China is a giant, also in the world of tea. In fact, it is possible to find a wide variety of Chinese teas throughout the world: black, white, green, red… There are many options, but do you know which are the most expensive Chinese teas?
Today we are talking about Chinese tea and we have set out to track down the most expensive varieties in the world. Are you ready? Take paper and pencil, and take notes…
10 Chinese teas with exorbitant prices
Although many of us hardly ever have the opportunity to taste one of these teas, they are well worth knowing. Who knows, maybe in the future we will be given the opportunity to try them.
To give the subject a bit of suspense, we have decided to present the list of the 10 most expensive Chinese teas in a regressive manner. Has your curiosity been piqued and you want to know which one occupies the number 1 position?
10. Panda dung tea
The famous “panda tea” is an organic variety that grows in the giant panda sanctuary mountains in Sichuan. Thus, these tea plants thrive surrounded by one of the great Chinese treasures: panda bears.
Now, tea doesn’t get its name just because it grows in a panda region, but because its plants are fertilized with panda manure. How do you read? This particular ecological way of cultivating tea plants has earned Panda Dung worldwide recognition, whose price per kilo reached 440,000 Chinese yuan in 2011; that is, around US$60027.00.
9. Tie Guan Yin Tea
This tasty oolong tea produced in Fujian is highly traditional and ancient. In fact, it is estimated that it began to be made in the year 1725. Different health properties are attributed to it, ranging from preventing premature aging and some diseases such as cancer to treating cavities and contributing to weight loss. In 2012, it was sold at auction for the “moderate” sum of 670,000 Chinese yuan per kilo (around US$91677.60).
8. Lu’an Melon Seed Tea
Originally from the Dabie Mountains in Anhui Province, Lu’an Melon Seed is a green tea made from loose leaves only; that is to say that neither stems nor shoots are incorporated into the mixture. In 2002, a kilo was auctioned for 920,000 Chinese yuan, about US$125511.00.
7. Songzhong Tea No.1
It is one of the oldest teas in China; in fact, legend has it that its cultivation began during the Song Dynasty (hence its name) between 960 and 1279 AD. Despite its tradition, there is currently only one plant left to make it and, for this reason, the price of tea is astronomical: in 2016, 1 million Chinese yuan was paid for a kilo of Songzhong; this is about US$136425.00.
6. Longjing Tea
Among the most expensive Chinese teas, we could not fail to mention Longjing, a green tea that is also known as West Lake Dragon Well. It stands out for its fragrance and delicate flavor.
Although it is produced with the leaves of different plants, the most exclusive is made with those of the Shibake tree. Popular wisdom holds that this was the Qianlong Emperor’s preferred tea. Beyond the legends, today its production does not exceed 100 grams per year, hence its very high market value. In 2014, a kilogram was sold for more than 1 million Chinese yuan (more than US$136425.00), although the exact figure was never revealed.
5. Xinyang Maojian
This variety is widely cultivated. However, when a tea of this variety was auctioned in 2006 and obtained a payment of 1.49 million Chinese yuan per kilo (US$162618.60), the prices of all Xinyang Maojian varieties increased in price.
4. Monkey King Tea
In 2004, this tea won the King of Green Tea award at the International Tea Exhibition. Why is it among the most expensive Chinese teas? Simply because in 2007, a participant in an auction paid 159,000 Chinese yuan for 100 grams of tea; that is, 1.59 million yuan/kilo (about US$217188.60/kilo).
3. Huangshan Maofeng
If you like green tea and you ever have the opportunity to taste Huangshan Maofeng, don’t hesitate! Not only is it one of the most expensive Chinese teas, but it has a smooth flavor with, they say, hints of orchid that remains in the mouth for quite some time.
This variety grows at a height of more than 700 meters and it is said that this situation, that is, the altitude, the climate and the terrain have given it its particular nuances. In 2011, 50 grams of this tea were auctioned for 850,000 Chinese yuan (about US$115688.40 for 50 grams). If we calculate the price per kilo, we find the exorbitant sum of US$2313768/kilo. It’s possible?
China’s most popular oolong is produced on Mount Wuyi in Fujian province. Now, the best Dahongpao is made from the leaves of the city’s three 350-year-old trees. As you can imagine, this tea has been auctioned off at crazy prices: 208,000 yuan for 20 grams of tea; that is, 1,664,000 yuan per 100 grams (around US$227011.20/100 g). Thus, the kilo would be around US$27,28,500.
1. Pumpkin Tribute Tea
At the top of the list of the most expensive Chinese teas is the Pumpkin tribute, a pu-ehr that receives the curious name of “pumpkin tribute” due to its striking shape and golden color. And its price? In 2017, a tea nut paid 19.99 million yuan for a cake of this fermented tea (almost US$27,28,500).