The Twelve Days of Tea
The Twelve Days of Tea
In honour of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” we have decided to explore The Twelve Most Expensive Types of Tea in the world, just in case you needed any tea-related inspiration for your letters to Santa Clause this year.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me twelve Gyokuros steeping…
11 Poo’s infusing
10 Imperials from Darjeeling
9 Gorreana’s breaking
8 Gaos with milk in
7 Bags of Tieguanyin
6 Da-Hong steaming
5 Gold buds
4 Wuyi Oolongs
3 Tienchi flowers
2 Panda Dungs
And a PG Tips Diamond Tea!
These genuine and bizarre types of tea are the twelve most expensive brews money can buy. So just in case you need more information for your Christmas list this year, here are the details.
Tienchi Flower Tea is the cheapest on our list at a mere £135 per kilogram. While traditional tea leaves are harvested from Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to Asia, the Tienchi Flower tea is derived from the flowers of Panax notoginseng. Originating from Yunnan Province in China, the Tienchi Flower tea has been used by ancient Chinese medicine to fight insomnia, dizziness, and skin rashes.
Gao Shan Tea is grown at 4,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level in Taiwan’s mountains and is incredibly rare. The location and the climate severely limits the cultivation of the tea plants and production of the leaves, so it is not surprising a kilogram of this tea will set you back £150.
Gorreana Broken Leaf Black Tea and Silver Tips Imperial Tea are both over £300 a kilogram despite being from very different parts of the world. Silver Tips Imperial, widely renowned for its colour and flavour, is cultivated in the heart of the Himalayas between 5,000 – 8,000 feet above sea level and sent to be processed at the Makabari Tea Estate, in Darjeeling, India the first tea factory in the world.
Whereas, Gorreana boasts of being the oldest and the only remaining tea plantation still operational in Europe. Broken Leaf teas are made from specific leaves – the third leaf of the tea plant branch. It has a gentle light copper colour and bursts with a fruity aroma.
At £500 per kilogram, Gyokuro Tea from Uji district in Japan is made in a very different way to traditional tea. Whilst most tea leaves undergo a grinding process, Gyokuro tea leaves do not. Instead, the leaves are shielded from the sun for two weeks prior to harvest. This unique tactic increases the amino acid contents of the leaves, giving the tea a sweeter flavour and unique aroma.
Poo Poo Pu-Erh Tea is nearly £800 per kilogram and yes, I am afraid it is exactly what the name suggests. This type of tea is made from the droppings of insects that feed on tea leaves in Japan. Farmers use tweezers and magnifying glasses to pick the minute droppings up, delicious!
The bill for both Yellow Gold Tea Buds and Tieguanyin Tea is £2,400 a kilogram. Both teas are bright gold. Whilst Tieguanyin leaves are crisp to the touch and bright golden in colour, Yellow Gold Tea Buds are actually made with real gold. Not only are the leaves sprayed with 24-carat gold, farmers cut the leaves using golden shears. This extremely glamorous harvesting process only happens one day a year, making the yellow golden tea buds extremely rare.
Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong Tea was named after the Greek legend of Narcissus despite being grown and harvested on Mount Wuyi, in Fujian Province in China over 500 years ago. A particular box of this tea was exported from China to Singapore and travelled all the way to Hong Kong where it was sold to a Chinese tea collector. A kilogram of the Narcissus Wuyi Oolong tea is worth an excessive £5,000 per kilo.
If you enjoyed the Poo Poo Pu-Erh Tea, then you are sure to have a taste for Panda Dung Tea too. This tasty tea is made from the droppings of panda bears who are fed with tea leaves and wild bamboo, it is believed that panda dung tea is rich in nutrients. However, at over £55,000 per kilogram, you may need to save up until next Christmas to enjoy a cup of this lovely tea.
In commemoration of PG Tip’s 75 anniversary, the British owned tea company released pyramid-shaped bags of Silver Tips Imperial Tea. Although Silver Tips Imperial is already very pricey what really ensures these PG Tips break the bank is the packaging. Each bag is crafted with 280 diamonds, is handmade by Boodles jewellers and will set you back around £12,000 each.
Finally, in first place, we have Da-Hong Pao Tea costing £800,000. It’s pretty hard to believe that tea leaves can be worth more than a million dollars but Da-Hong Pao is the most expensive tea in the world. This type of tea dates back to the Ming Dynasty and has been declared a “national treasure” by the Chinese government. It is usually given as a gift to important individuals such as luminaries and celebrities. The process of making Da-Hong Pao Tea remains a secret tightly guarded by the Chinese, which does leave us a little concerned what might be inside this one…
Frankly, however, perhaps we don’t need to worry too much about that as we’ll probably never get to try any. Instead, we will be happy to settle for a festive afternoon tea this Christmas with family or friends.