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Live The Life Of Luxury With These Exotic And Expensive Teas

Considered to be an art form in some parts of the world, drinking tea is something that millions of people have done for hundreds and hundreds of years and will continue to do so for many years to come. Come to represent wars, religion, culture and spirituality, the influence tea has had on the global society cannot really be understated. With the power to relax, unwind and deliver a fresh and tasty aroma across anyone’s pallet, it’s no wonder so many luxury items have emerged from the pursuit for the best teas.

Below are some of the very finest teas collected around the world, and the ones that will do some serious damage to your bank account. Considered precious beyond monetary comprehension, drinking these was once only considered possible for emperors and Gods…

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#1 Da Hong Pao

Recently valued at close to $30,000 for just 20g of this sacred feature, the Da Hong Pao is widely acclaimed to be the most valuable and expensive tea on the plant. Believed to have immense medicinal powers that once saved the mother of a Chinese emperor, the plants that grow this tea are only found in a very specific region of China. Constantly under armed guard, the tea is heavily controlled by the Chinese Government and is close to impossible to acquire.

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#2 Diamond Studded PG Tips

One of the most famous brands of tea in the world, PG Tips released their special diamond studded tea bags to celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2005. Featuring 280 diamond engraved onto the bag and filled with Silver Tips Imperial Tea from Makibari Estate, each one of these bags will cost you close to $15,000. 

#3 Panda Dung Tea

Full of nutrients and natural properties, Panda Dung Tea is as bizarre as it is expensive. Like its name suggests, Panda Dung Tea is made with the help of Panda excrement; when Pandas eat wild bamboo, they only take in about 30% of its nutrients before the other 70% is wasted. Bamboo contains a cancer preventing agent which makes this tea one of the potentially healthiest for you. Sold at $35,000 for 500g, it's described as containing a nutty and distinctive taste and aroma. 

#4 Vintage Narcissus

Named after the famous Greek mythological hunter who fell in love with himself after seeing himself in a reflection, this rare and exotic plant is found only in the Wuyi mountains in China. Oxidised to around 60% and like its colour suggests, the Vintage Narcissus produces a slightly woody, floral and chocolatey flavour that only improves when left out to age. 

#5 Tieguanyin Tea

Taking its namesake from the famous Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, Tieguanyin Tea has some of the most meticulous and time-consuming preparation of any of our features in this list. Sun drying, oxidising, rolling, drying, roasting and scenting all combine to make up the Tieguanyin distinct chestnut taste. What's more, the Tieguanyin can apparently be infused up to seven times without losing its charming taste. Charged at $3,000 for 1,000g, it's one of the precious oolong teas in the world.

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#6 Gao Shan Tea

Found only in the high gardens of Taiwan, some four to eight thousand feet above sea level, the obvious climate and physical challenges that arise from cultivating this tea is what makes it so precious. Gao Shan Tea's distinct taste, texture and aroma is enough however for plenty of people to still clamour for it, paying somewhere between $150 and $250 per kilo.

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#7 Silver Tips Imperial Tea

Featuring twice in this article, the history and popularity surrounding this magical tea cannot really be overstated. Its robust and hearty textures and tastes are a delicacy to any seasoned tea drinker, and is only found in the heart of the Himalaya Mountains, somewhere between five and eight thousand metres above sea levels. Once cultivated, the tea is sent to the Makaibari Estate in India, coincidentally the very first tea factory to be opened in the world.  

#8 Gorreana Broken Leaf Black Tea

Founded in 1883 and currently based in the Portuguese Azores, Gorreana is the oldest and only European tea plantation still in operation. Boasting a full range of exquisite and equally valuable products, Gorreana's Broken Leaf Black Tea is their true claim to fame. Hand picked and carefully selected, this feature will set you back 405 euros per bag. It's copper-like colour and fruity aromas are as pleasant on the pallet as they are stunning to look at.

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#9 Yellow Gold Tea Buds

At one time the go-to favourite for Chinese Emperors of all sizes and statures, the Yellow Gold Tea Bud has been crowned the most prized tea on the planet before. Harvested only once a year by selective farmers using golden shears, their golden complexion obviously isn't natural. In fact, the tea is sprayed on with twenty-four carat gold, only adding to its value some more. Its elusive nature, extravagant design, acquired taste and proud history will always mean this tea will forever stand out. 

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Written by James Metcalfe

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