Tea aficionados may already know about this, but for those who don’t and want to learn some new trivia to add to their arsenal of conversation starters, here is some good-to-learn information: the most expensive tea in the world is Da Hong Pao, which originates from China, where it is usually served to important guests. It costs more than $10,000, which is more than twenty times its weight in gold. To illustrate, one gram of Da Hong Pao sells for about $1,400.
But what is it about this tea that makes it so special and that demands so high a price for just one taste?
Da Hong Pao: The Most Expensive Tea in the World
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Da Hong Pao is a strain of rock tea that is typically grown in mountainous areas in China.
Da Hong Pao comes from the trees of the same name in mountainous areas in China. In ancient times, these trees were used to make tea for generations of Chinese people over hundreds of years. However, there aren’t many of these trees that are left these days, and what trees remain are strictly guarded.
These days, most Da Hong Pao in the market are made from clippings of the original bushes, producing a closely similar taste to the Da Hong Pao tea of centuries before. Because of the limited supply, Da Hong Pao tea, especially those made from the original bushes, sells for a high price. Once you get a taste, however, you will realize that its rare and exquisite taste is well worth the hefty sum you’ll pay.
Da Hong Pao is considered one of the most expensive teas in the whole world—even more than its weight in gold.
The market for Da Hong Pao is so exclusive that there is an actual demand for brokers who can mediate between tea sellers and collectors.
Da Hong Pao is typically collected in springtime, between the months of March and May.
If you want to get a taste of this exquisite tea (and if you have the money to spend), it is best to go to Wuyishan, home of one of the best teas in the world. The locale is not exactly a regular destination for tourists, but there are occasional cultural tours, where there will be tea lessons as well as more physically taxing activities like hiking and bamboo rafting.