Top 5 Most Expensive Teas In The World
Tea is probably my favorite beverage in the world. Before you start snickering, hear me out. It's pretty much just hot water, right? With some tea leaves (or - if you read this list all the way through, you'll find some other weird ways people are making tea. Really WTF kind of weird.) So what's the big deal? Mainly the rich aroma, the health benefits (it's practically 99.9% water), the stress reduction, and - best of all (for me at least) - it helps in weight control. It's pretty much zero calories, and can often reduce your appetite when you drink it instead of grabbing something to eat. So many benefits in a freaking cup of tea!
Now, I didn't know this until I started researching it, but tea is actually the most popular beverage in the world. I mean really popular. It's consumed more than ALL other manufactured drinkings - that means soda, alcoholic drinks, and even coffee - combined. Think about India and China mainly - those guys love their tea. It's pretty popular in England as well. Tea and crumpets anyone?
Which brings us back to the topic at hand - the most expensive teas in the world. Why do we care? Well, maybe you'll be entertaining a British government official one day, and they'll ask you for a spot of tea. You could give them just any old tea - but why not pander them with a $200 cup? And that's not even the most expensive tea on this list!
5 Yellow Gold Tea Buds
At around $105.71 USD for 50 grams (around 25 cups), this tea is both as expensive as, and as pretty as a piece of jewelry. What I mean is that they paint the tea leaves with real gold - 24 carats - and you're apparently supposed to consume that into your body. But don't worry, apparently it's not only non-toxic, it's actually pretty healthy. (Disclaimer - I didn't actually drink this tea, but I have been told by a reliable source that it's fine to consume small amounts of gold flakes.)
Now, this shimmering tea is only sold in Singapore, so if you're not from there - or planning a trip there anytime soon - you're out of luck. There is only one mountain in the world where the tea gets harvested, and - to make it even rarer - it's only harvested one day a year, and only with special golden scissors, and only from the top part of the tree. That makes it more endangered then these animals! Guys, I'm trying to find out which day of the year these leaves are harvested, but no-ones telling me. I thought we'd all fly down to Singapore on that day and get our own. Yeah, they're not going for it.
4 Panda dung tea
I love Pandas! They're so cute and cuddly, and they sleep a lot, and don't do much else as a general rule. Basically, they remind me of me, but cuter. Oh, and another thing they do a lot of is poo. In the tea world they call it dung, but it's really poo. So this Panda dung (poo) is the secret to this special tea, which has been reported to be sold for around $200 per cup. Why do people drink tea made of an animals poop? A few reasons. Panda's only eat wild bamboo, and they only absorb around 30% of the nutrients in their food. That leaves 70% in their excrement (there are many ways of saying poo), which gets into the tea. Yes, it sounds gross - so don't think about it when you're chugging down this tea. Your body will love it!
The tea is not actually made purely out of Panda dung, though. It's just fertilized with it. A Chinese entrepreneur basically decided to cultivate tea leaves in the mountains of Ya'an, Sichuan and fertilize the leaves with the Panda dung. People loved the flavor, and paid him lots of money for it. Oh, China.
3 Da Hong Pao
This tea is legendary, in that it dates back as early as the 18th century (the Dao Guang Era FYI), and is still being talked about to this day. We're actually talking about the premium version of this tea - because there are a variety of options - but this one is the most expensive. So the Chinese government sold this tea in 1998 in an auction to the highest bidder, and received $900,000 for it. That comes out to around $1,250,000 per kilogram. This tea is more expensive than gold. I'd love to try it, really I would. But I don't think it would be worth the mortgage I'd have to take out to pay for it.
What's so special about this tea? A few Chinese government officials describe the tea as having a rich floral taste that lingers in the mouth, even several minutes after drinking. That's pretty unique for a cup of tea.
This tea is known as Sencha, which is a Japanese green tea that's made without grinding the tea leaves. The leaves are really pampered - they're shaded from the sun in the final two week before harvesting, which helps increase the amino acids in the leaves, giving them a sweeter flavor and distinct aroma. This tea sells for about $65 USD for 100grams, making it super expensive. It's made in Japans Uji district, which I'm planning to go visit one day, if only for the off chance that they'll have a 50% off deal or something. Although that will still make it way more then anything I could afford for a cup of tea. Would you pay that much for tea?
This is the motherload, the cherry on top, the big kahuna. Tieguanyin is the most expensive tea in the world, and, naturally, it comes from China. At the fantastical price of $3,000 per kg, just thinking about this tea makes my heart beat faster.
It's named after a Buddhist deity called Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy). It's an oolong tea, meaning its oxidization is somewhere between that of black and green teas. Luckily for anyone who buys this expensive tea, a leaf can be brewed up to seven times before it loses its flavor, so I guess its bang-for-your-buck value is very high. So why is this tea so unique? It brings the five senses into play with every sip:
- Sight: The liquid is a shimmering golden color, and the leaves are thick and bright. Pretty!
- Sound: The leaves are kneaded before being put into cloth bags, making a pitch-perfect ringing sound when poured into your cup.
- Smell: It has a distinct chestnut flavor when brewed, making it unique among Oolong teas.
- Taste: The rich flavor of this tea fills the mouth and tongue when swirled in the mouth.
- Touch: The tea leaves themselves are heavy and solid, crisp to the touch.