When we talk about luxury, the common thoughts that would strike common minds are stylish cars, mesmerising jewels, a striking villa, a collection of historical artefacts, and similarly other things. However, it would not even cross an ordinary mind that something among food and beverages would ever be a part of the luxurious world.
We know that there are some amazing and most luxurious restaurants in the world that could provide mouth-watering dishes. But it would be rare to hear about a food that would cost you a fortune buying raw from the store. To enlighten the knowledge of thousands of people, it is important to tell you that tea is not only something that anyone would like to enjoy early in the morning or with friends. When picking the right one, it can also be taken as a symbol of luxury. Da Hong Pao Tea is like one of that luxury that only people of immense wealth could afford
What is Da Hong Pao “Big Red Robe” Tea?
Da Hong Pao, also known as Big Red Robe, is evidently the most expensive tea in the world that would cost nearly $1.2 million (€1.05 million). Looking at the history of the origin of this tea it can be said that it is indeed a very legendary tea, and due to its past reputation, today the worth of the Da Hong Pao tea is almost thirty times the value of the weight in gold.
Da Hong Pao tea falls under the variety of oolong tea, which is a perfect combination of halfway between green and black tea. It can be obtained from the Wuyi mountains located in the Fujian province of China.
The plants that make this tea special and a piece of ultimate luxury are nearly three hundred and fifty years old. There are only six of them left in the world. Apart from the original Da Hong Pao tea, there are also some other commercial varieties and combinations that also provide an exclusive experience for the consumers.
What are The Types of Da Hong Pao Tea?
Experiencing the taste of the Da Hong Pao or Big Red Robe Tea would definitely cost people a fortune. In order to make it a little bit reasonable for some people to afford to taste the tea, the Da Hong Pao was categorised into three types. The cost is also according to the type of tea.
1- Mother Tree Da Hong Pao
The original tree bushes are known as the Mother Tree Da Hong Pao. Today, there are only six of them, three out of which are dated back to the Song Dynasty. For the reason that there are only six of them left, they are very rare and are the most expensive tea on earth.
In an auction, the twenty grams (20 g) of tea was only sold for nearly $30,000 (€26,271). After the auction, the government commanded in the year 2007 that no more tea should be collected from these bushes in order to ensure that they live as long as possible. The cost of whatever of the tea remains only gets higher.
2- Purebred Da Hong Pao
Purebred Da Hong Pao tea trees were produced asexually utilising a few cuttings from the mother trees. Back in the year 1908, some of the researchers from the Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences began experimenting with the production of a purebred Da Hong Pao tea. They took some cuttings from the Mother Tree Da Hong Pao and further succeeded to produce the Da Hong Pao trees that look incredibly identical to the original ones.
The Purebred Da Hong Pao tea bushes were so identical to the original ones that even after a number of generations, in 1988, some of the tea experts arbitrated tea from these bushes to be equal to the ones from the mother trees. It was obviously not possible to afford the tea from the original mother tree because of the extremely high price, but these clones were somewhere available in comparatively lesser price. Even though this price was also only affordable for the wealthy and elite class. For the rest of the world, it is only a piece of luxury that they enjoy looking at or hearing about.
3- Commodity Da Hong Pao
The demand for Big Red Robe tea was extremely higher. Even though the purebred bushes were also providing the tea, it could not fulfil the needs of every buyer. In order to resolve this issue, the Tea Research Institute of Wuyi Mountain initiated an experiment by blending a few components. They blended purebred Da Hong Pao with some other Wuyi rock teas. As a result, they gained so much popularity. The experiment was indeed a success Consumers not only loved the colour of the tea, but they also adored the flavour of “Commodity Da Hong Pao.”
Many of the good blends contain a mellow flavour that has a rich fragrance; however, they do not taste as strong as any of the teas that were the part of the blend.
Why is Da Hong Pao so expensive?
There is no doubt to the fact that Da Hong Pao or the Big Red Robe tea is the world’s most expensive tea. However, the price is supported by some very genuine reasons. It is obvious that no expensive thing in the world raises their prices without having some unique qualities. In the case of Da Hong Pao Tea, its rarity is the only reason that makes this tea the most expensive one.
Generally, it has been experienced that the while tasting the Big Red Robe or Da Hong Pao teas, people often rummage around an intense and toasty flavour with the blend of complex notes of the flavours along with a long-lasting finish. People usually flinch from the teas that taste burnt, over-cooked, or over-roasted, due to the reason that it usually leads the sharp and bitter bite. It is often a sign that lack of the inherent flavour in the tea leaves was covered by the roaster. However, if the roast is done properly it will mellow into deep gradations of fruit or floral tones over time. On the other hand, burnt tea would never regain the complexity of the flavours.
The Da Hong Pao tea cost more than the gold when it compared in terms of weight. They are garnered under the protected nature reserve and are supplied at a low rate. The most prominent reason is that the nature reserve is very small in size. In order to protect the ecosystem, it is nowhere possible to bring all the land inside the reserve and transform it into the tea plants. The over-cultivation of tea many of the waterfalls in the area have started dying, which is why it is not a good idea to plant the tea trees in the natural reserve. The local officials make sure to control the growth of tea tightly. 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.
There is no uncertainty to the fact that Da Hong Pao falls under the category of the most expensive teas of the world and maintains its reputation on the top of the list. Due to its higher price, it is no less than a luxury to own even a kilogram of Big Red Robe or Da Hong Pao tea. The truth cannot be denied that this amazing tea has the audacity to please the people who own all the wealth of the world, whereas regular people can always wish to experience the taste of Da Hong Pao tea, but once they will taste the incredible flavour of this tea, the ordinary tea would never please them again. The staggering cost of $1.2 million (€1.05 million) is surely only affordable for people who plan their life around luxuries, but if other people would get lucky, they will always remember the taste of this tea.
With the amazing history, along with the exceptional taste and fragrance, the cost of the tea only seems fair. The Big Red Robe tea or Da Hong Pao tea obtained from the identical plants of the original one is not very expensive to taste. The availability of Da Hong Pao tea in China would cost a person around $100. However, tasting this tea from the original Da Hong Pao bushes would definitely cost people a fortune.