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Wine N Dine

Dive in Tea Royalty: Here are the most expensive and rare teas you can brew

Does a tea lover need a reason to brew a perfect cup of tea? Is there anything this heavenly beverage cannot solve? For tea lovers, tea is absolutely a problem solver. It is like an elixir that keeps them going. If you think I am exaggerating then you must need to talk to a tea lover or if you have one in your friend circle then BINGO! You understand what I am saying. From milk tea to green tea, tea lovers are experimental when it comes to quaffing their favorite beverage.

Tea is a central part of many cultures around the world and is often regarded for its medicinal values. The rich history of the beverage goes back to around 2737 BC when Emperor Shen Nung of China stirred a few leaves in a pot of boiling water and had the first-ever cup of tea. Even today, tea is distinguished as a quintessential therapeutic drink in countries such as China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Korea, Taiwan and Turkey. 

But did you know your favorite beverage can be as expensive as a whopping $1.2 million per kg? So here, we’ve listed the 7 most expensive teas across the world that you need to add to your collection.

Da-Hong Pao Tea, China

Da-Hong Pao Tea, China
Da-Hong Pao

Did you know that Da-Hong Pao is the most expensive tea in the world? It is valued at around a whopping $1.2 million per kg. The most expensive tea is grown in the Wuyi mountains of Fujian province of China and it has been declared a national treasure for its rarity. 

It is a type of oolong tea and its history dates back to the Ming dynasty. The name Da-Hong Pao translates to ‘Big Red Robe’ and if the story of the legends is to be believed then it says that the Chinese emperor of the Ming Dynasty donated his robe to occupy a jar of the Da-Hong Pao tea to help his ailing mother.

The best quality Da-Hong Pao tea comes from the mother trees, and there are only six in total which exist on Earth. Around 20 grams of the tea from the mother plants were sold for about $30,000 in 2005, making it the highest auction recorded ever.

Panda Dung Tea, China

Panda Dung Tea
Panda Dung Tea

As the name suggests, the Panda Dung Tea cultivations use Panda bear’s dung as fertiliser. The tea was first cultivated by An Yanshi, an entrepreneur in southwest China. He first used panda dung from nearby breeding centres as organic fertiliser and sold the initial batch of this eccentric compound at around $3,500 for 50 grams.

It is believed that the Panda dung, with its high antioxidant content, is believed to have many health benefits. Panda Dung tea is sold at approximately $70,000 per kg.

Yellow gold tea buds, Singapore

Yellow gold tea buds
Yellow gold Tea buds

The Yellow gold Tea buds are luxurious and rare and are harvested once a year using gold shears and later sun-dried. Not just that, the royalty of these tea leaves are enhanced by spraying edible 24-karat gold flakes.

Not just that, the unique metallic and floral aftertaste is known for its anti-ageing properties amongst other health benefits. The tea is currently sold exclusively in Singapore by the TWG tea company. It is priced at around $7,800 per kg.

Silver tips Imperial tea, Darjeeling (India)

Silver tips Imperial tea
Silver Tips Imperial Tea

Silver Tips Imperial Tea comes from the Makaibari Tea Estate in Darjeeling and is handpicked by a team of expert pickers during full moon nights. The tea is extracted from special buds, which resemble silver needles with a subtle fruity aroma. Its complex flavours entail sharp notes of mango and frangipani. At an auction in 2014, the tea was sold at $1,850 per kg, making it the most expensive tea in India.

Pu’erh Tea, China

Pu’erh Tea
Pu’erh tea

Pu’erh tea was first grown in the 18th Century and is considered to be the oldest, most refined and among the most expensive teas. The tea is usually grown in the Yunnan province in Southwest China, with some trees being thousands of years old. It is usually sold in the form of tea cakes that can be brewed. The tea is known to help in weight loss, cholesterol reduction and improves gut health. 

The tea is sold at approximately $10,000 per kilogram. The leaves are fermented through the microbial fermentation process. If legends are to be believed then many wars were fought because of this tea in China’s history.

Tieguanyin Tea, China

Tieguanyin tea is a type of oolong tea and is named in homage to the Buddhist deity Guan Yin, who is also known as the iron goddess of mercy. It is grown in the highest regions of the Fujian province, later the leaves are sun-dried until crisp and bright golden. It is one of the most highly regarded teas in the world.

The Tieguanyin Tea has a nutty flavour and floral aroma. The price of this tea keeps rising north because of its rarity but is usually priced at about $3,000 per kg.

Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong tea, China

Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong tea
Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong tea

Another tea is grown and harvested on the Wuyi mountains in Fujian province of China but is also grown in the PingLin tea area in Taiwan. Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong tea is named after the Greek legend Narcissus. 

It has an exquisite woody and chocolatey flavour with subtle hints of floral and fruity notes. It is also famous for its intense aroma and costs around $6,500 per kg. The tea ages like fine wine and is lighted once every two years to dry out moisture and enhance its taste.

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