grown in southwestern China, the tea is obtained from the flowers of a unique kind of ginseng plant that contains saponin called ginsenoside. It is the presence of this saponin that gives the plant its medicinal properties.
9. Silver Tips Imperial Tea from Makaibari Tea Estate
Cost: USD 400 per Kg
The 156 year old Makaibari Tea Estate is one of the world’s largest and oldest single owner tea estates. It produces a variety of organic teas but their specialty, the Silver Tips Imperial Tea, happens to be the most expensive Darjeeling tea in the world. In September 2014, Makaibari created record of “the most expensive tea ever sold” when it supplied a lot of special, handcrafted Silver Tips Imperial Tea to three buyers from US, UK and Japan for USD 1,850 per kg.
8. Gyokuro Tea
Cost: USD 650 per Kg
Gyokuro is amongst the richest Japanese teas. Cultivated only in the Japanese Uji District, it is a shade grown steamed green tea. When the leaves of the plant develop during spring season, the crops are shaded from sun for a few weeks. This allows more time for leaves to develop hence enriching their qualities and flavor.
7. Poo Poo Pu-Erh Tea
Cost: USD 1000 per Kg
Yes, the name suggests it very well! 1000 dollars to taste some poop! Weird as it may sound but that is the truth. This high value, medicinal tea consists of droppings of several types of insects. Apparently the insects feed on nothing else but tea leaves throughout their life. The tiny feces are manually collected with the use of tweezers and magnifying glasses. When infused to make a revitalizing cup of tea, the result is a rich, delectable taste.
6. Yellow Gold Tea Buds
Cost: USD 3000 per Kg
What makes this tea one of the costliest teas in the world is its rarity. The Yellow Gold Tea Buds tea from Singapore’s TWG tea company has a golden story of its own. The process of harvesting of this tea is as amazing as the tea itself. The Yellow Gold Tea Buds tea is harvested on only one mountain, one day per year! This is done with the aid of golden scissors. Once collected, tea buds are sun dried and placed into closed containers that result into release of polyphenols. The tea leaves turn yellow, soft and fragrant. To top it up, the tea is lastly painted with 24 ct gold.
5. Tieguanyin Tea
Cost: USD 3000 per Kg
Most popular of all Chinese Oolong teas, Tieguanyin Tea draws its name from the Iron Goddess of Mercy, a Buddhist deity. It belongs to a family of teas from southern Fujian Province called Ming Nan Oolong. The tea is kind of ‘god-sent’ and harvested by hand from high altitude tea orchards. It is rich source of antioxidants, aids bone density, promotes energy, slows down ageing, prevents diabetes and improves metabolism.
4. Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong Tea
Cost: USD 6500 per Kg
One of the exquisite teas from China! Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong Tea costs so much because of its limited supply in the market. The tea leaves are harvested on Mount Wuyi in the Fujian Province. Deriving its name from the Greek myth of Narcissus, the Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong Tea was the highlight of the first rare tea auction in Hong Kong held in November 2013.
3. Panda Dung Tea
Cost: USD 70,000 per Kg
Yes, you read it correct! USD 70,000 for one kilo of tea! Well as the name goes, Panda droppings play a significant role here. Though not directly part of the tea, these are used to fertilize the tea trees. The reason that works here is that Pandas love to eat wild bamboo. While their bodies absorb 30% of the nutrients, the rest 70% goes out with their poop. Willing to pay 200 dollars for a cup of Panda Dung?
2. PG Tips Diamond Tea Bag
Cost: USD 15,000 per tea bag
Well this one’s different from the rest of the teas on the list. For this tea is exorbitant not for its ingredients or qualities but the packaging. Filled with Silver Tips Imperial Tea (USD 400 per Kg), each tea bag is decorated with 280 excellent-quality diamonds. Handcrafted by Boodles jewelers, the diamond studded designer tea bags were used to raise money for a charity in Manchester, UK.
1. Da-Hong Pao Tea
Cost: USD 1.2 million per Kg
Shocked as you may be, it is indeed 1.2 million dollars! A prestigious Wuyi oolong tea, it is the king of Chinese teas. Literally meaning Big Red Robe, Da-Hong Pao is more of a well-kept secret. It is hardly available for sale. A legend has it that the mother of a Ming Dynasty emperor was cured of an illness by a certain mysterious tea. The emperor later sent great red robes to clothe the four bushes from which the tea was taken. Being a legendary tea and having great medicinal value, Da-Hong Pao is a respected Chinese national treasure.