A tea for $2,160

The benefits of tea are innumerable. But at what cost? One of the most commonly consumed beverage in the world after water, this age old drink has taken various flavours including the Yellow Gold Tea Buds tea, with real gold flakes. However, if you’re looking for something more flavourful, how about some winter oolong tea whose delicate perfume is said to be so long-lasting that if you drink a glass one morning, the perfume will be detectable, the morning after. These premium leaves are now available from the State Guest Da Hung Pao and is similar to oolong, a type of semi-fermented tea. Available at Wu Yi Star Teahouse, a tea shop with 40 stores throughout greater China, the price for 50 grams is HK$16,800 (US$2,160). Every year, the 100 canisters of State Guest Da Hung Pao tea sell out within two months. A waiting list for the 2011-year harvest has already begun.

So, what’s so special about this tea? Tracy Ho, general manager of Wuyi Star Teahouse general manager told us. The strength of 60: The leaves from the State Guest Da Hung Pao are said to be potent enough to brew multiple pots of tea–up to 60 infusions. So instead of just five cups of tea from a 50-gram canister (each serving being 10 grams of leaves and roughly 100 milliliters of 100°C water), you’re really getting 3,000.

White-glove service: Not only is State Guest Da Hung Pao farmed organically, its leaves (unlike those of other teas) are never permitted to touch the ground: They’re hand-picked from the bush and handled with special care through the withering, sifting and drying process.

Certified: The State Guest Da Hung Pao packaging bears an official seal from the Fujian municipal government verifying its origin.

A national treasure: Said to be the “king of all Chinese teas,” da hung pao teas are often given as gifts to heads of state including former U.S. President Richard Nixon.

More about the tea: http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2010/11/15/anyone-for-2160-tea/

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