“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 maker in Wuyishan, a misty riverside town in Fujian, southern China. Why is Da Hong Pao So Expensive: The Most Expensive Tea? It was hard to imagine these straggly bushes bursting with new growth. These days, most Da Hong Pao on the market is produced from clippings of the original bushes, resulting in similar grades. Da Hong Pao, DHP, is a tea that was already famous during the days of Imperial China a few hundred years ago. So back to our original question: is Da Hong Pao the most expensive tea? Read more here: pu erh tea prices explained. On 1 May, soon after the tea harvest begins, a red carpet will be rolled out to mimic the emperor's gift. They’re grown inside the protected nature reserve and come in very low supply. The most expensive Da Hong Pao costs more than gold when compared in terms of weight. Tea enthusiasts with lots of money to spend may want to head to a town in southern China to find one of the most expensive tea varieties in the world. Da Hong Pao is the most expensive tea sold on the global market and is usually reserved for honored guests in China. In 1958, during the Mao era, the monks were forced out, taking their tea-making knowledge with them. Our Teasenz Da Hong Pao, comes from a tea garden in Wuyishan right next to the scenic area and we believe it’s a truly amazing tea with the distinctive mineral character. But every genuine Da Hong Pao originates with a cutting from a single group of mother trees. How to Make your own Chrysanthemum and Goji Berry Tea Blend? The tea bushes are only picked only one time each year that makes the Da Hong Pao Tea the rarest tea and due to this reason it has become the most expensive tea in the world that is now counted as one of the luxuries only people with good wealth can afford, as paying $1.2 million (€1.05 million) for only one kilogram (1 Kg) of tea is not reasonably priced for middle-class people. In 2005, during the Shanghai International Tea Festival, the same amount was auctioned for about 28.000 USD. The fact is, we can’t really say, because there’s no price tag available anymore on the leaves of the mother trees. Basically, it costs over 30 times its weight in gold. Fortune took up residence in the Tianxin Yongle Temple below Da Hong Pao, and – amid leisurely discussions as to whether shoots picked by monkeys or virgins made the best tea – the botanist acquired seeds, seedlings and the secrets of their cultivation. Even for the other original trees in the nature reserve, the prices can be very high. China’s ancient bushes of Da Hong Pao produce one of the most expensive teas in the world, astonishingly costing more than 30 times its weight in gold. Asian Food Where To Buy Da Hong Pao Tea Tianxin Yongle was founded in 827AD. Why is da hong pao so expensive? Nevertheless, as a tea lover you shouldn’t be too worried if you can’t afford these figures. Asia Culture News The most expensive Da Hong Pao costs more than gold when compared in terms of weight. The expensive variety comes from the group of ancient and almost extinct wild “mother trees” from steep Tianxin Rock in the Wuyi Mountains in Jiulongke. If you’re interested in this tea, also read about the Legend of Dahongpao. The tea bushes are only picked once per year for the best quality. Only a few of the original bushes remain and they are highly guarded. If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This Week”. Found only in the Chinese town of Wuyishan, Da Hong Pao is the heavily oxidized, dark Oolong tea known for its sweet aroma and a smoky, mellow flavor that leaves an enduring aftertaste minutes after consumed. That is why Da Hong Pao was only offered to emperors, religious leaders, and governmental visitors due to its expense. Asian Entertainment News tea master Xiangning Wu explained to BBC Travel. This was also the last time, as in 2006 the locals forbid harvesting the rare mother trees. When Zhe arrived from the ancient city of Suzhou in 1990, what little remained of the temple was home to peasants. View image of In China, drinking tea is considered an art form (Credit: Credit: Kevin Zen/Getty), View image of Wuyishan is a misty riverside town in Fujian, southern China (Credit: Credit: Hamish Symington/Wikipedia), View image of All types of tea leaves are picked across the Fujian province, but Da Hong Pao leaves are the most coveted (Credit: Credit: Kevin Zen/Getty), View image of “Wuyishan's startling karst landscape has been famous for tea for centuries” (Credit: Credit: 老过/Wikipedia), View image of Tea gardens and terraces clamber up the Wuyishan mountains (Credit: Credit: Christian J Kober/Alamy), View image of Tea terraces can be found all over the Fujian province (Credit: Credit: Cyril Hou/Alamy), View image of “It looks fit for a beggar, but it's priced for an emperor” (Credit: Credit: Kevin Zen/Getty). Asia Politics When they reached India, these seeds, merged with indigenous Indian tea, would form the beginnings of an industry now worth billions of dollars a year. The price of the legendary tea, which dates as far back as the early 18th century (Dao Guang Era), will only get higher as merchants and tea collectors have hoarded the remaining antique tea leaves. Beautiful women dressed in traditional costume will ascend the mossy steps and perform a ritual. “The original Da Hong Pao is so expensive because there are hardly any of the original tea trees left,” tea master Xiangning Wu explained to BBC Travel. Due to its quality and price, low-income families are not able to drink the expensive tea in China. The most expensive Da Hong Pao’s auctioned in the past where made from leaves of the ‘mother trees’ in the natural reserve. • In the Qing dynasty, Da Hong Pao ranked first in the tea competition and won the title of "King of the tea." Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close, More Chinese and Chinese Americans Are Giving Back to Society Than Ever Before, Meet EASTERN PEOPLE, a New Clothing Collective for Asian Cultures. But there will be no harvest. I walked past the monastery's vegetable gardens and up and along the narrow, winding mountain paths to the original Da Hong Pao. Just as they do today, tea gardens clambered up and around the mountains, squeezed into the narrowest of gorges and perched on the steepest of slopes. Production was tightly controlled – the few hundred grams the trees yielded every year were reserved for the state – and until recently, the trees were under constant armed guard. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Earth, Culture, Capital, Travel and Autos, delivered to your inbox every Friday. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. His aim was to track down China's best tea – Da Hong Pao – and to learn how to grow it. And since almost all of China was closed to foreigners on pain of death, disguise was essential. Enter Fortune. More popular for its price than its taste, the extremely rare and original Da Hong Pao (Imperial Red Robe) tea costs about $10,000 per pot, or around $1,400 per gram, according to, Due to its quality and price, low-income families are not able to drink the expensive tea. The reason it's so expensive is because it is rare and, therefore, exclusive. Da Hong Pao, literally translated to 'big red robe,' is a kind of tea available in China that costs $10,000 (approx INR 6,72,000) per pot. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. The very last of these rare tea leaves were harvested in 2005 from the trees, which will never yield again. The original Da Hong Pao trees sat on temple land, but  Zhe left their management to the government. For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com, Why This Rare Chinese Tea Costs $10,000 Per Pot. You can see them in the image above, which we took during our Wuyishan trip in 2015. An obvious way of resolving the balance of trade was to do what the East India Company had done with other valuable plants: steal the seeds (or, better, cuttings) and grow them elsewhere.


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