Expensive teas can be a bit of a tease. They’re pricey up front, making you think they’re fairly elite. Yet, many of them can undergo multiple steepings, so at heart they’re fairly practical and can even be enjoyed on a daily basis. In that case, you can also buy a larger quantity which reduces the per ounce price and makes them even more affordable.
Here are some examples of teaser teas (remember that one ounce of most of these teas can make from 10 to 25 cups of tea):
Adams Peak White Tea — Made from silver tip tea leaves grown at high elevation in the Nuwara Eliya region of Sri Lanka (Ceylon); hand-rolled and producing a delicate, light copper color tea tasting of pine and honey.
For 2 oz: $26.24 (Per oz: $13.12)
For 8 oz: $81.74 (Per oz: $10.22)
Darjeeling White Tips White Tea — A tea from Darjeeling, India, made from hand-selected leaves; muscatel taste with hint of white wine.
For 2 oz: $16.09 (Per oz: $8.05)
For 8 oz: $55.59 (Per oz: $6.95)
Peony White Needle White Tea — A tea from the Chongqing Province of China with a delicate lingering fragrance, a fresh sweet taste, and no astringency or grassy flavor.
For 2 oz: $13.29 (Per oz: $6.65)
For 8 oz: $45.49 (Per oz: $5.69)
Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea — A tea composed of tippy, neat, wiry, and well-made leaves that produce a reddish cup and fragrant aroma.
For 4 oz: $14.19 (Per oz: $3.55)
For 16 oz: $49.39 (Per oz: $3.09)
For 4 oz: $10.69 (Per oz: $2.67)
For 16 oz: $36.89 (Per oz: $2.31)
Soom Estate tea — A first-flush (Spring harvest), top-quality Darjeeling tea that is grown at 5300 feet above sea level and produces a liquid with a delicate muscatel character.
For 4 oz: $ 9.99 (Per oz: $2.50)
For 16 oz: $34.39 (Per oz: $2.15)
Gyokuro — Considered Japan’s best green tea, it’s steamed and has a full flavor and a satisfying light refreshing character. (In Japan, some Gyokuros sell for over $1,000 per pound, making it undoubtedly the most expensive tea in the world.)
For 4 oz: $16.19 (Per oz: $4.05)
For 16 oz: $56.99 (Per oz: $3.56)
Dragon Pearls green tea — This green tea is made from the top two leaves and the bud of new season growth. These delicate leaves are then hand rolled into the small pearls. When you infuse these pearls in your tea cup, you will see the top two leaves and the bud come to life. In fact you will see some small ‘hairy down’ on the bud of the leaves – this denotes superb quality and very careful and delicate handling.
For 4 oz: $17.49 (Per oz: $4.37)
For 16 oz: $61.39 (Per oz: $3.84)
You’ll notice that I stuck to loose teas. One reason is that, with bagged teas, you can pretty much calculate for yourself your cost per teabag, whereas calculating the cost for loose teas is determined by how many times you steep the same batch of leaves (how many infusions). I also stuck to straight (unflavored) teas, since the cost of flavorings can vary and really add to the price. For example, have you checked how much blueberries can be at the store, when you can get them, that is?
On a final note, while Gyokuro can command some very high prices, Pu-erhs rival that. There are Pu-erh cakes and bricks (the shapes the wet leaves were pressed into and then let dry) priced in the hundreds of dollars, depending on the quality of the leaves, the age of the tea, and the ability to verify that it’s an authentic Pu-erh, not one of the fakes now on the market. However, you will get many cupfuls of tea enjoyment from them for less than most people pay for a grande tea at one of those coffee joints. Something to keep in mind.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this tea tease and are tempted to try at least one of the teas here. Enjoy!
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