Da Hong Pao tea is notoriously the world’s most expensive tea. The highest quality varieties can cost more than $1million per kilo. Da Hong Pao translates to “big red robe’ and is often called robe tea or red robe tea.
This tea is not expensive because of the rarity or quality of leaves, but rather for its exquisite and indulgent packaging. The tea bag is adorned with 280 diamonds and was created to mark the 75th anniversary of the PG Tips tea company. The extravagant display was meant to honor the British love and tradition of tea consumption. The diamond-encrusted tea bag was designed by Boodles jewelers and contains Silver Tips Imperial Tea. The tea bag was painstakingly developed by hand and took more than three months to complete. The tea bag costs upwards of $15,000 and was donated to a charity auction to raise money for Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Panda dung tea is the tea world’s response to “Kopi luwak” — the coffee beans that are digested and excreted by the Indonesian civet cat. Pandas consume a diet of tea leaves and bamboo, which is then excreted and used to fertilize a certain type of tea plant. The leaves from these tea plants are then harvested and processed to make one of the world’s most expensive teas. It first hit the market in April 2012 and can cost as much as $7,000 per kilo.
Vintage Narcissus is an oolong tea from the Wuyi Mountains of the Fujian province of China. The tea was first created in tea gardens more than 500 years ago. It is named after the Greek goddess Narcissus and can fetch more than $6,500 per kilo. The tea is extremely rare and often sold in boxes that are more than 50 years old.
Tieguanyin is commonly known as Iron Goddess of Mercy and can fetch up to $3,000 per kilo. Tieguanyin tea derives its name from the Buddhist deity Guanyin and is an oolong tea hailing from China. This Chinese tea is a potent beverage that boasts extensive health benefits. The tea leaves can be steeped up to seven times without losing flavor or aroma. Some Tieguanyin teas are scented and roasted after drying for added flavor characteristics.