I’ve been an avid tea drinker for as long as I can remember. Regular old black tea, Indian chai, Japanese matcha- as long as you can classify it as tea, I’ll drink it. Being able to drink as many varieties of tea as I could possibly drink is one of my life’s main goals.
But there’s one variety of tea that exists in this world that I’m sure that I won’t be able to drink- unless I win the lottery or become a millionaire or something. And that is the Da Hong Pao. Listed here is some of the special qualities that make this tea one of a kind:
World’s Rarest Tea
The Da Hong Pao is widely known as the world’s most expensive and rarest tea. As a kind of Wuyi rock tea, it is solely grown on a few bushes in the Wuyi Mountains region somewhere in the northern part of Fujian, China.
The name of the tea stems from its mythical origins. Da Hong Pao is Chinese for Big Red Robe; according to legend, a woman- who happens to be the mother of a Ming dynasty emperor- was miraculously cured of her afflictions by drinking the tea that was sourced from these four specific bushes in the Wuyi Mountains. The emperor, upon hearing the miraculous properties of the tea that healed his mother, had arranged to have big red robes sent to the Mountains to protect the bushes.
And up to this very day, the bushes that gave birth to the very first Da Hong Pao still exist. They are still on the very same spot where the legend stated they should be. Even better is the fact that the Chinese government is protecting the bushes with the same care that the Ming Dynasty emperor had shown. The bushes, until recently, were kept under the careful watch of armed guards.
Due to its rarity, the Da Hong Pao is usually reserved to be drunk only by China’s most honored guests.
Most Expensive Tea
Just to give you an idea of how expensive this tea is, there was once a tea aficionado who once spent a whopping 180,000 Chinese yuan (or $28,000) on just 2g of the tea alone. This was way back in 2002. Currently, there’s no other tea in the world that managed to be priced as highly as the Da Hong Pao. It is literally worth more than its weight in gold.
Where Can I Drink It?
So, let’s say that you are a millionaire and that you are willing to shell out lots of moolah to get a taste of the Da Hong Pao. Where should you find it then?
The answer here is nowhere. Unfortunately, the ancient bushes that produced the Da Hong Pao are likely never to produce tea ever again. The last harvest was way back in 2005, and they haven’t produced tea again since. There may be collectors out there who have a few grams of the precious Da Hong Pao, but they are probably unlikely to part with them.