Da Hong Pao - the drink that costs more than gold
In 2002, a wealthy purchaser paid 180,000 yuan – almost $28,000 – to buy 20g China's legendary Da Hong Pao tea. The culture of drinking tea has become an art for more than 1,500 years. But paying almost $10,000 to drink a pot of Da Hong Pao tea makes people wonder what make this tea that expensive.
Traditional Da Hong Pao tea is not only as valuable as gold but weight even 30 times more expensive. One gram of tea is priced $ 1,400, making up to $ 10,000 pot of tea. This is one of the world's most expensive tea.
Da Hong Pao has a warm, woody aroma with hints of flora
“It looks fit for a beggar, but it's priced for an emperor and has the heart of the Buddha,” said Xiao Hui, a tea manufacturer in Wuyishan - a misty riverside town in Fujian, southern China. Da Hong Pao tea is from cultivars of the Wuyishan strand. Tea makers for many generations, still go into the mountains every spring to call on the tea god, Lu Yu, to bring new shoots.
The great mountain landscape of Wuyishan with tea farm have been very famous for centuries. Today, every shop in Wuyishan has a tea-tasting table set for the ritual of gong fu cha (kung fu tea).
Romantic scene in Wuyishan
To Wuyishan, guests will be amazed by Da Hong Pao tea, which can be bought at various rates. And many Da Hong Pao teas are surprisingly affordable. The aged or antique versions are rare and expensive. The reasonable quality Da Hong Pao tea normally costs about $ 100 per kg.
“The original Da Hong Pao is so expensive because there are hardly any of the original tea trees left,” explained local tea master Xiangning Wu. In fact, tea brokers are connected with the super-rich people in China to ensure the consumption source.
But not only the Chinese love Da Hong Pao tea. In 1894, the botanist Robert Fortune British Wuyishan to the mountains with a secret mission, part of the agro-industrial espionage. The British are obsessed with Chinese teas for long, but they can not obtain that tea flavor and the secrets of their cultivation.
Across Fujian province, visitors will encounter many terraced fields on the mountain
The original Da Hong Pao trees sat on temple land, but they left their management to the government. The production is strictly controlled, a few hundred grams of tea per year owned by the state. Recently, an army is always on duty to protect the precious tea tree. The trees looked tired and spindly with the different lifecycle.
There was no more harvest since 2005. That means a few grams of tea since then become more valuable than ever. Da Hong Pao is reported having a warm, woody aroma with hints of flora.