Where is the most expensive tea in the world produced?
Unsurprisingly, it's in China
Da Hong Pao from the Wuyi mountains in Fujian province is according to many the most expensive variety of tea in the world.
The best kinds of Da Hong Pao can actually cost more by weight than precious metals – the best leaves are commonly valued at more than 30 times their weight in gold: almost $1,400 for a single gram, or well over $10,000 for a pot.
The landscape of Wuyi has steep limestone cliffs with plenty of rain and mist, meaning the soil is refreshed with minerals and moisture all year round. The high cost of the tea is due not just to its earthy, mineral-y flavor but also the difficulty in cultivating it – each tree must be grown from a cutting from a select number of 'original' Da hong Pao trees.
Most of these original trees disappeared around 10 years ago, leaving just six original Song dynasty trees left, and very few trees made from cuttings survive.
What about the name? It means 'Big red robe,' and it references an ancient Emperor whose mother was cured of a disease by drinking the tea, prompting him to send red robes to wrap and protect the bushes.