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May 18, 2024

8 of the most expensive teas in the world

Jade Crasto
Tea is unquestionably one of the most widely consumed drinks enjoyed across the world. And it’s been like this for a long time. You may drink a cup of tea hot or cold whenever you want, whether it’s early in the morning before you go to work, or late at night, and there are so many beautiful flavours that you can choose from.
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Tea has been used in traditional medicine for ages and is renowned as a cure-all in many Asian nations. For millennia, the Chinese and Japanese have savoured this healing elixir. Tea’s restorative properties are not limited to the East, even Western medicine has recognized its advantages, with physicians prescribing tea to treat cold and flu symptoms.
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But where did this delicious medicine originate from? The first cup of tea was consumed more than 2,000 years ago, just by chance. In 2737 BC, Emperor Shen Nung of China swirled a few Camellia Sinensis plant leaves into boiling water. And it was the world’s first official cup of tea. From there on we got various types of teas, black tea, green tea, oolong tea and of course masala ‘chai’. The majority of tea leaves are cultivated in Asia, however, certain teas may come from South America or Africa.  India, China, and Sri Lanka produce some of the world’s most costly tea leaves. The luxury teas are grown from uncommon plants that often fail to yield leaves for years, which is why the costs are so high. So in honour of world tea day, May 21st, here are six of the most expensive teas in the world.
1) Da Hong Pao- China

Da-Hong Pao tea is the most expensive tea in the world, costing roughly $1.2 million per kilogramme. Because of its scarcity, this ultra-luxurious tea has been designated as a national treasure. It is an oolong breed with a history dating back to the Ming Dynasty. The highest grade Da-Hong Pao tea originates from the Mother trees, of which only six survive on the planet.
2) Panda Dung Tea- China

The production of Panda Dung Tea, as the name implies, requires the use of Panda Bear excrement as fertilizer. The tea possesses a nutty flavour, which is high in antioxidants, and is said to offer several health advantages. The tea has a subtle bamboo scent when brewed and is sold for roughly $70,000/kg.
3) Yellow Gold Tea Buds- Singapore

Only once a year, the luscious golden gold tea buds are harvested with gold snippers and are then sun-dried. The tea leaves are then coated with edible 24-karat gold flakes. This luxury tea costs around $7,800 per kilogramme. The tea has an unusual metallic and flowery aftertaste and is only available in Singapore from the TWG tea brand.
4) Silver Tips Imperial Tea- India

This oolong cultivar comes from Darjeeling, India, and has distinctive buds that appear like silver needles and have a fruity aroma. The tea has a complex flavour with rich flavours of frangipani and mango. In 2014, the Silver Tips Imperial tea was auctioned off for roughly $1,850/kg. Making it the costliest Indian tea.
5) Gyokuro- Japan

Gyokuro, which translates to ‘pearl dew’ or ‘jade dew’ in Japanese, is widely considered as one of the highest-quality green teas in Japan. This green tea is filled with umami flavours since it is grown beneath the shadow of straw mats. Gyokuro tea has been produced since 1835 and costs approximately $650/kg.
6) Pu-Erh Tea- China

Pu-erh tea, often regarded as the first and most exquisite tea, is grown in China and is normally marketed in the form of tea cakes that may be brewed. The thousand-year-old tea has a variety of health advantages, including improved gastrointestinal health, cholesterol reduction, and weight control. Pu-erh tea is one of the costliest teas, costing approximately $10,000 per kilogramme.
7) Gao Shan Tea- Taiwan

The Gao Shan tea, often known as ‘High Mountain Tea,’ is grown in Taiwan’s high-elevation tea gardens. The tea’s rich flavour and scent are enhanced by the thin air, high humidity, and altitude. The tea is worth $250 per kilogramme.
8) Tienchi Flower Tea- China

Tienchi Flower Tea is a valued possession in China, costing approximately $170/kg. The tea has a sweet and refreshing flavour with a ginseng-like scent. The tea is also said to reduce inflammation, clear toxins from the body, aid in the treatment of sleeplessness, and increase oxygen levels.
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Jade Crasto


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