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- Da-Hong Pao, an oolong tea with a history dating back to the Ming Dynasty, is the world’s most expensive tea, valued at around $544,310 per pound ($1.2 million per kg.)
During former US President Nixon’s visit to China, Mao Zedong gifted him 200 grams symbolizing peace and friendship between the two nations.
Translating to ‘Big Red Robe’, legend has it the Emperor of the Ming Dynasty donated his robe in exchange for a jar of this tea to help his mother recover from ill health.
There are only six remaining ‘mother trees’ on the planet from which the highest auction record was set in 2005 for 20 grams sold for about $30,000.
- Surprisingly, Panda bear dung is used as fertilizer in the cultivation of Panda Dung tea.
An Yanshi, an entrepreneur in southwest China, developed this tea by using panda dung from nearby breeding centers as organic fertilizer and selling the first batch for around $3,500 for 50 grams.
Panda dung is thought to have numerous health benefits due to its high antioxidant content and costs around $31,751 per pound ($70,000 per kilogram.)
- Yellow gold tea buds are luxurious and rare, harvested only once a year with gold shears and sun-dried.
After that, the tea leaves are sprayed with edible 24-karat gold flakes. It is known as the tea of the Chinese emperors and costs around $3,538 per pound ($7,800 per kilogram) of tea leaves.
It has a distinct metallic and floral aftertaste and is known for its anti-aging and other health benefits. The TWG tea company currently sells it only in Singapore.
- This is a type of oolong tea harvested only by expert pickers on full moon nights at Makaibari Tea Estate on the sloping hills of Darjeeling.
The tea is made from special buds that resemble silver needles and have a subtle fruity aroma.
It has a complex flavor with mango and frangipani notes. It was sold at auction in 2014 for $839 per pound ($1,850 per kilogram), making it the most expensive tea in India.
- Gyokuro, which translates to ‘pearl dew’ or ‘jade dew’ in Japanese, is considered one of the highest-grade green teas in Japan and is grown in the Uji district.
This tea is harvested by growing it under the shade of straw mats for four weeks before picking the best tea leaves.
This process assists the plant in retaining L-theanine amino acid, which enhances the umami flavor of the tea.
Kahei Yamamoto VI first discovered gyokuro tea in 1835. A kilogram of Gyokuro tea costs around $650.