The Most Expensive Tea in the World
Tea, a beloved beverage with a rich history and diverse range of flavours, has captivated people around the world for centuries. From its origins in ancient China to its global popularity today, tea has become an integral part of many cultures and traditions.
While tea is widely accessible and comes in various price ranges, some exceptional varieties stand out for their exquisite taste, rarity, and high price tags. From the high mountains in Taiwan to the pandas of China and the opulence of diamonds and gold, these are the most expensive tea in the world.
Most Expensive Tea
These teas are not your average cup. Discover the most expensive tea varieties in the world. Which would you like to try?
Da Hong Pao Tea
One of the most famous and expensive teas in the world is Da Hong Pao, also known as "Big Red Robe." This rare Chinese oolong tea originates from the Wuyi Mountains in the Fujian province. Da Hong Pao is revered for its rich, complex flavours and distinct mineral notes.
Legend has it that the mother of a Ming Dynasty emperor fell ill, and after drinking Da Hong Pao tea, she made a remarkable recovery. In gratitude, the emperor sent red robes to clothe the tea bushes, thus giving the tea its name. Today, genuine Da Hong Pao tea is exceptionally rare and is often auctioned for astronomical prices due to its limited supply and high demand.
Cost: Several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per 100g
Panda Dung Tea
While the name might raise some eyebrows, Panda Dung Tea is a rare and highly exclusive variety of tea from Ya'an in the Sichuan province of China. It derives its unique name from the fact that the tea bushes are fertilized with the dung of pandas, a protected species native to the region. The pandas' diet, which primarily consists of bamboo leaves, lends a special character to the tea leaves.
The resulting tea is said to have a mellow, sweet taste with subtle earthy undertones. Due to its limited production and unconventional cultivation method, Panda Dung Tea is considered one of the most expensive teas in the world.
Cost: C$260 to C$650 per 100 grams
Tienchi Flower Tea
Tienchi Flower Tea, also known as "San Qi Hua Cha," is a rare and expensive Chinese herbal tea. It is made from the flowers of the Panax notoginseng plant, which grows in the Yunnan province of China. The tea is renowned for its medicinal properties, said to promote blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.
The high price of Tienchi Flower Tea is attributed to the rarity of the Panax notoginseng plant and the labour-intensive process of handpicking the flowers. The delicate flowers are carefully harvested, dried, and then brewed to create a fragrant and healthful infusion that is highly valued by tea enthusiasts.
Cost: C$130 to C$390 per 100 grams
Originating from the Yunnan province in China, Pu-Erh tea is a fermented tea with a distinctive earthy flavour. Unlike other teas, Pu-Erh undergoes a unique aging process, which can last for several years or even decades.
During the aging process, the tea develops complex flavours and undergoes chemical changes that enhance its taste and medicinal properties. The value of Pu-Erh tea increases with age, and vintage Pu-Erh teas can command high prices at auctions and among collectors.
Cost: C$130 to several thousand dollars per 100 grams
Gao Shan Tea
Gao Shan, or "High Mountain," tea is a category of Taiwanese oolong teas grown at high altitudes, typically above 1,000 meters. These mountainous regions provide the perfect climate and soil conditions for tea cultivation, resulting in teas with exceptional floral and fruity aromas.
Among the Gao Shan teas, the most prized is the Alishan variety. Alishan Gao Shan tea is known for its delicate flavour, sweet notes, and smooth mouthfeel. Due to its limited production and sought-after taste, Alishan Gao Shan tea commands a high price in the market, making it one of the most expensive teas in the world.
Cost: C$65 to C$260 per 100 grams
Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong Tea
Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong Tea, also known as Lapsang Souchong, is a highly prized Chinese tea with a smoky aroma and a rich history. It is produced in the Wuyi Mountains of the Fujian province and is known for its unique processing method.
The tea leaves are dried over pinewood fires, imparting a distinctive smoky flavour to the final product. Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong Tea gains value with age and teas that have been aged for several decades are especially sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.
Cost: C$65 to C$650 or more per 100 grams
Silver Tips Imperial Tea
Hailing from the Darjeeling region in India, Silver Tips Imperial Tea is a highly prized white tea known for its delicate flavour and exquisite appearance. It is made from the young and tender buds of the tea plant, which are covered with fine white hairs, giving the tea its silver-gray appearance.
The leaves are carefully plucked and sun-dried to preserve their natural flavours and aromas. The tea is celebrated for its subtle floral notes, smooth texture, and refreshing taste. Due to the meticulous handcrafting and limited yield of this tea, it is considered one of the most expensive teas in the world.
Cost: C$65 to C$195 per 100 grams
Tieguanyin, often referred to as "Iron Goddess of Mercy," is a premium Chinese oolong tea with a history spanning over 300 years. It originated in the Fujian province and is highly regarded for its orchid-like aroma and complex flavour profile. Tieguanyin tea leaves are carefully harvested, processed, and skillfully roasted to create a tea that embodies elegance and craftsmanship.
The finest grades of Tieguanyin tea undergo multiple rounds of roasting, which contribute to its distinct toasty and floral notes. As a result of its labour-intensive production methods and limited availability of high-quality leaves, Tieguanyin tea commands a high price in the market.
Cost: C$40 to C$130 per 100 grams
There are expensive teas, then there are really expensive teas. If you like diamonds and gold with your high tea, and you have the means, then these might be for you.
Diamond Encrusted Tea Bag
In the realm of luxury teas, the Diamond Encrusted Tea Bag stands out as a true symbol of opulence. Created by a renowned British jeweller, this extravagant tea bag is adorned with 280 diamonds and features a unique shape.
The Diamond Tea Bag contains rare and premium-grade silver tip imperial tea, and while the tea itself contributes to the overall cost, it is the elaborate craftsmanship and the value of the diamonds that make this tea bag one of the most expensive in the world. However, it's important to note that it is more of an art piece then intended to be drank.
Cost: Tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars per 100g
Yellow Gold Tea Buds
Yellow Gold Tea Buds is a limited-edition tea that combines exceptional quality leaves with a touch of luxury. The tea buds are meticulously selected, and each bud is hand-dipped in edible 24-karat gold.
This extravagant tea offers a rich and aromatic experience, complemented by the visual appeal of the golden buds. The gold itself only slightly contributes to the flavour, adding a slightly metallic taste. Moreso it adds a luxurious element to the tea-drinking experience, making it a coveted item among tea enthusiasts.
Cost: Several hundred to thousands of dollars per 100 grams
For those with a passion for tea and a taste for luxury, exploring the world of the most expensive teas can be an enchanting journey into the realms of flavour, tradition, and indulgence. For amazing tea with a budget friendly price tag, turn to Clearview Tea Co.
Our loose leaf tea company is run by a passionate tea-loving mother-daughter team and offers some of the best quality tea in all of Ontario. See their wide selection online or visit us in store at our Schomberg location.