How much is Britain's most expensive cup of tea?
If you wince at being charged £2.50 for a pot of tea, you might want to sit down, because the UK's most expensive cuppa makes that seem like an absolute steal. The priciest pot of tea on sale in the UK is actually £180.
The tea in question is sold at the Royal China Club in Baker Street, London, and is known as Da Honh Pao - which translates as imperial red robe. The reason it's so expensive is because the leaves can only be harvested on a few days in each year, and they are then left to mature for 80 years - so it's rare and difficult to make. As a result it was traditionally only ever served to the most honoured guests.
The Sunday People spoke to the restaurant, which described it as being like the Dom Perignon of the tea world. The sommelier also told the Daily Mail: "Making tea is not simple – it is an art form when you are using tea leaves as prized and delicate as Da Honh Pao. It has to be brewed and served at exact temperatures - too hot or cold and you risk killing the flavours." He added that tea masters from Hong Kong are flown over to teach people in the restaurant the fine art of making tea.
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This may well be the most expensive pot of tea. However, it may not be the priciest cup. The £185 pot serves four, and works out as £46.25 each. This is small potatoes compared to Panda Tea, which claims to be the world's most expensive. It's grown in Sichuan in China, and is fertilised with panda excrement - shipped in from local breeding centres. It costs £2,200 for 50 grams - which apparently works out as roughly £130 per cup. The grower claims that Panda excrement makes the best fertiliser because they digest only about 30% of their food, so 70% of the nutrients are passed out.
It's also a long way off the cost of the priciest tea bag. This title goes to a ridiculous bag made to celebrate PG Tips' 75th birthday in 2005. It contained 280 diamonds and was worth £7,500. It was eventually auctioned to raise money for a Manchester children's hospital.
And for the ultimate in luxury, there's the cup of tea that cost one man £21 million. Billionaire Liu Yiqian bought a 500 year old Ming Dynasty cup, decorated with chickens and cockerels, in July this year. The rare cup set him back £21 million, and before he left the Hong Kong auction house he decided to drink tea out of it. This is unlikely to be a regular occurrence as with only four of these cups in private hands, it would be something of a blow to accidentally shatter one while you're doing the dishes.
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